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Knightmare Arcanist (Frith Chronicles #1)
Knightmare Arcanist (Frith Chronicles #1)
Shami Stovall | 2019 | Science Fiction/Fantasy, Young Adult (YA)
10.0 (1 Ratings)
Book Rating
Knightmare Arcanist (Frith Chronicles #1) by Shami Stovall
Knightmare Arcanist is the first book in the Frith Chronicles, and not only will it have you engrossed from the first sentence, but it will definitely leave you wanting more. This is described as Flintlock Fantasy, and I think that is perfect.

Ms. Stovall starts with the world-building immediately, as our two main characters are both apprentice grave-diggers. You find out just what this entails, and how it affects their 'standing' with the community. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about their world, and the capabilities; what was normal, and what was not.

The pacing is sharp and completely on-point, with no 'spare' moments. The storyline is enthralling and smooth. The characters are all fantastic, and I certainly hope to see more of them, as they grow into their powers and become more confident as people.

With corrupt white harts, magical ferrets, and a school on the back of a giant turtle, this held my attention all the way through. A fantastical read that I highly recommend. Absolutely brilliant.

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *

Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
Guns of the Dawn
Guns of the Dawn
Adrian Tchaikovsky | 2015 | Fiction & Poetry
9.0 (1 Ratings)
Book Rating
A couple of years a go I was involved in a Twitter conversation about strong female characters in fantasy. The conclusion what that they were there but not very common. This book addresses this by adding another in the shape of Emily Marshwic.

Born into a priviliged family, she is nothing but practical, sparring with the local governor whom she blames for the suicide of her father. Then war breaks out with a neighbouring country and as the fighting drags on, taking the men of the Marshwic household, Emily ends up joining the army to do her bit. The war is brutal and through her experiences Emily finds out unexpected things about not only herself but those around her.

This story is entirely driven by character, not only of Emily but of all of those she meets and this is where Tchaikovsky shines, conjuring up a host of main and supporting cast, all of whom are three dimensional and painted in shades of light and shadow, even those whose lives are destined to be cut short. Emily herself is the central pillar of the book and is more than capable of that task.

The descriptions of the war - both of the frantic, muddled fighting and the times in between - is spot on, showing the futility of it all but also why the sides feel they must fight on. The plot is far from predictable and takes sudden turns onto new territory just as the reader becomes comfortable with the current situation.

The world is well drawn. This is definitely fantasy in style and there are magic users in the shape of the flame wielding Warlocks, but the main fighting is with muskets and flintlock pistols and it is clear that the war is driving technology on.

The only problem with this book? It is stand alone. I would definitely read more stories about Emily and will now be searching out Tchaikovsky's epic Shadows of the Apt series for future reading.

Advisory: Voilent scenes of battle and some sexual violence and references