Ascendance of a Bookworm: I’ll Do Anything to Become a Librarian!, Part 4: Founder of the Royal Academy’s So-Called Library Committee, 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 by J-Novel Club. Translated by quof.

Ominous-looking cover, isn’t it? I feel like being the grandfather in The Princess Bride, reassuring the son that no one is eaten by any aquatic creatures. That said, each arc of Ascendance of a Bookworm is practically its own separate series, and Rozemyne has been moving farther and farther away from the childhood she had long ago. She’s a noble now, and her main concerns have to be a noble’s concerns – even though she also has to be the champion of the commoners, because really if you leave that to the other nobles bad things will happen. She has a lot on her plate, basically. And so the instance in this book where she’s told point-blank that her old coping strategies are going to be unavailable going forward is somewhat devastating to her, and to the reader. Let’s face it, I think a lot of readers would be quite happy if Myne had stayed in the commoner town making books. But that’s not what this series is anymore.

Despite doing her absolute best to try to talk and think like a noble, it’s rapidly becoming clear that Rozemyne in social settings like like a ticking timebomb. As such, certain precautions have to be taken in this volume. Justus is made her main attendant (even if this will involve him cross-dressing), and gets a first-hand look at how Rozemyne is 90% correct and 10% HIDEOUSLY WRONG. More importantly, she is of an age where arranged marriages need to be set up, if only for political reasons. Even Angelica is now engaged, though she seems to regard romance as something that’s about 7th on her list after swords, swords, and more swords. And so it’s fine to engage Rozemyne to another noble… even if this means that some meetings that she had in the temple previously will now have to be ended.

The narrative is quick to point out that Rozemyne will keep seeing Benno, Lutz and Tulli on occasion. But going into the hidden room, hugging Lutz, and acting as a commoner girl like Myne did… that’s dead and gone. It’s brought home in a beautifully tragic nightmare she has about all her old family and friends getting farther and farther away while she can’t keep up. The rest of the book consists of fun Academy scenes, though it has a very serious ending as one of Rosemyne’s attendants is being abused and she has to figure out what to do about it without overstepping her bounds. She’s also engaged. The engagement partner makes sense and works politically and socially, and I (and most readers) have no doubt whatsoever it’s never gonna happen. But given she still looks about 8 years old, I’m fine with kicking this can down the road.

Life is only getting harder for Rozemyne from now on, and not even endless furniture metaphors can protect her. Fortunately, we can read about her tribulations, and this is another excellent volume.

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