Ascendance of a Bookworm: I’ll Do Anything to Become a Librarian!, Part 2: Apprentice Shrine Maiden, Vol. 3

By Miya Kazuki and You Shiina. Released in Japan as “Honzuki no Gekokujou: Shisho ni Naru Tame ni wa Shudan wo Erandeiraremasen” by TO Books. Released in North America digitally by J-Novel Club. Translated by quof.

A very telling quote comes about a quarter of a way into this volume of Bookworm, with the High Priest and Benno meeting to talk about Myne. “We must think of a plan at once. Benno, what means are there to control this thing?” The “thing” is Myne, and it seems very rude, but to the regular citizens of this world, it’s absolutely true, especially in this volume, as Myne is about to invent movable type and the printing press. In previous volumes we’d seen Myne come up with ridiculous ideas, but they were ideas – even the paper – which could still reasonably fit into a very class-based world and not create too much of a fuss. This is a very different story – nothing will ever be the same again. If you add that to the ridiculous amount of mana she has, it means that Myne is not so much a young girl as a nuclear weapon. Sadly, this means she may lose her family.

This is the third of a four-volume arc. The first arc was “Daughter of a Soldier”, and this one is “Apprentice Shrine Maiden”. Glancing at the subtitle of the next arc shows that Myne will be moving up in the world once again. It’s a horrible decision for her, as she loves her family, and they love her. Notably, the High Priest is not compromising one bit at this point – there’s no “oh, but you can still see your old family” here, mostly as if Myne is a noble, she’ll be nowhere near her old life. The book also hammers home why this is important. We see suspicious guild leaders trying to kidnap her, suspicious nobles trying to kidnap her, and the cliffhanger shows another evil noble on the way – one who likes small children, which is very disturbing given that this world shows off how young girls can “move up in the world” mostly by becoming concubines. Myne can’t simply walk around town coming up with cool new ideas anymore.

The book is well-written as always, and very long, also as always. The main new character we meet is Sylvester, another noble who, as Myne describes him, is an adult with the mind of a 6-year-old boy. There’s clearly more to him than that, but she’s also not wrong, and I admit that I found him to be more obnoxious than anything else. Fortunately, the noble who’s supposed to adopt her looks a lot more reasonable. Myne also gets a permanent bodyguard, one of the two knights who were “protecting” her in the past book. He’s a bit of a schmuck, to be honest, though he’s nice at heart. And, as noted above, Myne has her movable type thanks to a craftsman who loves working with small, detailed pieces. Now Myne is sponsoring him, something he’s rapidly coming to regret, as it’s hard to deal with Hurricane Myne. Oh yes, and new baby! Myne gets to be a big sister… if only briefly.

Supposedly Myne has until she’s ten years old until she’s to be adopted. That said, the cliffhanger implies not only bad things for Delia (who I worry about even though she’s a spy), and I suspect that that timeline may be moved up. Till then, this remains one of the most addicting light novels around. Watch the anime as well!

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