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.
Oh my God this book is garbage. This is not necessarily me saying the book is bad, though I would not recommend it to anyone except the most ridiculous fan of OP bullshit. But it’s like criticizing a sex comedy for having sexual humor in it. Garbage is what the writer is aiming for. In fact, I’m a bit more impressed with this writer than I was when I read the first in this series a year and a half ago. He also writes The Girl I Saved on the Train Turned Out to Be My Childhood Friend, which is a dead-on high school romcom sort of book. I haven’t read Drugstore in Another World: The Slow Life of a Cheat Pharmacist, but I assume that it’s a fantastic example of a slow life series. And then we have this, which is a fantastic example of “what if the lead was always cool and awesome and all the girls wanted him and the men envy him?”.
The book mostly is a series of “ZOMG Roland is awesum!!1!”, with two larger stories that help to show that in greater detail. The first has the king asking Roland to accompany the Princess (who was party of the demon lord hunting party, and is madly in love with Roland but is one of the few women he hasn’t slept with) to a neighboring kingdom for a marriage interview, which goes about as expected till the prince of that kingdom tries to mind control his way to a marriage deal. In the other larger story, we meet one of Rila’s old demonic allies, Dey, a vampire. She seems nice-ish, and Rila vouches for her, but at the same time adventurers have been disappearing. Is Dey responsible? Or is it that smug-looking noble with a torture basement using (again!) mind control?
I emphasize once more – this book is garbage. I laughed a lot while reading it, but trust me, I was always laughing at it. Roland solves the mind control problem in the first and second instances by simply dispelling it, which works almost instantly but is amazingly anticlimactic. The prince’s aide just seems to sleep with Roland for no real reason other than the book needed another sex scene here. (I say sex scene, but it’s not – this book is full of sex that is elided but not shown, so it’s not even good for horny masturbation material.) We also get (surprise, surprise) slaves! Roland frees them by killing the man who broke their spirits, but the slaves (all hot young women of various races) decide they’re going to stick around and try to get into Roland’s pants. This series really just BOGGLES THE MIND. Oh yes, and he resolves the vampire plot by discovering that the noble with a torture basement is torturing people in the basement, so he decides to torture the noble to show him what’s what.
Roland’s deadpan, somewhat baffled “what is normal” attitude is part of his charm, the other part being he treats women as actual people despite his tendency to fuck everything that moves. The book ends with the guild getting blown up, meaning the next volume will be going to a different kingdom. Bet I know what’s going to happen, though.