Altina the Sword Princess, Vol. 9

By Yukiya Murasaki and himesuz. Released in Japan as “Haken no Kouki Altina” by Famitsu Bunko. Released in North America digitally by J-Novel Club. Translated by Roy Nukia.

I’ve been waiting for plot developments like the end of this volume to happen for some time. Regis is a bit of a Golden Boy throughout the series – that’s the point, he uses his brains and Altina’s brawn and royal presence to help seize the day, even when it’s involving a bubbling under civil war. And now he’s been noticed enough that he’s forced from her side to Latrielle, the heir apparent, and is giving him the best advice fictional books can buy. Now, we’ve seen him lose troops based on his decisions before, to the point where he almost passed out, but the advice was correct and they won the day. Here, though, not to spoil too much, his advice is good but they do not win the day. Someone has anticipated him. They lose, and there are many casualties. And this is when you realize that, for all that the country is supposed to be on the same side fighting Britannia, Regis is very much surrounded by enemies.

Of course, the book is not just about Regis. Jessica, Franziska and Martina want to rescue their brother, but can’t, and they’re deep in enemy territory. So they accept the kind offer of the man who saved them last time to stay at his place. His place, of course, turns out to be the castle, much to their shock. (Elize is there as well, but one senses the author is not really sure what to do with her.) Altina is back at her fortress, dealing with Eric’s game-breaking injury, and finds that even though Regis is away from her side he can still come up with advice to win the day – in this case, suggesting a career change for Eric that would still allow them to remain a soldier protecting Altina. We get a brief glimpse of the enemy, which is dealing with a major problem – Queen Margaret is bored with all this and therefore doesn’t care what happens.

And then, as I noted, we get Regis’ plan to defeat the enemy, which is anticipated and rebuffed. He does get in one small triumph, which allows us to meet yet another new cast member and promises to take up a chunk of Book 10, but it also involves the deaths of a LOT of men – and these are not his own troops of the Fourth Division, which is back at Altina’s side. The generals were already annoyed with Regis for sacrificing their units earlier, they’re now livid. Fortunately for Regis, Latrielle is not stupid, and knows that the plan could have worked and exactly who was clever enough to anticipate it. The generals may be angry, but they know not to argue with their future King. As for Regis, I think it’s a good lesson for him, especially mentally. Now if he can only work on his physical stamina, which is laughably pathetic.

The author already admitted the final part of this book got so long it has to finish in the next book, so we’ll see what happens then. In the meantime, this is a solid volume of Altina that shows events moving along slowly but surely – will we see the end of the war with Britannia next time?

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