Accomplishments of the Duke’s Daughter, Vol. 4

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.

One problem that a lot of stories brought over from Japan or elsewhere have is that by the time they are licensed, there’s already a known number of volumes out – and many, such as this series, are already finished. Now don’t get me wrong, I know a lot of fans prefer this as they don’t want to get trapped in a “Japan has cancelled your favorite series with no ending, ha ha” scenario, but it does mean that it’s much harder to be surprised. Everything in this book seems to be leading to an ending. Not necessarily a GOOD ending, especially if you’re a romance fan, but an ending. The traitors have been purged, the throne war has been resolved, and Iris and Dean have… well, resolved to live in agonized pain for the good of their country. But of course this is Book 4 of 8, and so there’s always something worse coming along just to make sure that even a bittersweet ending is not going to happen.

The book starts off relatively normally, with Iris inventing Worker’s Compensation and getting proposals from foreign princes disguised as their own messengers. Unfortunately, bad things are happening as well. Her friend Mimosa is engaged to a pawn of Yuri’s, and seems to be very fatalistic about it. The king finally dies, meaning that the succession crisis is happening right now. And there’s a massive flood, causing one domain to be reduced to destitution, and the crown is demanding that over half the recovery supplies be donated by Iris’ domain. Then, finally, Edward makes his move to put himself on the throne. After all, the first prince isn’t even around. What can he possibly do? As for Iris, she’s just missing Dean.

So yeah, Iris finds out what the reader has known for a while, which is that Alfred = Dean. She’s not as shocked as I’d expected, possibly as she finds out in a meeting of all the noble leaders, and also as she’s not the type to faint dead away, but it also fills her with bittersweet feelings. She doesn’t see a path in her life anymore where she is allowed to control her own destiny. If she marries Dean she’ll be happy, but she can only see her own reputation and that of her family getting in the way. (Self-loathing is something Iris just can’t seem to shake off.) If she marries the foreign prince, she’ll basically just be a wife and nothing else. Everyone is trying to tell her “do what YOU want, not what the kingdom needs”, but she just can’t listen to them. Fortunately, something comes up that will postpone all these breakups. Unfortunately, it’s a war.

So overall, quite a roller coaster book, and I didn’t even get into the decline and fall of Yuri, who by the end of the book has lost her mind, but at least no longer has to pretend to be the sweet otome game heroine. Next time I expect a lot more battles and a much higher body count (which is disturbing given this volume already had quite a high body count to begin with).

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