September 27, 2023

Novel Lives

Book Publicity, Reviews, Author Interviews, and Discussion Posts by Susan Crosby

Hang On To Your Shadows, Frizzels And Phoneixes, It Is Time To Kick Off Shami Stovall’s Frith Chronicles With Knightmare Arcanist

Welcome to my Write Reads ultimate blog tour stop for the first installment of Shami Stovall's Frith Chronicles, Knightmare Arcanist. It is also an amazing buddy read I got to do with Becky at Crooks Books and Maddie at Mad's books, so look for their reviews in the post, as well.

Knightmare Arcanist By Shami Stovall Summary And Write Reads Tour Blog Tour Stop

Knightmare Arcanist by Shami Stovall Summary:

Magic. Sailing. A murderer among heroes.

Gravedigger Volke Savan wants nothing more than to be like his hero, the legendary magical swashbuckler, Gregory Ruma. First, he needs to become an arcanist, someone capable of wielding magic, which requires bonding with a mythical creature. And he’ll take anything—a pegasus, a griffin, a ravenous hydra—maybe even a leviathan, like Ruma.

So when Volke stumbles across a Knightmare, a creature made of shadow and terror, he has no reservations. But the Knightmare knows a terrible secret: Ruma is a murderer out to spread corrupted magic throughout their island nation. He’s already killed a population of phoenixes, and he intends to kill even more.

In order to protect his home, his adopted sister, and the girl he admires from afar, Volke will need to confront his hero, the Master Arcanist Gregory Ruma.

Knightmare Arcanist Write By Shami Stovall Reads Blog Tour Banner

Write Reads Blog Tour Ultimate Tour Dates

Summer Themes

Trends are starting to emerge from the second annual Spring/Summer Fling:

  1. Poisonous Plants, Mother Nature Biting Back, plagues
  2. The Devastation of Shame
  3. Sins of the Father
  4. Next level intelligent Animal Partners
    • Including high emotional I.Q and the ability to communicate it

Knightmare Arcanist runs the table in unique ways because it crosses many of them, together.

Volke lives and works with the gravediggers because his family were criminals. It assumed he is capable of being nothing more, which causes Volke deep resentment and shame. However, it has also done something positive. Like Kaz Brekker (but for entirely different reasons, see the link), he is not letting it eat him whole. He is making that shame propel him forward. Volke refuses to let the sins of those that came before him, define him.

Knightmare Arcanist By Shami Stovall

A few thank yous- The Write Reads for trusting me when I ran to them and said– HERE I FOUND THIS– GO GO! SET IT UP! And to Shami Stovall for trusting me when I said– here GO GO The Write Reads ROCKS! Also, thank you to both Shami and The Write Reads for their patience and enduring understanding after the tumultuous events that befell me recently. And to Maddie and Becky, who buddy read Knightmare Arcanist with me, in the middle of it all! And to EVERYONE who was there for me and checked on me. Love you all.

Maddie’s Review- Mads Books

Becky’s Review- Crooks Books

Instead, he will prove them wrong. And in the process save them from an incoming plague that threatens to poison that which they hold most dear, their Eldrin (think magical Familiar), and the Arcanists that bond with them.

Arcanists were the pinnacle of society, the most influential people, and revered by everyone. Some arcanists could control the weather, or devastate armies, or make the land fertile. Even the weakest and laziest of arcanists were well-thought-of and important members of powerful guilds, shepherding humanity to greatness with a mere flick of their wrists.

Eldrin are a next step above from typical familiars in their abilities and their emotional bond to Arcanists. The Knightmare Arcanist, however, is born of the shadows. A soldier, with wisdom ahead of the rest. Between his intelligence, shadow utilization, and banter, I couldn’t help but wish he might have his own Eldrin. Maybe one that might go by the name of Mr. Kindly.

Yes. There are phoenixes, and they are brilliant! But Shami Stovall gets really with a plethora of mystical creatures and a variety of magic that different Arcanists can wield. I think I gave you enough tangible ideas and references above, let me not spoil all the entertaining stuff!


Shami Stovall may or may not want to hear this, but let me be honest, it is while writing about the plague that her writing shines. It jumps off the page. Is that horrible to say? I don’t know, but it is the truth. First of all, this isn’t a typical plague. It is violent, ruthless, and mind-bending. Maybe it was just me, but it also came out of nowhere. I mean, I knew there was a plague, but I didn’t think it would work the way it did.

The way it spreads through nature and then seeps its way into Eldrins and warps their minds to become these possessed, crazed, craven beings that addicted to magic. Literally, addicted. They just want more and more magic. Not only does it affect them, but in the wrong hands, it can go badly. The Eldrin is corrupted. Any kind of familiar, including Eldrins, bond with their Arcanist, so that corruption?

Michael Che

Then, once you get into the background of its origins and reasons, which of course, I’m not going to get into here? I was gobsmacked. I just. Yeah. NO.

cecily strong

But it isn’t just in the creation of the plague, its back story, and potential damage that Stovall shines. It is in the writing of it. It is one of those situations where you are reading along, enjoying an excellent fantasy story and then bam boom bah! You scream during sleep time, and the Council of the Ninja Magical Conjuring Cats hits the ceiling. Then, they have a vote as to whether or not you get to continue being their plebian, anymore.


The beast opened his eyes all the way, as wide as they would go until they were perfect circles. I froze, my heart pounding in my ears. The white hart’s eyes were like dead fish eyes. They shook—jiggled, really—as though struggling not to pop out of the sockets. Bulging outward, they swiveled around with no rhyme or reason to where the head was facing. And then he smiled. I didn’t know deer mouths stretched so far upward, but it did, expressing emotion like only a madman could.

What. The. Actual. Fuck.

And that’s just the first time you run into a plague-infested creature. Trust me when I tell you, it only escalates from there.

Frith Foundation

A few hot takes that won’t spoil anything about Knightmare Arcanist, a genuinely fantastic foundation to the Frith Chronicles:

  1. The characters are amazing. The cohort of Arcanists all brings something to the table. A few of them, I had predictions, and I was dead wrong. Their paths completely did not go that way. A few did.
  2. The mentors. One of them is so up my alley, I would buy it and name it after him if I could. The other I smelled like a jock-strap not washed due to superstition.
  3. As much as the above is true. The why on the latter mentor- oh hell no, I didn’t see that why coming and Stovall wrote the HELL out of it.
  4. I can’t wait to read book two with The Write Reads!!!
  5. Everyone get on the bandwagon and join us, won’t you! You will. Of course, you will.

Shami Stovall Biography

Shami Stovall is a multi-award-winning author of fantasy and science fiction, with several best-selling novels under her belt. Before that, she taught history and criminal law at the college level and loved every second. When she’s not reading fascinating articles and books about ancient China or the Byzantine Empire, Stovall can be found playing way too many video games, especially RPGs and tactics simulators.

Shami Stovall Contact Information:

Official Website



Email: s.adelle.s@gmail.com

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