NetGalley eArc Review: The Seventh Perfection by Daniel Polansky

This is going to be a short review, because honestly I don’t have anything to say about this book other than why I didn’t like it.

I try to find the good in books, but this is probably the worst book I have ever read.


Title: The Seventh Perfection
Author: Daniel Polansky
Page Count: 176
Genre: Fantasy Novella
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

When a woman with perfect memory sets out to solve a riddle, the threads she tugs on could bring a whole city crashing down. The God-King who made her is at risk, and his other servants will do anything to stop her.

To become the God-King’s Amanuensis, Manet had to master all seven perfections, developing her body and mind to the peak of human performance. She remembers everything that has happened to her, in absolute clarity, a gift that will surely drive her mad. But before she goes, Manet must unravel a secret which threatens not only the carefully prepared myths of the God-King’s ascent, but her own identity and the nature of truth itself.

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The Seventh Perfection was 176 pages of a waste of time. Throughout the entire story I didn’t figure out what the point of the story was, where it was going, or how any of the stories overlapped.

I had no idea what was happening at any point, I wasn’t even sure if our main character was male, female, or human half the time.

When I thought I understood what was happening, something would happen in the story and I would be more confused and lost than before.

I’ll give the author credit for writing a story in the second perspective. It’s a very rare situation, but honestly not sure it was worth it.

Maybe it was just me. Maybe I was the reason the story didn’t make sense, but I can honestly say the only thing that I liked from the book was the idea that people spent their lives learning these different “perfections” to serve the ruler.


I am sorry to disappoint everyone with this review. I don’t have the best luck for books I look out for on NetGalley, I seem to always be disappointed in them, but one day I will find one I enjoy!

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

As I finish up the Harry Potter series of reviews, we come to the second last book in the series: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

If you want to read my other reviews on the series, you can find them here:

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Title: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Author: J.K. Rowling
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Page Count: 652

The war against Voldemort is not going well; even Muggle governments are noticing. Ron scans the obituary pages of the Daily Prophet, looking for familiar names. Dumbledore is absent from Hogwarts for long stretches of time, and the Order of the Phoenix has already suffered losses.

And yet . . .

As in all wars, life goes on. The Weasley twins expand their business. Sixth-year students learn to Apparate – and lose a few eyebrows in the process. Teenagers flirt and fight and fall in love. Classes are never straightforward, through Harry receives some extraordinary help from the mysterious Half-Blood Prince.

So it’s the home front that takes center stage in the multilayered sixth installment of the story of Harry Potter. Here at Hogwarts, Harry will search for the full and complete story of the boy who became Lord Voldemort – and thereby find what may be his only vulnerability.


Another Story-less book

This is the second book in the Harry Potter series that really doesn’t have a lot to do with the main story. The other is the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Half Blood Prince has more to do with the overall Harry Potter story, with Horcruxes being introduced and Dumbledore dying.

I feel like without most of this book, the story wouldn’t change too much. The same plot points could have been introduced in other books, and at least 75 per cent could have been removed.


Harry is Still Useless

I will always argue that Harry isn’t a good wizard. He doesn’t really excel at much other than flying on a broom.

He isn’t particularly gifted and he needs a lot of help with pretty much everything he does. Without his friends and mentors, Harry would have been dead half way through book one if it wasn’t for his friends helping him.

He has some interesting moments in the series, but more often that not, he defeats his enemies because of some magical abilities or a plot device.


This World Makes no Sense

There is this job in the Harry Potter world called an Auror correct? They are tasked with being the magic police basically, right? Am I wrong in remembering that?

How is it that an entire world’s worth of Aurors and wizards can’t root out Voldemort’s whereabouts and stop him and his allies?

I get they are infiltrated and you can’t really trust a lot of people, but Death Eaters seem to be fairly well-known. Couldn’t they be arrested?

It seems like there is a lot of plot holes in the world that don’t make a lot of sense.

It doesn’t necessarily make the book bad, but when you think about the rest of the world, it doesn’t add up.


