By Hyougetsu and Nari Teshima. Released in Japan by Earth Star Novels. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Ningen.
We continue the trend of the series gradually shifting from Veight’s adventures to Friede’s, though as long as the subtitle of the series remains the same I would not worry too much about losing everyone’s favorite vice-commander. (the best joke in this volume, by the way, is how everyone now wants to be a vice-commander because that’s what Veight was and they associate it with being all-powerful.) The narration here is closer to a balance between Friede and Veight, as is the action, though it’s weighted more towards Friede in the front. She’s something of a breath of fresh air in that, while she is undeniably strong and clever, she’s also a kid and thus cannot simply brute force her way through everything the way that Veight does. Indeed, late in the book Veight gets yelled at for solving a problem by blowing it up, even though, to be fair, that was likely the only way the problem could be solved. Friede is not super OP, so we are more interested in how she fixes things.
We pick up where we left off last time, with Friede, Shirin and Yuhette being sent to Rolmund as part of an ambassadorial visit, with the hopes that if it goes well it could lead to actual negotiations by adults in the future. What follows is essentially a continuation of the Rolmund arc from previous books, as it turns out that, unlike Meraldia, things are still very much in flux there politically. Eleora mostly has everything handled, but insurrections keep happening, and she cannot be everywhere. This is problematic when her niece, the heir (you know she’s not gonna get married, she’s one of the women who lost to Airia in the Veight sweepstakes) ends up kidnapped by one of the rival factions. Who’s going to be the one to find her? Will it be those whose job it is to do it? Or will it be our little girl protagonist? Take a guess.
I was amused at the niece/heir, Micha, who at first appears to be one of THOSE rich kids (you even see her pointing, always a sign in Japanese media that someone is rude) but quickly bonds with Friede, to the point where by the time the visit ends they’re best friends. Admittedly Friede also saves her life, which does help cement close friendships, or so I hear. As for Veight, he gets to do more on the back end of the book. Facing off against a sandworm is a scene for those who prefer the old, Veight is badass sort of story, but for me the highlight was the politics, including Veight opening up to his daughter about being a reincarnation. I too would miss easy to access potato chips if I were a werewolf in a fantasy kingdom. Not to mention paper curr3ency, which rears its ugly head as this book ends and will likely come up in Book 14.
Which we may or may not see soon. Square Enix has purchased the rights to Der Werwolf in Japan, so Vol. 14 and forward need to have J-Novel Club negotiate with a new publisher. Till then, fans of the series can enjoy this book which continues to very, very slowly pass the baton to its new heroine.