Review: World Serpent Arcanist (Frith Chronicles #5) by Shami Stovall

Death. Destiny. The rise of god-arcanists.

Volke Savan has reunited with the Frith Guild just in time to help fight the Second Ascension, a group of power-hungry dastards bent on controlling the newly created god creatures. The world serpent is the first on their list, and if the Second Ascension manages to harness its power, the world will forever be changed for the worse.

But the Frith Guild has another plan. They intend to beat the Second Ascension to the world serpent and have it bond with someone trustworthy—a mysterious man who Guildmaster Eventide believes will usher the world into an era of peace.

As Volke struggles to improve his magic, and also become a mentor for a new knightmare arcanist, he realizes that this may be one adventure the guild never makes it back from…


What is World Serpent Arcanist about?

In the fifth installment of the Frith Chronicles, the stakes are at their highest. Volke and his friends, as well as the Frith Guild, have discovered that a group of powerful arcanists are trying to become God Arcanists by fundamentally changing magic as it exists in their world, and thus far they’ve succeeded in raising the arcane creatures they require. Now, in a race against the Second Ascension, the Frith Guild must identify, protect, and escort the first destined God Arcanist. But of course, the world is in turmoil following the events at the end of Coliseum Arcanist, and the Frith Guild stands against some equally powerful adversaries.

Genre: YA Fantasy

Honestly at this point, the series is pretty firmly epic fantasy. YA sure, but epic nonetheless. Additionally, as the characters have been considered adults the entire duration of the series and do age a bit, more mature topics are being introduced with each book. I suspect by the end it might even be considered NA.

Tropes: The Future is Set?

For the first time in this series we get some prophecy work. Not quite in the way a lot of fantasy uses prophecies, but we do finally learn about some seers in this fantasy world who predict the next God Arcanist to bond with the World Serpent. But despite the knowledge given to them, the leaders of the Frith Guild seem a bit cagey about this future arcanist…

Plot: It’s (Almost) The End of the World As We Know It

The stakes have never been higher. Volke and the Frith Guild are attempting to prevent the Second Ascension from becoming God Arcanists and ruling the world for their own dark motivations. The world is in its greatest peril, and young Volke is one of the many arcanists forced to shoulder the burden, knowing they all face their deaths.

The Good

This. Series. Keeps. Getting. Better. I did not think it could, but here we are. Stovall wrote this novel with excellent dramatic beats, build up, just enough hints to see what’s coming, and just enough held back to still shock and surprise. The characters are all phenomenally developed, Volke’s struggles so tangible, and the twists! My god the twists! There’s so much going on in this series, and it’s all diverging in such a spectacular way. I’m not sure if it was intentional, but this book felt like a conclusion for much of it, while also managing to leave just enough questions unanswered for the continuation of the series.

The Okay

A few of the plot twists were borderline too much if that makes sense. They worked in context, but objectively speaking they may not have been the best choice for some of the narrative arcs.

The Bad


Final Thoughts

I devoured this book. I cried, I couldn’t put it down, I lay there in bed with it just contemplating what I’d read. I cannot believe there’s more to the series and I am so excited to find out what happens next. Volke’s journey is just beginning for the second time, and there is so much going on in his world. The other characters are still being developed as well, and with the plot twists in this book there’s a lot to be explained in the next. It’s impossible to really explain how much I’m entranced by Stovall’s writing, this series, and these characters, but suffice to say this is a very worthwhile read.

By Catherine

I'm a lover of books, coffee, wine, and bees. Happy to join the ranks of book bloggers everywhere!

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