Final Thoughts

This is a mediocre book in the series. The only interesting part of the book is the last 10-20 per cent, where Harry and Dumbledore hunt for the locket.

The series reaches its ultimate finale after this book, and though this one is a bit on the boring side, it’s title is even worse. The “Half Blood Prince” ultimately leads to a pointless conclusion that has zero effect on the story.


What were your thoughts on the Half Blood Prince? Let’s talk about it in the comments or on social media!
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Quotes from Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson

Here is a collection of quotes from Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson. If you are interested in my review you can find it here.

Oathbringer Review

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“Sometimes a hypocrite is nothing more than a man in the process of changing.” 
― Brandon Sanderson, Oathbringer

“To love the journey is to accept no such end. I have found, through painful experience, that the most important step a person can take is always the next one.” 
― Brandon Sanderson, Oathbringer

The most important step a man can take. It’s not the first one, is it? 
It’s the next one. Always the next step, Dalinar.
” 
― Brandon Sanderson, Oathbringer

“I will take responsibility for what I have done,” Dalinar whispered. “If I must fall, I will rise each time a better man.” 
― Brandon Sanderson, Oathbringer


Yes, I began my journey alone, and I ended it alone. 
But that does not mean that I walked alone.
” 
― Brandon Sanderson, Oathbringer

“The most important words a man can say are, “I will do better.” These are not the most important words any man can say. I am a man, and they are what I needed to say.

The ancient code of the Knights Radiant says “journey before destination.” Some may call it a simple platitude, but it is far more. A journey will have pain and failure. It is not only the steps forward that we must accept. It is the stumbles. The trials. The knowledge that we will fail. That we will hurt those around us.

But if we stop, if we accept the person we are when we fall, the journey ends. That failure becomes our destination. To love the journey is to accept no such end. I have found, through painful experience, that the most important step a person can take is always the next one.

I’m certain some will feel threatened by this record. Some few may feel liberated. Most will simply feel that it should not exist. I needed to write it anyway.” 
― Brandon Sanderson, Oathbringer

“The trick to happiness wasn’t in freezing every momentary pleasure and clinging to each one, but in ensuring one’s life would produce many future moments to anticipate.” 
― Brandon Sanderson, Oathbringer

“A journey will have pain and failure. It is not only the steps forward that we must accept. It is the stumbles. The trials. The knowledge that we will fail. That we will hurt those around us. 
But if we stop, if we accept the person we are when we fail, the journey ends. That failure becomes our destination.” 
― Brandon Sanderson, Oathbringer


“But merely being tradition does not make something worthy, Kadash. We can’t just assume that because something is old it is right.” 
― Brandon Sanderson, Oathbringer

“Some men, as they age, grow kinder. I am not one of those, for I have seen how the cosmere can mistreat the innocent – and that leaves me disinclined toward kindness. Some men, as they age, grow wiser. I am not one of those, for wisdom and I have always been at cross-purposes, and I have yet to learn the tongue in which she speaks. Some men, as they age, grow more cynical. I, fortunately, am not one of those. If I were, the very air would warp around me, sucking in all emotion, leaving only scorn.
Other men…other men, as they age, merely grow stranger. I fear that I am one of those. I am the bones of a foreign species left drying on the plain that was once, long ago, a sea. A curiosity, perhaps a reminder, that all has not always been as it is now.” 
― Brandon Sanderson, Oathbringer

“Life was about momentum. Pick a direction and don’t let anything—man or storm— turn you aside.” 
― Brandon Sanderson, Oathbringer

“As long as you keep trying, there’s a chance. When you give up? That’s when the dream dies.” 
― Brandon Sanderson, Oathbringer


“Love wasn’t about being right or wrong, but about standing up and helping when your partner’s back was bowed.” 
― Brandon Sanderson, Oathbringer

“Plan every battle as if you will inevitably retreat, but fight every battle like there is no backing down.” 
― Brandon Sanderson, Oathbringer

Book Review: Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson

With Rhythm of War coming out in a few months, I have been reviewing the entire Stormlight Archives series.

