Review: Dread Pirate Arcanist by Shami Stovall

While protecting the newborn griffins on the Isle of Landin, Volke Savan and his adopted sister, Illia, run afoul of the Dread Pirate Calisto, the same cutthroat who carved out Illia’s right eye. As a master manticore arcanist, Calisto’s strength and brutality are unrivaled, so when Illia suggests they bring him to justice, Volke wonders if they’ll have what it takes to fight the corsairs on the high seas.

This is the second book in the Frith Chronicles and I loved this one just as much as the first. Its rare I find a new series where I must immediately read the next book but I’ve found it here. I’m so pleased there are two more books in this series already published as well.

Dread Pirate Arcanist built nicely on the world we had been introduced to in Knightmare Arcanist. We get to see out apprentices out in the world, actually learning what it means to be an Arcanist of the Frith Guild in a practical sense.

We learn more about the background of some of our characters as well, particularly Illia, Zelfree and Adelgis. I cant’ wait to learn even more about some of them in future books as the were definitely new questions raised as well. This story was lighter on Zaxis and Atty but they didn’t feel left out – the story just didn’t centre on them as much.

The eponymous Dread Pirate of the title is truly terrifying and there are many heart-stopping moments along the course if this book. I loved meeting the new mythical animals that were introduced as well (even the scary ones) they all add to the rich world building that is so well done in this series.

Volke also continues to find his feet as a second-bonded arcanist and learn how to tame the magic that burns him. The strengthening relationship between Volke and Luthair (his Knightmare eldrin) was lovely to see, with one particularly lovely moment.

I can’t wait to read on and see how these wonderful characters continue to grow in the next book.

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