Der Werwolf: The Annals of Veight, Vol. 4

By Hyougetsu and Nishi(E)da. Released in Japan by Earth Star Entertainment. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Ningen.

One of the things that Veight has been lacking as we travel through these books is a strong enemy on the opposite side. The Hero was sort of a generic type, brought to life to have a climax to the book. The Senate are, as we see in this book, pathetic and ineffectual, trapped in political backstabbing and vituperation. Most of the ‘antagonists’ Veight goes up against in battle are either cannon fodder or won over to his side fairly quickly. He needs someone to fight against who’s actually good at what they do. Not TOO good, of course – the basic premise of the book still has Veight being super awesome while insisting he’s just a mild-mannered vice commander. But enough to force him to actually think out a couple of different plans – especially necessary given that his subordinates are trying harder and harder to make sure that he does not try to do everything himself. (They almost succeed. Almost.)

Conveniently, we’re starting to learn about countries and territories outside of “the northern parts of the country” and “the southern parts of the country”. There’s apparently nations past the demon forest, and on the other side of the dry desert. And there’s also a nation over the mountains up north, a nation who we see in this book really wants to get a fingerhold into Meraldia. To that end, they’ve joined forces with a few of the north’s cities who don’t like the Senate too much, and also sent over Eleora, their sixth princess, who is Veight’s distaff counterpart. She’s crafty, good at military matters, and also has a crack brigade of mages who reminded me quite a bit of Tanya the Evil much of the time. (She even has her own Visha, this one named Natalia.) Her nation, Rolmund, has succession issues, and this is very much a succeed or die sort of mission. Too bad there’s Veight.

There’s a lot of fun here. Every time Veight denies that he’s really strong or impulsive is wonderful, if only as it’s getting harder to believe he’s not doing it on purpose. Speaking of which, the funniest parts of the book involve coming up with a series of plays that will serve as propaganda. In reality, they’re basically bodice rippers, with each play involving a handsome actor playing Veight winning handily and causing his actress of the moment (playing Airia, Melaine, Firnir, etc.) to swoon and coo. Veight is rather embarrassed by all this, though the others (who no doubt hope Veight will catch a clue sometimes) have no issues. The final play we see involves Eleora and her own attack on Meraldia. I’m not sure whether she’ll join the list of women in love with Veight yet (honestly, I suspect it will be Airia if anyone), but the afterword definitely says the next book will involve Rolmund, so I’m sure we’ll see more of her.

I sometimes feel like I’m overpraising things, but I really can’t get enough of this series. Each volume is fun, easy to read, not too short or too long, has good characters and great humor, and makes Veight overpowered and harem lead-ey without him feeling like a stock light novel guy. Really, start reading these books.

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