The Way of Kings
Words of Radiance

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Title: Oathbringer
Rating: ★★★★☆
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Genre: High Fantasy
Page Count: 1,248

In Oathbringer, the third volume of the New York Timesbestselling Stormlight Archive, humanity faces a new Desolation with the return of the Voidbringers, a foe with numbers as great as their thirst for vengeance.

Dalinar Kholin’s Alethi armies won a fleeting victory at a terrible cost: The enemy Parshendi summoned the violent Everstorm, which now sweeps the world with destruction, and in its passing awakens the once peaceful and subservient parshmen to the horror of their millennia-long enslavement by humans. While on a desperate flight to warn his family of the threat, Kaladin Stormblessed must come to grips with the fact that the newly kindled anger of the parshmen may be wholly justified.

Nestled in the mountains high above the storms, in the tower city of Urithiru, Shallan Davar investigates the wonders of the ancient stronghold of the Knights Radiant and unearths dark secrets lurking in its depths. And Dalinar realizes that his holy mission to unite his homeland of Alethkar was too narrow in scope. Unless all the nations of Roshar can put aside Dalinar’s blood-soaked past and stand together–and unless Dalinar himself can confront that past–even the restoration of the Knights Radiant will not prevent the end of civilization.


The World is Torn Open

Oathbringer starts in a world that has been torn open. A world that nobody has ever seen, and nobody quite understands anymore.

Most things are the same for our characters, but the few differences are changing things so quickly that this 1,200 page book seems so fast paced, its nearly impossible to put it down.

We follow the same characters throughout the book. It is their story, and we focus on how their actions and experiences affect and are affected by everything that is going on.

Sanderson is a master world builder. Within three books, he has made a world with so many mysteries and background plot lines, that it’s created a spiderweb in my mind of the possibilities.

Sanderson writes in a way that even though we know this series is going to take many more books to complete, we can’t help but feel the anxiety and stress that the characters are feeling. They must navigate this new world, and the stressors that come along with it.


A Series Just Beginning

The Stormlight Archive series is just beginning. We aren’t halfway done, yet I feel like these three books have created a world so much deeper than a lot of other books I read.

Oathbringer has opened the world’s doors even wider, and I can’t imagine how things will end up.

With each page, more answers were given, but at the same time, more mysteries and questions popped up.

Oathbringer is a big turning point in the story. We hit a turning point of the character’s ignorance being tested. Their beliefs and understandings of the world are either proven wrong, or are changed, and Sanderson’s writing does a great job at making it relatable and something that the readers are able to feel along with the characters.


A Deeper Experience

Oathbringer is a part of a series that is the best at world building and character arcs, in my opinion. Very few books I have read stand close to the work that Sanderson has done with this series.

Oathbringer focuses on Dalinar, the seemingly head of the Alethi forces against the end of the world. He has been deemed insane, almost from the first moment we met him.

Getting the chance to get into his mind has been one of the best choices by Sanderson.

Dalinar is the one character truly understanding what is happening, but even he doesn’t know a fraction of what is going on.

Getting inside his head and seeing the visions alongside him makes it possible to understand the world in a bigger sense than focusing on just the main characters.


Final Thoughts

Oathbringer is the third book in probably my favourite book series ever. It is so complex and build such an interesting world, that the reason I couldn’t give it five stars is because it might be getting too big.

Things can get too out there too quickly if Sanderson doesn’t focus the story a bit more. I know he has the writing capabilities to do so, but this world is getting larger and larger with each book, and it could quickly get too big for its own shoes.


What did you think of Oathbringer and the rest of the Stormlight Archive Series? Let’s chat about it in the comments or on social media.

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Book Review: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Hello dear readers, I welcome you back to the magical world of Harry Potter.

I have reviewed the previous four books in the series so far, but if you were interested in my review of the Goblet of Fire, you can find it here.

