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 by J-Novel Club. Translated by quof.
It has to be said here: Ehrenfest is absolutely terrifying. I mention this mostly as, to a reader, that may not be the case. We’ve been with Rozemyne since the start of the series, in her home duchy, and we know its people. We also know that she is the equivalent of a human nuclear weapon, and that they’ve been desperately trying to hold her back for the most part. But to lesser duchies (like, say, Jossbrenner, who get the bulk of the short stories here), their meteoric rise has to be explained by evil. It’s the only way the rumors make sense, because otherwise, you’d have to accept that their entire change in fortune is down to the machinations of one book gremlin… who honestly doesn’t care all that much about where her duchy ranks as long as she gets books. And then we get this volume, where she talks to the King like she talks to everyone else. And produces multiple magical sacred items. What *is* Rozemyne? They just don’t know.
As always with these huge books packed with STUFF, there’s too much to recap, and I apologize for leaving out Detlinde’s excruciating tea party. But the two important things in this book are: 1) Ehrenfest and Dunkelfelger release their joint research, showing the efficacy of prayer and belief in gaining blessings, and proceed to have a demonstration which will involve (Rozemyne thinks) two of the three princes, but actually involves ALL the princes, and the King. The other duchies are somewhat stunned, but hey, it’s for the good of the country, right? Then we get 2), where Lestilaut finally snaps and challenges Wilfried to a game of “bride-stealing ditter” for Rozemyne’s hand. Rozemyne, unable to figure out a way to get out of this, then says that if Dunkenfelger lose somehow, Hannelore has to marry into Ehrenfest’s duchy. Hannelore, who is Dunkenfelger’s archduke candidate. Clearly this will be Safe And Fun.
Much as Leslilaut is an absolute ass in this volume, and I cannot wait for his inevitable downfall next time, he has a point: Wilfried is still pretty terrible as a leader of men, and as a minder of Rozemyne he borders on pathetic. That said, he does get a moment at the end when you cheer for him, when he goes to rescue (and not to capture) Hannelore. I tend not to think about romance too much for this series, mostly as it involves admitting who Rozemyne will end up with, which I’m still trying to ignore, but Wilfried and Hannelore would make quite a cute couple. Unfortunately, given Hannelore’s exceptionally bad luck, I can’t see it happening. Oh yes, and the library now has enough mana to open up some new sections, which will no doubt end up being important down the line.
So much happened in this book that it’s difficult to accept that it’s all just setup for future books, but there we go. That said, Bookworm is great whether it’s setting up pins or knocking them over, and I always love Rozemyne’s “common sense” causing everyone around her to faint or have a migraine. Keep up with this series.