Academy Arcanist by Shami Stovall (Book Review)

Title: Academy Arcanist

Author: Shami Stovall

Publication Date: 23 August 2022

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Publisher: Capital Station Books

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

I would like to thank TheWriteReads for giving me a e-copy in exchange for an honest review and for including me on this tour.

This book is a very interesting really original YA fantasy that follows a young boy as he bonds with a mystical creature and attends a magical academy. It was a really fun ride the did not feel over 400 pages long!

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…


My Thoughts

On the surface this story feels like one you have read before: young boy from small town hopes for more. Said young boy ends up going to a magical school where he trains to be an awesome magical person. Except, this is nothing like any of those types of stories that I’ve read before.

First of all, this book starts out with nightmares. The big evil, the main issue that the characters face in this story are creatures that invade peoples’ dreams, turn them to nightmares and injure them. Like, they get injured in real life with the same injuries they receive in their dreams. It’s a really cool way to begin a story, and the awesomeness doesn’t cease. The plot of this story revolves around a misfit group of kids who each bond with interesting magical creatures that give them special abilities. Together they try to solve a mystery that the adults can’t.

Gray is a great main character. He is headstrong and confident on the outside but carries a vulnerability that makes his character really likeable. He’s perfectly complimented by his brother, Sorin, who is an exact opposite to him, a romantic poet at heart. They are complimented further by a really fun cast of other characters, both human and magical alike.

I really enjoyed this read and it is so quick to read and so immersive that I didn’t even realise it is over 400 pages! It is 400 pages that are well worth a read. Magic, mystical creatures and mimicry, this book is a fast-paced and fun wild ride.

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.

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





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