top of page

Tour & #Giveaway: Academy Arcanist (Astra Academy #1) by Shami Stovall

@Archaeolibrary, @GoddessFish, @GameOverStation,

#Fantasy, #YoungAdult,

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…

Add to Goodreads | Smashbomb | BookBub

Universal Purchase Link - click HERE

The world was filled with all kinds of mystical creatures—some that could invade the dreams of others. But my father was right. Our Isle of Haylin only had two mystical species. The unicorns who roamed the southern field were beautiful when they trotted across the green grass, their ivory coats glittering in the island sunshine. They were immune to poison and known for their speed.

But unicorns didn’t have any magical abilities to walk through dreams.

And the hippogriffs—who were half horse, half eagle—roosted on the peak of Haylin Mountain, watching over our small port city. Their golden feathers and sharp talons were the pride of the island. Hippogriffs could manipulate the wind and were sturdy beasts who navigated the skies with magically enhanced senses.

But just like unicorns, hippogriffs weren’t the type of creatures who entered the dreams of others.

“What if the beasts in my dreams are mystical creatures who came to the island?” I asked, scooting to the edge of my rickety bed. “Maybe they’re dream creatures who’re walking into my dreams because they want to hurt me specifically.”

My father narrowed his eyes, the dark rings under them noticeable even in the dim lantern light.

“You’re saying powerful mystical creatures came to the island to hunt the son of the local candlemaker?” He spoke every word with a healthy amount of sarcasm. “Thirteen-year-old boys must be in short supply on the mainland.”

“I’m being serious.”

“Oh, wait. I just remembered something…” All emotion drained from my father as he stared at me. “An ancient prophecy about our island said a young boy with the name of a color would be destined for greatness and hunted by great evil.”

I held my breath for a long moment. Then I whispered, “Really?”

All his sarcasm returned as he frowned. “Don’t be ridiculous. Of course not. The Isle of Haylin has no prophecies. We’re lucky if we get anything other than storms.”

5 out of 5 (exceptional)

ACADEMY ARCANIST is the first book in the Astra Academy series. If you have read the Frith Chronicles, then you will be familiar with this world of Arcanists and Eldrins. I loved that series, so I couldn't wait to get my hands on this one and I wasn't disappointed!

Gray and Sorin are fantastic characters; twins that are very different from each other but share a deep brotherly bond. At thirteen-years-old, Gray is attacked in his dreams but his parents don't believe him. A professor from Astra Academy saves him and he spends time with her in his dreams, learning about the Arcanists. When he is fifteen, he and Sorin head to the Academy, desperate to find an eldrin of their own. But when he meets Professor Helmith, Gray knows something is wrong. This isn't the same professor he met in his dreams.

I loved this story! It's a long one but I read it in one sitting as I was literally unable to move at the time. It took me all day but I loved every word and was swept away in the story. The supporting characters all have their own foibles and quirks, and I look forward to learning more about each of them as the series progresses. It is well-paced, giving you plenty of action as well as quiet times to process just what's going on.

A great start to a series that returns me to a world I love. I can't wait for more. Highly recommended by me.

** same worded review will appear elsewhere **

* 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!

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found HERE

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, or hugging John.

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






Tour hosted by: Goddess Fish Promotions

bottom of page