By Miya Kazuki and You Shiina. Released in Japan as “Honzuki no Gekokujou: Shisho ni Naru Tame ni wa Shudan wo Erandeiraremasen” by TO Books. Released in North America digitally by J-Novel Club. Translated by quof.
Word of warning: this review is filled with spoilers. If you do not want to be spoiled, you should only read everything above the cover image.
The final volume of this particular arc sees Rozemyne finally managing to achieve everything she needs in order to fix her mana and her body. Given that we’d previously seen the expedition to get the ruelle ingredient, and saw it fail, it should not be surprising that we see it succeed here. The main new plot point is the introduction of the Archduke’s daughter Charlotte, who adores Rozemyne and sees her as a big sister, something that absolutely fills Rozemyne (and, let’s be frank here, Myne) with delight. She is therefore determined to give Charlotte the best possible baptism before she takes her potion, which we are told will require her to sleep for about six months. Unfortunately, things are (again) sent into turmoil by Wilfried being unable to think politically. And then, well… everything turns terrible.
Even with the hint that Rozemyne would be out cold for six months as seen earlier in the volume, I don’t think any of us expected the time skip to actually be TWO YEARS. The fact that it doesn’t even fully heal her (though she is allegedly much healthier now) and also still looks like a seven-year-old makes it extremely easy to understand her stunned reaction at the “end” of the book. Except, given this is a Bookworm novel, we have a bunch of stories from other perspectives at the end, and this time they take up almost half the entire volume. The stories serve to tell us two things: first, that everything Rozemyne does and accomplishes is truly stunning and irreplaceable… and second, that she’;s also set everything up so well that it can run pretty well without her. Indeed, Benno states that this is a good thing in some ways, as having no new innovations for the next while will let the innovations she’s already come up with take hold.
While this book revolves around a serious event, it is not without its humor. Angelica manages to even inject the best joke in the volume into the middle of the tense midair rescue of Charlotte. It is also not without its romance, though surprisingly – though it shouldn’t be – the pairing its’ been teasing for the last few books is the one that doesn’t work out. Bookworm is walking a fine balancing act between showing off the problems with a very class-based system while also showing that this is not something that can be changed overnight by one girl and her books, and The non-marriage of Damuel and Brigitte is an excellent example of this, as it forces them to think harder in order to give the reader more immersion into this very political, very difficult country. On the lighter side, Tulli is suddenly becoming a hot commodity… am I the only one seeing her and Lutz as a pairing? If only as Lutz and Myne was pretty thoroughly torpedoed several books ago.
The next arc has the exhausting subtitle “Founder of the Royal Academy’s So-Called Library Committee”, and is apparently “The Great Brain at the Academy – The Rozemyne Variations”. We’ll see how she copes with her miniature Rip Van Winkle timeskip next time. Till then, this is another volume that reminds you why this series is one of the most popular light novels of the last few years.