There is a lot of controversy over whether or not I should be even talking about the Harry Potter series. J.K Rowling is a walking, talking ball of controversy.

Despite that, we cannot deny that Harry Potter was a major literary milestone for a lot of readers in my generation, so I do think it deserves the attention at the very least.

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Title: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Author: J.K Rowling
Rating: ★★★★☆

There is a door at the end of a silent corridor. And it’s haunting Harry Pottter’s dreams. Why else would he be waking in the middle of the night, screaming in terror?

Harry has a lot on his mind for this, his fifth year at Hogwarts: a Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher with a personality like poisoned honey; a big surprise on the Gryffindor Quidditch team; and the looming terror of the Ordinary Wizarding Level exams. But all these things pale next to the growing threat of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named – a threat that neither the magical government nor the authorities at Hogwarts can stop.

As the grasp of darkness tightens, Harry must discover the true depth and strength of his friends, the importance of boundless loyalty, and the shocking price of unbearable sacrifice.

His fate depends on them all.



Friendship is Important

We all know Harry is basically nothing without his friends. He isn’t the best wizard we have ever seen, but he does have some good friends that are smart, loyal, and dependable.

We get to see some of that loyal friendship in Order of the Phoenix. Harry is trying to gather together an army to fight against Voldemort, and after some convincing, manages to band together a good number of Hogwarts’ students to train them for an inevitable battle against the Dark Lord.

Most of his army is made up of Gryffindor students, but we get some from various houses too.

It’s nice diving a little deeper into the other characters in the Potterverse. We don’t get to go that much deeper, but we venture out from the trio and explore other people.


MAGIC!!!

We finally get to see some magic in this book, and it is my favourite aspect of the book.

Most of the other books, casting spells seems secondary to the rest of the story. Harry even struggles with trying to cast some basic spells in a few books, so seeing more spells in this book is nice.

I wouldn’t say I am thrilled with it, but I am glad casting spells was more of the focus than before.

Most of the spells we see Harry and the DA practicing are spells we learned in the past, which sort of defeats the purpose, but I honestly don’t mind too much because these are spells that we’ve seen before, but we get to see them in a whole new light.


The End is Nigh

Order of the Phoenix is the start of the end of the Harry Potter Series.

The first two books set up the Harry Potter world. The third book gives us a bit of backstory and deepens the world for us. The fourth book is a bit of an odd one. A lot of it is pointless, right until the end when the big bad guy is revived and re-introduced to the world.

Order of the Phoenix makes the threat a lot more real. Voldemort is back and the world knows it.

We don’t get to know the entirety of his plans and we don’t get to see him for too long, but we get to see him at his full strength and the threat it brings.

2

Final Thoughts

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is one of the better books in the Harry Potter series.

Like the rest of the series, it deepens our exploration of the Potteverse, but this time we get to see more magic.

Magic is weirdly something I don’t remember seeing often in the Harry Potter world, at least not directly.

It often goes on in the background and we don’t always get an understanding of it.


What did you think of the fifth installment of the Harry Potter Series?

Let’s talk about it in the comments or on social media!
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Short Book Synopsis: Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

Hello dear readers, welcome to another Short Book Synopsis. It’s a simple idea: I summarize books for you so if you want to know what happens in them, you don’t need to worry about re-reading the entire book.

If you have any books you’d like me to cover, please let me know in the comments. Some I can do off the top of my head, where others will take a bit of research.

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Shallan is the main focus in this book, and we get her flashbacks featured at times throughout the book. The flashbacks slowly reveal the gradual destruction of her family, and the details of her two potential murderous and/or abusive parents.

The Interludes introduce Lift and follow Eshonai as she, at first, reluctantly changes to stormform and then stages a coup, taking complete control of the Parshendi.


We start the prologue with Galivar’s assassination told from Jasnah’s perspective. We see the horror she witnesses and her bond and eventually Soulcast for the first time.


