Accomplishments of the Duke’s Daughter, Vol. 2

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 Andria Cheng.

It’s not always easy trying to reform something. First of all, how much can you really do? Iris is the acting governor of her land, and is doing a great job of building it up and modernizing it. But what about the next domain over? What about the entire Kingdom? What about the Kingdom next door, which is not nearly as well off as you are? These are not questions one can easily answer, and Iris has trouble coming up with answers either, though she’s doing her best to try to make changes that everyone is going to want to emulate. Fortunately, as I noted in my previous review, she has a ridiculous number of allies who are there to help her make those changes. Unfortunately, she also still has a large number of enemies. The villainess otome game aspect of this continues to be a very small part, while the politicking and intrigue are definitely at the forefront. Which is for the best, really.

Iris may be the glory of Armelia, but that means little to the Kingdom as a whole, which does not know she’s behind the Azuta Corporation and thinks of her as the noble who got shunned by the second prince. That said, an invitation by the Queen Dowager to a major function helps her start to reintegrate into high society, helped along by the prince, who is being an absolute dick, and also Yuri, the protagonist of the otome game that this supposedly is based on, who is at best ridiculously unaware of everything and at worst an actual enemy agent. Then, just when things seem to be going really well, word comes from the Church that Iris has been excommunicated! With employees leaving her company and neighboring domains refusing to allow trade, is there anything Iris can do to possibly get herself out of this? If only she had a really hot assistant who was secretly the first prince…

As I said earlier, the otome game aspect of these books is minimized, but I do want to come back to the character of Yuri. I’m not sure if the author of Duke’s Daughter read My Next Life as a Villainess before starting this (there are many other examples of the genre, but Villainess did begin on the web about 8 months before this title), but it’s hard to look at Yuri and not see Evil Maria. Which makes sense, given that Iris is essentially Good Original Catarina, without the personality of the Japanese girl overwriting her. I appreciate that Iris can’t be sure if Yuri is a spy that is seeking to have the kingdom collapse simply because if she is, she’s so bad at it. There are many other ways to go about doing this rather than acting like a cliched otome game heroine trying to get all the Good Ends with the various boys. I doubt we’ll ever get anything from Yuri’s perspective, but it would be interesting.

With another crisis solved, you’d think the series would be wrapping up quickly. But alas, the first Prince absolutely does not want to marry Iris, as he’s far too content seeing her “flying free” and changing the entire world. it’s hard to disagree with him. That said, I hope Dean sticks around, if only for her own mental health. This was an improvement on the first volume, though it has the same flaws.

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