Private Tutor to the Duke’s Daughter: Starting Magic Lessons with a Few Modest Tricks

By Riku Nanano and cura. Released in Japan as “Koujo Denka no Kateikyoushi” by Fujimi Fantasia Bunko. Released in North America digitally by J-Novel Club. Translated by William Varteresian.

Yes, I know, I’m surprised too. Given that I have occasionally muttered that I need to cut down on my light novel intake, it’s a bit of a shock that I picked up a series whose title and cover make it sound like it was introduced by Gilbert Gottfried on USA Up All Night. That said, the book itself is… well, exactly what you’d expect with a title and cover like that. A lot of focus on 13-year-old girls trying to seduce their 17-year-old instructor. Said instructor turns out to be ludicrously good at magic and also has at least three girls in love with him by the end of the book, with the promise of more. There’s a lot of “you are hugging my daughter and are therefore a creeper who must be murdered” schtick. Oh, and there’s a red-headed angry tsundere who flits around the plot, finally showing up at the end. Despite that, I finished it, and I want to read the next in the series. It works despite everything about it.

Our hero is Allen, who has just failed his exams when we meet him, for reasons that we never actually hear until the very end of this volume. This despite being one of the school’s two prodigies (the other being Lydia, the aforementioned redhead). He doesn’t even have the money to return home, so takes a job in a northern dukedom to train the daughter of the family in magic. Tina is smart as a whip and great at everything… except magic. She clearly has a ton of mana, but can’t cast any spells. Allen’s job is to either train her and her best friend/maid/rival Ellie so that they can pass the Royal Academy exams… or else convince Tina, who’s being stubborn about it, that it’s hopeless. That said, Allen has dealt with this sort of thing four years ago, so has a few ideas in mind. Hopefully ones that will not destroy the dukedom…

I always find something to latch on to in these sorts of books, and in this case it’s Allen. He spends the entire book trying to play himself off as a dull, boring, unskilled potato of a protagonist, which might trick the reader at first, but goes out the window whenever he meets anyone and they say “So I see you’re just as big a freak as the rumors say.” I actually wonder if he’s something of a parody, and I’m certain that his constant head-patting, hugging and general close contact with his two charges is tolerable only because he has all the sexual drive of a nerf ball. His world is loaded with little sister figures, with the exception of Lydia, who essentially refuses to let him peg her like that, so he calls her an ‘albatross’ – as in around his neck – instead. Honestly, the book’s big flaw is that we don’t get the story of him and Lydia from four years ago, which honestly sounds better than this one.

If you are the sort to complain about a light novel hero, don’t even start this one. Walk away and never look back. It will melt your eyes. If you don’t take it too seriously, it’s actually pretty fun, and I will read more to see what happens next and if there are any girls in it not in love with Allen.

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