By Saki Ichibu and Cocosuke. Released in Japan as “Yarinaoseru Mitai nano de, Kondo Koso Akogare no Jijo wo Mezashimasu!” by Kadokawa Beans Bunko. Released in North America by Cross Infinite World. Translated by Kashi Kamitoma.
This is actually a very good book once you get past the rather odd premise. I am aware that Japan has a sort of maid THING, in all sorts of ways. And yes, I am sure that this also extends to the fantasy worlds that they write about, such as the one we see here. It just seems a bit weird to me to have the heroine, a noble lady who has the power to manipulate time and works for the royal family, saying that her goal after graduation is to go be a maid for some rich girl. Now, of course she imprinted on her own maid as a girl and wants to follow in her footsteps, and the maid described here is also a bodyguard and butler and every other thing you can think of. But it’s still kind of like someone graduating from Yale and deciding, instead of getting their doctorate, to go to a vo tech. That said, that’s fine too. She knows what she wants.
Emma Seagrove is rather startled to wake up one morning to find she’s got to get ready for her first day at the magical academy. She’s startled because, while she has time travel powers, she’s not supposed to use them to change history, and she did NOT deliberately go back in time! No matter how much she wanted to. Because she’s from 4 years in the future, after she graduated, and the night before she was dumped by her fiance publicly at a party so that he could marry her best friend. (You know, the usual Villainess plot.) Still, now that she IS here she might as well make the most of it. After testing things to see if she CAN change the future (yes, she can), she dedicates herself to making her original dream come true that she had to abandon the first time around: become a maid!
Once you get past the premise, the book itself is quite well done. The “bad guy”, her ex-fiance Bernard, is used very sparingly, mostly because he’s the only character in the book who is truly vile. I was a bit worried about Annette, her best friend, who is someone who “excels at getting others to take care of and spoil her”. The author’s other series, Formerly the Fallen Daughter of the Duke, has a very annoying character who runs along similar lines. But Annette surprised me near the end of the book with a plot twist that I should have seen coming but did not. And of course there’s also a romance here as well, but it takes a back seat to Emma trying to get out of her engagement and learn maid skills – something that is actually MUCH HARDER because, in this new go-round, she has far more magical power than she used to. Emma is a very likeable heroine, and you want her to succeed.
This is a single-volume series, so I definitely recommend giving it a try, as it won’t become a potential financial and time burden. Hope you love maids, though. But who doesn’t?