By Kuji Furumiya and chibi. Released in Japan by Dengeki Bunko. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Sarah Tangney.
The six books in this series are divided into three books each, and this is the middle one of the second arc. As such, it tends to mirror the middle one of the first arc, in that it’s a bunch of shorter events that happen to our two leads rather than one big storyline. Of course, there’s a lot going on in those shorter events. The author describes this book as the lighter, fluffier one before the final book, and that does make me a bit worried, because this book was not all THAT light and fluffy. That said, there are many sweet moments in here, as Oscar accepts Tinasha’s love and they get engaged. We also get to know more about Travis and his relationship with Aurelia, which is also adorable in its own twisted way and I really hope does not end badly. But there is an ominous core to this volume that definitely will continue to the next: time travel made things bad, and the world needs to reset itself to its proper place.
We start things off with Tinasha solving the curse that’s on Oscar and (presumably) making him able to have children again. She’s then able to return to her coronation… but has a big announcement to make that will upend Tuldarr. We see Tinasha solve a particularly nasty incident at a magical academy, and help to fight off an invasion by another country, who are primarily using zombies as troops, which is annoying. Unfortunately, Valt is also still around, and he explains to Tinasha what the two orbs currently locked up in the two kingdoms do. Fortunately, we won’t have to deal with that particular subplot till Book 6. Oh, yes, and we also meet the Witch who cursed Oscar in the first place, and she’s very unhappy with everyone… and a lot more familiar to some than was expected.
Probably my favorite story in this volume was the academy one, which was simple tragedy with no purpose except to show that this world still has a tendency to run on death. It even gives us a little side plot with three students talking about the disappearances, and you wonder if we’re going to take a detour into a side story, but alas no. I also really liked Aurelia, who has a touch of the Maria Campbells to her but (like Maria) also a strong cure. She also works well with Oscar, which would create a love triangle in any book which is not this one. This book is all about the OTP. As for the witch, well, it certainly opens up Oscar’s past, which we finally get to see for the first time, and explains why his late mother has never dwelt much in his thoughts. But the key takeaway from that is “Oscar should be dead”, and I expect the final book may try harder to push on that.
This is another very solid volume. If you’re sick of the usual light novel brand of fantasy, you should absolutely be reading this.