Reborn to Master the Blade: From Hero-King to Extraordinary Squire, Vol. 3

By Hayaken and Nagu. Released in Japan as “Eiyu-oh, Bu wo Kiwameru tame Tensei su. Soshite, Sekai Saikyou no Minarai Kisi ♀” by HJ Bunko. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Mike Langwiser.

It can be very difficult sometimes when you are writing a series which has exactly one joke. It gets harder the longer the series gets because, well, it’s just the one joke. But, believe it or not, sometimes that is enough, and you’re able to keep going because yes, it’s a good joke. The joke for Reborn to Master the Blade is that Inglis is a meathead who only thinks of fighting strong opponents. And throughout this book, that’s what we get, over and over. Either she’s fighting them or, more often, she’s trying to fight them and failing because of things like politics or the other party refusing or having to save lives and the like. And we also see other characters knowing this and essentially smacking their foreheads. It’s one joke. But we’re early in the series, and the joke is still funny. And also Inglis as an overpowered meathead is pretty cool. As with previous books, the fights are a highlight.

Our main cast are still trying to deal with Ripple, who is still sucking in mana and letting out monsters (and does not even have a pebble to toss or wind to blow). Unfortunately, the response of the kingdom to this seems to be “send Ripple back home and get a new heiral menace”. Which, it is implied but never outright stated, would mean Ripple’s death. What’s more, it becomes pretty clear that the reason all this is happening in the first place is that Ripple is being “punished” by one of the Highland factions in order to… well, in order to be sneeringly evil, because this is not the most subtle book in the world. Inglis and company try to work out a plan, part of which involves her and Rafinha going undercover as maids to a ceremony held by the King for a Highland ambassador. Sadly, he too is mostly cartoonishly evil. Fortunately, Inglis is there and can hit things very hard.

The other great part of this book, besides Inglis wanting to fight fight fight, is the introduction of her antimatter universe counterpart, Yua. Yua is astonishingly strong, just like Inglis, and you’d think that she’d finally found the perfect opponent. There’s just one problem: Yua doesn’t care about fighting. She’d rather take the path with the least effort where she can be lazy, and even has to be talked into fighting a bunch of potentially lethal monsters. She’s also got that ‘stoic’ Rei Ayanami-ish personality, which also balances next to Inglis’. Oh yes, and she gives everyone nicknames. Inglis is “Big Boobs”, because this is a Japanese light novel. Basically, she’s a hoot, and I am glad she was not killed off towards the end of the book, which looked like it might actually happen for a while. There’s also lots of terrorism and political maneuvering and people losing arms and then getting them sewn back on with magic, but… let’s face it, it’s not Inglis fighting.

So yes, if you like dumb meatheads who only think of one thing, this is still that thing. I do think this will work better in Vol. 3 than in Vol. 17, though…

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