I’m the Villainess, So I’m Taming the Final Boss, Vol. 3

By Sarasa Nagase and Mai Murasaki. Released in Japan as “Akuyaku Reijo Nanode Rasubosu o Katte Mimashita” by Kadokawa Beans Bunko. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Taylor Engel.

One of the conceits of many villainess novels is that the heroine is not aware that she’s already achieved the goal almost from the start. The love interests in the game who shun her are besotted with her, the commoners and servants all adore her, and she’s got this in the bag, even though she insists that one false step and she’s toast. That is not a problem that Aileen has to worry about here. She is reminded over and over that one false step and she is indeed toast. The threat of execution hangs over her head for this entire volume, her demonic allies are on the run and trying to avoid the kingdom performing a mass murder, and the Queen Mother is literally plotting against her. But that’s OK, because she has Claude and his incredible powers, not to mention his love for her. Except… Claude’s lost his memories. And his powers. Um… uh-oh?

The book starts in medias res, with Aileen and her allies trying to infiltrate a secret high society auction of Bad Things… where she’s surprised to see Serena, the villainess of the second game. She also meets Elefas, one of the love interests from the Fan Disc (which means Aileen barely knows him, as she skipped things that weren’t the main route), who asks her to ask Claude if he can ally himself with the demons, as his village of mages is being persecuted. Unfortunately, that night Claude is stabbed, and ends up as I said above. Now Aileen is in trouble – the crown does not want him remembering his Demon Lord powers, so wants her away from him even if they have to kill her – and they’ll find any excuse to do so, because they also have Lilia, the “heroine” of the games, in their corner.

Probably the most interesting part of this volume is what it does with Cedric. He’s not remorseful over the end of his relationship with Aileen, who he knows very well but does not seem to actually like,l and the feeling is mutual. But he’s come to realize that Lilia, who he DOES love, sees him as… well, as a character rather than a person. And that bothers him a lot. To the point where, throughout the book, he winds up helping Aileen surreptitiously, much to her annoyance. Aileen herself is emotionally all over the map here, at first headstrong and brash, then sulking and trying to forget about Claude (which doesn’t work for even five seconds), then cheerfully sadistic, which is our favorite side of her. the actual fear she’s truly feeling throughout the book only comes out near the end.

The book ends with a wedding, and it would make a very good ending to the series itself if I didn’t know there were 5+ more volumes. And once again, the illustrator has failed us in terms of duck drawings. That said, this is in my Top 5 Villainess series, and I can’t recommend it enough. The anime is coming soon as well.

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