Amazing book, amazing series. go buy this now.
Magic. Sailing. A murderer among heroes.
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.
A fast-paced fantasy with magical creatures for those who enjoy the Furies of Calderon (Codex Alera series) by Jim Butcher, Unsouled (Cradle Series) by Will Wight, and Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan.
Edit: I had completed the review, I just forget to post it due to some RL issues.
Knightmare Arcanist is a novel you should def consider reading. A light-hearted, straight to the point novel. This had elements of Pillars of Eternity, Dark Souls, Gothic III, Diablo, and Dragon Inquistion. I felt I was on an adventure. The book itself relied more on physical descriptions to an extent, and I did notice that during moments of nervousness, you had ruffling hair. I would have wanted more varation.
The dialogue is the strength of this novel. I normally don’t read fantasy such as this because I’m more into Asian setting. But this took a unique twist, a unique approach on the medieval fantasy genre in terms of plot. In terms of reinventing anything new, not really. I don’t think its needed. But I am glad it is showing that wizards are like politicans to a degree, and that they can be corrupt, and fearsome. They are the real evil are they not to some extent?
The descriptions of voyages is one of the most-breath-taking parts of the story. I felt immersed. The story’s pacing started excellently and Volke Savan is another favorite character of mine. But I felt he needed more personality in the sense, I wanted to see his character to evolve and learn more from the deep secrets that he begins to learn.
I also think it was too easy for him in parts, and there should have been more difficult obstacles for him as he trains with the group. One of the weaknesses of the novel, for me, is that the pacing works well at times and is weak at other points. For example, discovering Gregory Ruma as the villain works.
But then when we near the novel’s end, it felt too easy to take him out. Was Volke not helped by his cast of supporting characters that are suprisingly some of the best written characters of all time? Of course. It felt too short – this story – but I don’t mind that because this is more or less a set up. The second and third novels that will continue in this series will expand on this.
Plus, we have talking animals and mystical creatures that remind me of Avatar the Last Airbender and the Legend of Korra. I can def see the influences of there. I do want to see Atty and Volke’s relationship develop into something more. However, I feel that Volke and his adopted sister’s relationship was rocky from the start, and thats because his adopted sister wants more than just to be a gravedigger’s daughter. I also would have wanted to seen William make an apperance at the end. And killing Ruma is not the end I feel. There’s more to this than we can imagine.
Overall, there’s a fantastic cast of characters, epic battles, magic and much more in this. I’ve barely skimmed over this. Fantastic book. Fantastic story. 10/10 also for the epic cover.
Its a historical fantasy novel that combines influences from aladdin and sinbad while infusing the world of medieval spain and the sultnate of morocco. what’s not to love?
Aleja whiles away her days in her family’s dusty tavern in Seville, dreaming of distant lands and believing in the kind of magic that she’s only ever read about in books. After all, she’s always being told that girls can’t be explorers.
But her life is changed forever when adventure comes for her in the form of a fabled vessel called the Ship of Shadows. Crewed by a band of ruthless women, with cabin walls dripping with secrets, the ship has sailed right out of a legend. And it wants Aleja.
Once on board its shadowy deck, she begins to realize that the sea holds more secrets than she ever could have imagined. The crew are desperately seeking something, and their path will take them through treacherous waters and force them to confront nightmare creatures and pitch-dark magic. It will take all of Aleja’s strength and courage to gain the trust of her fellow pirates – and discover what they are risking everything to find.
Thank you to Write Reads, and Penguin, for providing me an ARC of this book. All thoughts and opinions are mine.
The Ship of Shadows is a mythical tale full of shining domes, emerald towers, enchanting deserts, and the exotic streets of Tangier. This novel was a refreshing change for me. I visited so many cities of buildings that were ruby coloured, ranging from Green to Blue. The palaces were exotic, and I was pulled into a world that has been forgotten from the library of time itself. Not to mention the fact that we get to see Parakeets and Aleja sailing around in this magical ship called the Ship of Shadows.
It feels like I’ve time travelled through the past and entered the trade ports of the Orient and discover a living, breathing world that has been forgetton from the times of history. Review tommorow. The setting of combining Spain and Morocco together is a fantastic decision. There are many incredible influences of 1001 Nights.
I did feel that the author heavily borrowed a lot of inspiration from Morocco’s traditional heritage sites and I for one, applaud this. I also liked how Aleja settled along in a country that she had never visited before. I did feel for her family though, they must be still missing her. Especially her father and grandfather. This is a fantastic combination of historical realism combined with the mythos of the world. I loved the exotic cabins, the ghosts of the ship, and the way this entire world was built.
Some would say that the story is built around the world, or that the world is built around the story. I’d say it’s both. We get to see Malika, who I feel was a very strong character, but I’d have wanted to seen more development. Frances is a great example of a funny character done right – and she loves food.
This is basically Pirates of the Caribbean written right. That said, I did feel the inclusion of mythical monsters was well introduced, but not developed enough. I wanted to get more of Admiral Francois, the former disgraced Admiral of the French court, his view point, and more of his motivations.
I want to see more villains in book 2 chasing against Aleja, and her merry band of pirates. I loved the Captain as well. Ada I felt needed more scenes. But for a world of this scale, its amazing. Well done. I want to see more books like this.
A solid 8/10 from me. Go get this now.