Accomplishments of the Duke’s Daughter, Vol. 1

By Reia and Haduki Futaba. Released in Japan as “Koushaku Reijou no Tashinami” by Kadokawa Books. Released in North America by Seven Seas. Translated by Alexander Keller-Nelson.

Seven Seas has been circling back a bit now that light novels actually sell and has picked up a few of the books they chose to only pick up the manga for earlier. The one that interested me most is this title, whose manga I had reviewed the first volume of in 2018. Since it’s come out, we’ve seen a boom in “villainess” works, mostly helped along by My Next Life As a Villainess but with a bit of help from this series as well. Unfortunately, the novel coming out now does sort of give the reader the feeling that they’ve read this all before, even though it was one of the first to pull off this plot. That said, the isekai aspect of it is barely touched on, and it’s clear that it’s more an excuse for the author to write political intrigue and worldbuilding. To be fair to the author, they are very good at that. As is Iris, though she’s helped along by a built-in support system.

An unnamed young woman, after being hit by a car in Japan, wakes up inside an otome game she enjoyed playing. Who she was is unimportant, because unlike other villainess books in this genre, Iris Armelia is still fully in charge here. Unfortunately, she’s about to get thrown out of school after bullying the “heroine”, and then exiled to a nunnery. Iris, whose influx of isekai memories has caused her jealous heart to come to its senses, is having none of that. She goes to negotiate with her father and, after proving that she’s no longer a lovestruck young lady, he puts her in charge of their local fiefdom. And it needs someone like her in charge – the economy is struggling, there’s a huge gap between rich and poor, and even basic needs such as medicine are hard to come by. Can a former villainess manage to turn things around? And introduce chocolate to the masses?

The biggest fault here is the same as I mentioned in my review of the manga – for a villainess, Iris certainly seems to have everyone on her side already. Her behavior towards Yuri is explained away by iris (and, indeed, the narrative) as basically a temporary lapse of reason, as for the most part she’s been a sensible and kind young noble, whose ENTIRE servant group comes from orphans she rescued from dying in the gutter. (Is this where all the other books get it from?) She has a capable butler, a doting and incredibly strong grandfather, and her savvy mother, who is such fun to read about you wish that she’d get a multi-volume prequel written about her past by the same author. (Good news on that front, though it’s not licensed here.) And of course there’s Dean, whose secret identity is not so secret to anybody but Iris, but that’s fine – he’s there to save her from literally working herself to death, and also setting himself up as the one non-problematic love interest in her life. Villainess? She’s loaded with allies, and did not even need to fall and whack her head to get them.

I definitely think this is a must for fans of the manga. That said, I suspect fans of “I’m in charge of a country and must reform the nobility” books, such as Realist Hero, might get more out of this than the standard Villainess reader. I’m definitely picking up more, though.

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  1. I enjoyed reading the manga of this series, and it does a good job of building up the world and the main cast of the otome game. I do agree that the author’s explanations of why she has so many allies is the weakest part of the series, at least as far as I’ve read. I was excited for the LN adaptation to come out and plan to read it when I have the time.

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