The Magician Who Rose from Failure: Tales of War and Magic, Vol. 4

By Hitsuji Gamei and Fushimi Saika. Released in Japan as “Shikkaku Kara Hajimeru Nariagari Madō Shidō! ~ Jumon Kaihatsu Tokidoki Senki ~” by GC Novels. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Alexandra Owen-Burns.

For those who were hoping to see more of Sue trying to get Arcus to take interest in her, or Lecia continuing to think she’s getting further behind Arcus even as she’s also quite powerful, or Charlotte… well, no, no one was really expecting Charlotte. But none of them are in this book at all, because it’s entirely devoted to the battlefield. Last time the author promised the “war” part of the title, and we sure get it here. We also meet the nation’s prince, who is constantly veiled, super powerful, Arcus’ age, and implied to possibly be a princess in disguise, though honestly only the afterword really makes the implication. If you like cool battles, this is an excellent book. Fortunately, it does have a bit more to dig into in terms of characterization, but honestly, you will remember the awesome magic battles. And also the huge burly guy who almost kills everyone then doesn’t because he’s just gotten lost. He’s tremendous fun.

After impressing so many people at the end of the third book, Arcus is invited to meet the Crown Prince, who will also be leading the forces to battle the traitor Count. Of course, Arcus is still quite young, so there are no shortage of offended nobles who show themselves to have no knowledge of how isekai novels work by complaining about this child being present at their planning. Also not smart to say this in front of the prince who is also a child. As for the battle, well, first one side does really well, then the other side does well, but for the most part our heroes have got this in the bag. So much so that they decide it’s OK for the prince, having inspired the troops, to head on back. Which, sadly, is what the enemy was waiting for all along.

There’s a fair bit of time dedicated to the “bad guys” here, and it shows off how in a war no one thinks of themselves as being on the wrong side, even if the person you’re helping is a dead ringer for the classic Japanese fantasy villain, aka “looks squat and froglike, acts like that too”. We see one man who has decided to fight despite the fact that his sister begs him to return home as he is now the head of their family, and you appreciate his thought process while also wincing because man, that’s a death flag if ever I saw one. We also set up a few things for future volumes, as the other side’s mages now know about Arcus and the fact that he has an imagination that can see things that this world cannot. Oh yes, and there’s Arcus’ dinner with Andre… I mean God, who gives him a quest that should keep the series going if it ever gets another volume.

Yeah, fans of The Magic in This Other World Is Too Far Behind!! know where this is going. We’ve caught up with Japan, and the author has started a shiny new light novel series that looks to be following the current cliched trends far more than his other two series. What does that mean? It means I hope we see more of this at some point before I die. Till then, this is a good military fantasy book.

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