The main story starts with Shallan and Jasnah traveling by ship to the Shattered Plains. Jasnah tells Shallan of Shallan’s betrothal to her cousin Adolin. Shallan continues her teachings until she is woken during the middle of the night and witnessed the murder of Jasnah.

In an attempt to save the rest of the crew, Shallan soulcasts and causes the ship to sink.

She makes it to shore but is unable to soulcast a simple stick when she tries. She eventually joins Tvlakv’s slave wagons and heads towards the Shattered Plains.

Meanwhile, Kaladin sets up training exercises for other bridge crews and begins experimenting with his newfound Adhesion abilities. He gets upset when he finds out that Brightlord Amaran arrives in Dalinar’s camp.

Dalinar keeps trying to unite the Highprinces by using his authority as the new Highprince of War. In one of his flashbacks he and other Knight’s Radiant fight against a Thunderclast in the middle of a Highstorm.


Back to Shallan, she eventually joins Tyn’s caravan and joins with them to defend against bandits and winning over a group of deserters that were chasing them.

Tyn assumes she can’t really be who she says she is, so Tyn takes her on as an apprentice con artist. She eventually finds out the truth, but is killed by Shallan using her Shardblade.

Tyn assumes she can’t really be who she says she is, so Tyn takes her on as an apprentice con artist. She eventually finds out the truth, but is killed by Shallan using her Shardblade.

Adolin starts winning some duels and obtaining pieces of shard plate, following his father’s plan to unite the high princes. Renarin trains with Shardblade and plate while Torol Sadeas works against Dalinar, consolidating power and sending troops on gemstone raids when it is not his turn.

Szeth attempts to kill Dalinar, but Kaladin defends him. Kaladin tells Szeth he is a Windrunner just like him, but Szeth flees in confusion and anger.


Shallan finally arrives at the Shattered Plains in the middle of a conference between the King and the Highprinces. She informs the royal family of Jasnah’s death and cons her way into being hired by Seberial. Using her Lighweaving skills, she takes on the persona of “Veil” and does some work for the Ghostbloods. She uses them in an attempt to learn about Urithiru and warn Dalinar of the Parshendi Voidbringers.

During the day she manages Sebarial’s books and courts Adolin, who she begins hitting it off with.

Kaladin continues training the bridegemen, promoting more men capable of command so he can delegate more patrols and guard duty.

He attempts training like Szeth to walk on chasm walls, but instead flies high above the ground in control of his abilities.

Moash reveals his dark secret and out to kill the King. Kaladin is torn – he knows the king is week and should be killed, but he has sworn to protect him.

Adolin makes a mistake, and accidentally challenges four Shardbearers at once to a duel. With Kaladin’s help, Adolin manages to win the duel and Kaladin asks for a boon from the king; a challenge with Prince Amaran, but he is arrested at his declaration.


Kaladin stews in prison and is visited by Wit, who ends up making things worse. When he is eventually released, Kaladin learns that Adolin demanded to be imprisoned as long as he was, which softens Kaladin’s feelings towards Adolin and lighteyes in general.

An assassination attempt on Dalinar during a scouting mission leaves Kaladin and Shallan at the bottom of the chasms, but both used stormlight to survive the impossible fall. They both don’t trust each other at first, but they both lighten up and share some of their pasts with each other. Kaladin kills a chasm fiend with Shallan’s shardblade but then realizes he has lost all contact with Syl because he is involved in Moash’s scheme to kill the King.

The countdown clock ticks towards zero. Dalinar prepares an assault against the Parshendi. Kaladin and Shallan make it back to camp and Shallan insists on going on the assault, having mapped out a good amount of the Shattered Plains in her trip with Kaladin, who stays behind with a wound to his leg.


Dalinar leads his army, guided by Shallan, to the centre of the Shattered Plains to end the war once and for all. Kaladin falls into a deep depression over his loss of Syl and his injuries, before having an epiphany that he must protect the incompetent king from assassination.

