By Roku Kaname and Hazuki Futaba. Released in Japan as “Aobara-hime no Yarinaoshi Kakumeiki” by PASH! Books. Released in North America by Cross Infinite World. Translated by JC.
This book suffered somewhat for coming out on the same day as The Do-Over Damsel Conquers the Dragon Emperor, which is also about a noble young lady who is brutally murdered by a hateful mob and travels back in time to when she is ten years old, intent on getting a different result. Alicia does not have quite as many problems once she ends up back in her ten-year-old self as Jill did in Do-Over Damsel, but then Alicia is not quite sure of anything regarding her previous self. One of the more interesting parts of this book is that Alicia can only remember what happened the day she was killed. So she knows she became Queen, and was blindly defending her unfaithful husband out of love, but she’s not quite sure how things got to the point where everyone now hates her and she’s run through with a sword. The other major difference between this and Do-Over Damsel is that this is a far more serious-minded book.
So yes, Alicia is now back in time, when her father is alive, she wasn’t married off to the King of another land, and, most importantly, she’s not dead and disgraced. One of the few things she does remember is the face of the man who killed her… who has just shown up at a ball she’s attending. It turns out he has a tragic past that causes him to be shunned… but Alicia decides that the first step should be to get him as her advisor, so that she can learn why all of this happened at all. This is a big change for the princess, who before she “awoke” to her past life was pretty and beloved, but tended to avoid lessons and instead played tag around the castle. Fortunately, most of the cast takes her personality change in stride.
This is a solid book, whose main problem is separating itself from a pack that has gotten very, very cluttered with other series. (Including other series by the artist, who also drew Accomplishments of the Duke’s Daughter’s artwork.) Alicia is likeable, and the combination of her lack of memories from the past and the fact that she appears to have been somewhat shallow in her past life means that she’s able to mostly act her age. Clovis, her former murderer and current advisor, is also very nice when people are not blaming him for what his grandfather did, and I am also very happy that, for once, we actually get the “I’ve come from a previous time loop” confession straight away, which allows for more than one 10-year-old to try to figure out how to stop it. The rest of the cast are OK, with Alicia’s father the king seeming to be more savvy than he lets on.
Again, the main drawback to this is: there’s no reason to read it if you’re already reading 8 other “girl goes back in time to change her fate” light novels. But if you like that genre, this is another good one.