By Kennoji and KWKM. Released in Japan as “Hazure Skill “Kage ga Usui” o Motsu Guild Shokuin ga, Jitsuha Densetsu no Ansatsusha” by Kadokawa Books. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Jan Mitsuko Cash.
This is the fourth of the books that I never read when they initially came out where I had a Twitter poll to see which I should read. It came last. I can see why. That said… all the other books, after finishing them, I was immediately left with a sense of “I don’t want to read any more of this series”. The World of Otome Games Is Tough for Mobs has a protagonist I really hate, Apocalypse Bringer Mynoghra is in a genre I try to avoid, and Min-Maxing My TRPG Build in Another World was so boring I didn’t even do a review. This one, though… if I get another gap in my reading schedule, I might try the next one. It’s in the genre of what I call “McDonald’s” books, i.e. big dumb fun. More to the point, it’s filled with fantasy light novel cliches but mostly avoids the bad ones. Note the mostly.
Roland is part of the party that has been sent to defeat the demon lord. His talent, being unobtrusive, was thought to be completely worthless but makes him a fantastic assassin. He ends up defeating the demon lord himself, though he lets the rest of the party take the credit. Now what he really wants is to retire from his assassin work and live a normal life. The trouble is he has absolutely no idea what normal is. AT ALL. He ends up in a town with an adventurer’s guild, and decides to join… as a guild receptionist. Naturally, as the book goes on everyone else in the cast realizes that he’s far more than he seems. Also, isn’t the demon lord supposed to be dead? Who’s that hot girl who’s hanging out at his house?
I was not kidding when I said this was Big Dumb Fun. It reads like one of those fanfics where the author makes the main character able to do literally anything and have any woman he wants. Unlike a lot of light novels, Roland screws his way through a lot of this book, bedding not only the former demon lord but also the head of the guild and even a passing adventurer. Also, despite his “useless skill”, he’s had so much training that he can literally do almost anything. The reason this is not absolutely unreadable is that Roland is, at heart, a nice person… but he does not ACT like one, as a majority of the OP light novel potatoes do. Roland is brusque and rude, and really does have no idea what normal is, but he not only is incredibly powerful, but he’s good at teaching other people how to maximize THEIR useless skills to become more powerful. This was probably my favorite part of the book, where we see him pinpoint exactly how an adventurer can best be utilized.
So yeah, not going to immediately pick up the next book in this series, but if I get another lull in my reading, I might try the second volume. Which I guess makes it the winner of my poll, even though it came in last.