The hopeful candidates of the First-Class Mage's exam begin their first test: capture a Stelle bird without killing it. The Stelle is a tricky creature, though, as it can detect mana and flees from anyone with a lot of it. Frieren's two partners bicker constantly about the best way to capture a bird. Fern and her partners capture one quickly, but then have to ward off the other teams as they figure the easiest way to capture a bird is to take one that's already been caged. One of Frieren's companions has command of water, so they use their combined efforts to imbue most of the water sources in the area with mana. Then, Frieren sits by the only water source not imbued, and waits for a Stelle to come along. Other teams then try to attack Frieren and her teammates, without much success.
Since there's a test element to this volume, we get a lot of side characters introduced really quickly, especially since Frieren and Fern are on different teams. Some of the more important side characters also get their backstories explained, and the different motivations everyone has for taking the exam is really interesting. Sadly for Stark fans, he's mostly left out of this volume. Instead, we get to see a lot more magic and learn more about how the magic in the world works. There are some interesting specialties amongst the candidates, some who will most likely cause some issue for Frieren, even with all of her knowledge and power.
Sara's Rating: 9/10
Suitability Level: Grades 7-12
Reviews of previous volumes in this series: vol 1, vol 2, vol 3, vol 4
Publisher: VIZ Media
Publication Date: July 19, 2022
ISBN: 9781974730070 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 9/10, Suitability: Middle School, Suitability: High School, Manga, Fantasy, VIZ Media
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