Academy Arcanist by Shami Stovall

Book Summary:

Hopes. Dreams. And literal nightmares out to kill a young boy.

Gray Lexly, son of a candlemaker, wants to escape his life of old-world technologies and study at the prestigious Astra Academy, a school for arcanists—those who can wield magic. But Gray has a major problem. Every night, as he sleeps, he’s visited by monsters. When they injure Gray in his dreams, he wakes with the same wounds in real life…

On the night Gray might finally die in his nightmares, he is saved by the kind and mysterious Professor Helmith, a powerful arcanist. She offers to protect Gray and invites him to attend Astra Academy.

Before that can happen, Gray must bond with a mystical creature to become an arcanist himself. Will he bond with a unicorn? A pegasus? A kitsune? Whatever he bonds with will determine his magical abilities, so he must choose wisely.

And when trouble finds Professor Helmith, Gray must become powerful enough to help her and fend off the terrible nightmares, before it’s too late…

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Amazon Reviewers Say:

A magical start to what is promising to be another great series in the world of Arcanists following the eradication of the plague. We have a whole new group of characters to follow on their adventures this time and I can’t wait to see what predicaments the twins and their Eldrin find themselves in next!.

Josh S

Like the Frith Chronicles, we get to see a young boy filled with dreams leave his isolated island and get thrust into the action. However, while Volke and Gray may seem similar, the characters are nothing alike. Not only are both of them completely unique, interesting, real-feeling characters, but the rest of the cast are too. The eldrin – the magical creatures people bond with to gain powers – aren’t anything to disappoint either. We get to see new creatures with incredible abilities, and take a better look at some other extremely intriguing eldrin that were mentioned in the Frith Chronicles. Always with Gray is his twin brother, Sorin, both of whom are overprotective over one another on their journeys. These journeys take them to the halls of Astra Academy where they are both students, having to grapple with nefarious plots, other students, and learning their magic. All of it is incredibly interesting and I can’t wait to see what will happen as this series moves forward! In the end, I really loved this imaginative, fun, new foray into a world that I have come to love so much!

This is a very compelling book that I did not want to put down! Stovall has a rare gift of creating characters we care about, with real, human anxieties and feelings. This is more of a school story than her other series in the same world, and fans of Rachel Griffin and Harry Potter will feel at home with this book. The novel is clearly connected to the Frith books (which I highly recommend), but knowledge of those is– as she promises– not necessary. Fans of the Frith series will recognize a cameo appearance of one character and an oblique reference to the conflict in those books, but intimate knowledge of those things won’t change your opinion of this work. The events are dark, and there are scares, but this is a hopeful book about good people doing good things to stop real villains, so you will not only enjoy the story, you will be glad you read the book. Read it right now!

Bruce Parrello

About the Author:

Shami Stovall is a multi-award-winning author of fantasy and science fiction. 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. She loves John, reading, and writing about herself in the third person.

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