He confronts Moash and almost dies before uttering the words:

I will protect even those I hate so long as it is right. 

When he speaks these words, Syl returns and becomes his shardblade once again. He fights off Moash and Graves who flee after failing to kill the King.

Dalinar and the Alethi army encounter the Parshendi, who have taken on a strange new form. A portion of them fight while a portion of them sing a strange, foreboding song. The Alethi manage to win, but not in time to stop the Everstorm from coming at the same exact time as a Highstorm.

Szeth arrives at the scene of the battle to finish the job on Dalinar, but Kaladin intervenes and stops Szeth, driving him away.

Shallan solves the age-old puzzle and finds the portal. She activates it using her shardblade and the Alethi are transported to Urithiru, making it through the Highstorm and Everstorm.

Dalinar, Shallan, Kaladin, and Renarin gather in Urithiru and declare themselves as Knights Radiant.


Did I miss anything? What were your favourite parts of Words of Radiance? Let’s talk about it in the comments.
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Book Tour and Review: Knightmare Arcanist by Shami Stovall

My dear readers, this is probably the most excited I’ve been about a book in a long time.

I feel like a lot of books I read leave me feeling okay. I’m usually not too upset by them but I’m usually not jumping off the walls in excitement.

Knightmare Arcanist is the exception to that.

It took me no time at all to get through it, and I almost immediately bought the rest of the series, but managed to control myself…for now!.

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Title: Knightmare Archanist
Author: Shami Stovall
Rating: ★★★★.5☆
Buy it here

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. 


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A Nice Take on Magic

Magic systems are an important part to telling a story. There are ways to explore a magic system while exploring the world at the same time, but too often an author does it wrong.

They rush in their storytelling and they get caught in one aspect or the other, forgetting to properly develop them at the same time.

Stovall finds a great balance for Knightmare Arcanist. We follow a young character just as they are exploring magic for the first times. As the story develops, so too does our character’s understanding of how magic works.

Stovall’s magic system is a nice change to the normal magic systems I read about. Usually the magic system is along the lines of controlling an element or using their willpower to do something amazing.

We see that in Knightmare Arcanist, but we get a new way of exploring that world.

Instead of just being automatically able to control your genre of magic, it is completely reliant on the type of magical creature you bond with.

It puts a limiter on each character, but allows them to explore themselves on a deeper level.

It adds some well-written character development as the story goes on, which was a lot more than I was expecting for a fast-paced YA novel.


Fun and Fast

I often find myself disappointed with YA novels. They’re too carefree and things happen too quickly.

Characters are too quick to trust, too quick to act, too quick to do. There is never any pause to the story. There’s never any time for the characters to have a moment of doubt.

This is why I can’t give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Though I loved so many aspects of it, it was too fast paced in a few aspects. Some characters were too quick to trust someone, and immediately my mind wandered to imagining what would happen to them if they trusted blindly.

This wasn’t the case for every character, but some key moments were built on an absolute trust that could very easily have caused them to be betrayed.


A Movie Series in the Making?

This might be me being too much of a fan of this book, but I could honestly see this series as a book series or TV show.

I think Stovall does a great job of not only keeping the story focused on one central plot, but also keeping the world open and vague enough that we know we are only scratching the surface.

I haven’t read the rest of the series yet, but trust me I will soon. Thinking back on all the other YA series I have read, this one has been the most enjoyable. It has great character development, which is too often a rare feature in YA, a great magic system, and a cast of characters that remind me of being a kid again.


Final Thoughts

Knightmare Arcanist is an absolute blast to read. It’s short, fast-paced, and is a fantastic pre-cursor to a world I can’t wait to explore more.

I’m not a big YA reader, but I enjoy it now and then. Sometimes it is just a nice break from reading heavy fantasy books all the time.

Knightmare Arcanist is just scratching the surface of Stovall’s world, and I think that the more you continue with this series, the more engrossed in the world you will become.

It is definitely worth the read, and honestly I would be disappointed if you didn’t want to read it.