Synopsis: 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.
The quality of this book was such a pleasant surprise and a compelling start to the series! I loved following the trodden down Volkes quest to fulfil his desire to become an archanist, and the challenges he has to overcome as a second bonded. The novel has a surprising villain with an even more surprising motivation but you’ll have to read the book to find out more. A brilliant story of overcoming everyone’s expectations of who you should be. I loved the characters and how multifaceted they were. There was a lot of surprises and lessons about not taking people at face value as it turns out everyone can surprise you.
The world building was strong with impressive visuals being illustrated, I also enjoyed the consistency of the magic system which I hope continues onto the following books. The key rule of this magic system is that the type of magic you have is dependent on the animal who you bond with. We see many of the characters utilise different forms of magic and hopefully we see more of this in future instalments.
The only critique have is the about the cover art, which is undeniably beautiful. However, if I was in a bookstore I wouldn’t have picked it up based on the cover. If you enjoyed Eragon and Seraphina then you should give this book a go! Thank you to the writereads and the author for proving a review copy.
About the Author:
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.
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