Ascendance of a Bookworm: I’ll Do Anything to Become a Librarian!, Part 3: Adopted Daughter of an Archduke, Vol. 2

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.

Let’s face it, Rozemyne has done a lot for the world she now lives in. From all of her printing achievements, which have the potential to change the world as everyone knows it, to even such things as shampoo, the footprint of Myne/Rozemyne is everywhere. However, there is a limit to what she can achieve. Ehrenfest is not going to slowly become modern-day Earth. What’s more, there is a disconnect between a) the way nobles think, b) the way Rozemyne thinks as a commoner who was raised into the nobility; c) the way Urano thinks as a former modern-day Japanese woman who’s been reincarnated with her memories; and d) Rozemyne’s natural eccentricity. As such, sometimes she doesn’t get how other people think, and other people assume that she is familiar with things that she absolutely is not. This becomes a big problem in this book, where Rozemyne taking some abused orphans from a local mayor turns out to have many, many repercussions.

Of course, Rozemyne has an additional problem that she has to deal with, which is that Ferdinand is not only assuming that she gets all the nuances and subtleties with which he speaks, but is also, in his own way, as eccentric as Rozemyne. He is the definition of “it would be easier if I just did everything myself”, and the fact that he can only makes life harder, especially as Rozemyne also falls into that category a lot. This leads to her having a near emotional breakdown when he tells her to solve the problem that she’s gotten herself into, implying that the entire TOWN has to die because of her actions. While Benno and the others are able to help Rozemyne flip the problem on its head (don’t think about how to kill the mayor, think about how to save everyone who is NOT the Mayor), Rosemyne and the reader are left with the harsh reality of a world that does not run on modern-day ethics and morals.

Fortunately, the rest of the book is not as serious as this. There’s a cool action scene as Rozemyne goes to the forest to get ingredients for the potion that will help her Devouring and the forest is overrun by monsters. More importantly, Wilfried once again whines about how easy Rozemyne has it, and she proposes changing roles for one day. This serves as a massive splash of cold water to the face of everyone involved with Wilfried, especially his father, who had been spoiling him without realizing that that had led to a young man who could not read, write, play any instruments, etc. There is some blistering dialogue here about how to educate young people, particularly those with short attention spans. It also shows off Sylvester as a very imperfect Archduke – he’s not a happy camper here, especially when his wife hears about this. Fortunately, Wilfried DOES have a good memory when he bothers to use it, so all is not lost.

There’s not as much of what made Bookworm tick in the early volumes – Benno and Lutz are here, but in supporting roles, and papermaking/bookmaking is also a side project compared to everything else. But it’s the expansion of Rozemyne’s world, and the fact that this world can be terrifying, that makes this arc of Bookworm the best yet.

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