By Tatematsuri and Ruria Miyuki. Released in Japan as “Shinwa Densetsu no Eiyū Isekai Tan” by Overlap Bunko. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by James Whittaker.
As I’ve mentioned before, I keep vacillating back and forth on whether I like this series or not. The books themselves don’t help, being variously filled with things that I really want to see more of and things that make my teeth grind. The author himself notes that this book is a bit of a throwback to the first in the series, which is good as it allows the books to pick up various threads that they’d put aside in order to have a throne war (the Fallen and why and how they get that way), but is also bad because it means we still have to cling to some “who is this written for?” light novel conventions (our hero plans things out so that the women can save the day, but they fail and he has to step in himself). That said, I’m still going to be reading the next one, as I want to see if a) Hiro will go full villain, and b) if Aura will worship or execute him.
Everyone’s heading back to the Emperor, and it’s probably bad news. Liz and Aura had some very public defeats, and they’re going to have to accept some punishment for them. That said, Liz is also determined to make sure that Scáthach and her family are compensated… well, as much as they can be given it’s Scáthach and a collection of heads. Unfortunately, everyone (including Hiro) is thrown off their game by the first prince, Stovell, renouncing his claim to the throne… which, of course, is actually a prelude to an attempt to overthrow the Emperor. He’s got 30,000 men. Hiro, Liz, Aura and Scáthach have about 3000. Those are not good odds, even with Liz being who she is, and with the helpful addition of Scáthach’s Gae Bolg. Hiro might actually need to try this time around…
Hiro remains the most interesting part of the book. As I said earlier, I’m not quite sure where we’re going with him. Certainly Hiro is absolutely not doing any of your shipping nonsense, as he plans on simply fading away once Liz is on the throne and has trustworthy allies. There’s also the fact that he’s not quite human, and also his battle bloodthirst is inevitably going to take him over at some point. This is wonderfully hypocritical given he yells at an enemy general for doing much the same thing here, but Hiro is our… well, hero, yes, thanks, I got that pun. He’s going to need the entire female cast giving him a cooldown hug at this rate. And then there’s Aura’s obsession with her Bible of past glories, which is amusing given that she’s the one who notices most when Hiro is doing his suicidal battle lord stuff. She’s still probably my favorite.
If you like edgelord military throne war stuff, this is a must. If you don’t, like me, you’ll probably consider dropping it but get the next one anyway.