Monday, November 7, 2022

Review Tour + #Giveaway: Academy Arcanist by Shami Stovall @GameOverStation @GoddessFish

Academy Arcanist

by Shami Stovall

GENRE: YA Fantasy


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…


I don’t want to sleep,” I said. “The monsters will return. They’ll…”

My father lingered by the door, half inside my bedroom and half in the hall. He turned down the light of my oil lamp, though he didn’t snuff it out. The shadows in the corners of my room grew darker. I dared not stare at them.

The monsters aren’t real, boy.” My father offered a gentle smile. “Those were just nightmares. Everyone has them occasionally.”

I sat on the edge of my bed, my posture stiff as I tried to act twice my age. With my throat tight, I lifted my left arm. An injury ran from the crux of my elbow all the way to the edge of my palm, scabbed over and red. It was a straight and shallow cut, but it stung worse than a normal wound.

The monsters are real,” I said, defiant. “I told you—they attacked me.”

Gray, we talked about this,” my father said, sighing.

His shoulders sagged and his eyes were heavy lidded. He looked tired. Probably because he was. Every day, he worked from sunup until sundown, mixing waxes and perfecting wicks. He was our island’s only tallow chandler—a person who made candles with oil, wax, and animal fat.

My father wore an apron marked with his profession, stained by the hot wax. He rubbed his blistered hands down his sides, no doubt trying to think of what to say. I already knew what he would eventually settle on.

He would say, “You just fell out of bed.”

You just fell out of bed,” my father muttered.

And then he would say, “I know your arm hurts, but it was an accident. Just go to sleep.”

I know your arm hurts.” My father half closed the door as he spoke. “But it was an accident. Just go to sleep.”

All those long hours working meant my father didn’t like dealing with problems. He was rather predictable. His most common advice was to just ignore my problems. “They’ll go away eventually,” he often muttered. “Keep your head down and do your work.”

That was easier for him, I supposed.

And although I knew he cared about me and my brother, I sometimes feared he didn’t listen. The monsters in my dreams? They were real. One had attacked me, and if I hadn’t woken up, it would’ve ripped me apart.

My Review:

I was pulled into Academy Arcanist with the summary. When I read the summary I knew right away that I had to read it. When I turned to that first page I had no idea that I would like it as much as I did. I mean I knew I was going to like but I liked Academy Arcanist way more than I ever anticipated.

Once I turned to that first page I was pulled into its world as the world around me disappeared. I loved the world that was created for Academy Arcanist. I loved the characters especially Gray and his twin brother Sorin. They were twins but were very different in more ways than one, especially in their looks.

Sorin tried his best to take care of his brother and keep him safe. When Gray started having nightmares he tried to tell his father that his dreams were real but of course, no one believed him. With the exception of Sorin that is or at least, Sorin came to Gray in the night to stay with him all night so he could watch over his brother while he slept, and hopefully, somehow he could protect him.

Then in one of his dreams, Gray is visited by a professor from the Astra Academy, a school for arcanists. Professor Helmith saves Gray from being killed in his dreams. Then the professor invites Gray to attend Astra Academy. But before anyone can attend the academy they must first bond with a mystical creature.

Once at the academy, Gray meets Professor Helmith in person, or does he? The Professor Helmith that he meets is not the real professor but a fake. But no one believes him. Gray sets out to find the real Professor Helmith and prove to everyone that the professor is a fake. Can he find the real professor before it is too late? There is one little problem, Gray needs to discover his magic if he is going to find the real Professor Helmith.

Academy Arcanist has enough action to keep those pages turning. It also has a few twists to keep them rolling. Twists that I never saw coming but was thrilled about when I read them.

I can’t wait to see what is waiting for Gray, Sorin, Nini, Twain, and everyone else in the next book in the Astra Academy series. Did I mention that I love this world? Academy Arcanist is a great start to a whole new world.

I definitely recommend Academy Arcanist to fans of magic, great characters, great world-building, amazing stories, and the paranormal! Grab your copy of Academy Arcanist today!

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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, or hugging John.

If you want to contact her, you can do so at the following locations:

Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Email


$25 Amazon/BN GC

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.


Stormy Vixen said...

Congratulations on your release of Academy Arcanist, Shami, I enjoyed the excerpt and I enjoyed following the tour and learning about your book, which sounds like a fantasy that my granddaughter will enjoy and I love the cover! Good luck with your book and I hope the tour was a success! Thanks for sharing it with me!

Thanks, Avid Reader for sharing your review!

Have a spectacular week!

Sherry said...

Wonderful cover and I enjoyed the post.

Bea LaRocca said...

Thank you for sharing your awesome review of Academy Arcanist, I love the cover, synopsis and excerpt and I am looking forward to reading this story myself.
Shami, I hope that you have enjoyed your book tour as much as I have enjoyed reading about you and your work throughout this tour.Best of luck to you in all of your future endeavors.