By Harunadon and Eda. Released in Japan as “Koisuru Majo wa Elite Kishi ni Horegusuri o Nomasete Shimaimashita: Itsuwari kara Hajimaru Watashi no Dekiai Seikatsu” by DRE Novels. Released in North America by J-Novel Heart. Translated by Arthur Miura.
I don’t expect every book I read to be good, and I know that a lot of them can pretty much be summed up as “this is an adequate representation of its genre”, but I usually like something that I can grab on to, if only for the reviews. Something that’s a bit odd, or weird, or different. No, I’m not going to talk about THAT word yet, more on that later. Instead I will note that this rather normal, generic romance novel has an odd quirky humor at times that sort of leaps out and grabs you. It’s as if the author is coloring in the lines in a book, but can’t resist all of a sudden just drawing halfway across the next page. And the scene in this book, about halfway through, when Cecily gets eaten by a wyvern, was exactly that. I laughed till I cried. The only drawback is it wasn’t illustrated.
Cecily, who grew up loving fairy tales about princess tricked by evil witches, is horrified when she comes of age to discover that she is, in fact, one of those witches. Now she has to live on her own for two years, as is tradition, and peddle her craft. The trouble is that Cecily is horribly introverted, so for the most part lives in a little house in the big woods. One day, her potion that changes her eye color wears off right as she’s wrongfully accused of theft, and a nasty incident is about to happen. Fortunately, she’s saved by a handsome knight. Unfortunately, she misunderstands something when overhearing him later and gets mad, deciding that (just as her mother did to her father), she’s going to brew a love potion and have the knight drink it! Surely nothing can go wrong.
So, let’s talk about the Princess. To be fair to the translator, I’m fairly certain there was no good way to translate this and not have it have the exact impact it has, that vague frisson of “a 14-year-old princess should not be using that word”. That said love potions aside, this is a sweet and fluffy romance novel for the most part, so when you recommend it you’re really going to have to say “also her best friend the princess says “loins” constantly”. Or else you’ll get glared at. The loins also fall into that quirky humor I mentioned above. I’m glad it’s there, as the two leads are not anything to write home about. I admit Cecily’s type, the nervous, self-hating introvert, is never my favorite protagonist to read, so that doesn’t really help. That said, I did enjoy the quirks, and, as you might have guessed, no one really does anything against their will here.
Feels complete to me, but a second book is on the way. If you enjoy collecting J-Novel Heart titles or just want to see a young woman get swallowed by a lizard, this is a good book to check out.