Private Tutor to the Duke’s Daughter: Saving the Kingdom Over Summer Break with Ladies of Ice and Fire

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.

I appreciate that the author, in the afterword to this volume, acknowledges the main issue with this as a modern “harem” genre series, which is that Lydia is such an obvious winner that it’s irrelevant to read about the others. The only other one with any chance at all is Tina, and that’s because she’s in the title. That said, I don’t think that “write Lydia out of the story for a while” is really going to help much, mostly as I’m pretty sure Lydia is simply not going to ALLOW herself to be written out for any length of time. This volume does wrap up one plotline while continuing another, and it’s looking very likely that impending civil war might be a good reason to stop having cute harem antics… or it would if this series didn’t run on harem antics half the time. You need to balance your cool battles and attempted murders with headpats and snuggles, after all.

Exams are finished, and the girls have finished terrorizing their teachers with their raw power. Tina and Lynne are the top scorers, but Ellie wins Allen’s challenge as she improved the most. Now everyone is off to Allen’s home, where he has to finally confess to his parents that he failed his Court Sorcerer exam. Now, given that he only failed because the examiner insulted his parents, I think they understand. His parents are exactly as you’d expect. Lydia not so much, as she spends much of this book in “prim and proper” mode, to the horror of everyone else but Allen. Unfortunately, capturing that rogue Prince has not gone as well as hoped. Worse, they’ve finally finished decoding the book Allen gave them, and it’s clear there’s multiple great spells involved. A big fight is needed.

The main draw and also main flaw of this series is that most of the really amazing stuff I want to read about happened already, and we only hear about it tangentially. Allen and Lydia’s school days, whatever tragedy befell them in Allen’s hometown, etc… these are dangled in front of us and then whisked away, to be replaced with scenes of who gets to be the one to sit next to Allen at the table that meal. The harem is somewhat unbalanced, as noted above, but not just because Lydia is so obvious. The other girls simply act far too young to really be thought of as competitors. They’re all little sisters, not romantic partners. This does make things awkward in the final battle, as it’s one of those series where a kiss-powerup is sometimes needed, and Allen gets one from both Tina and Lydia. Tina’s is very “I’m sorry about this”, Lydia is the aggressor, and loves it. Also, it’s nice to see Allen struggle in a battle and get seriously injured. He’s seemed a bit too impervious lately.

So, the next book promises no Lydia. And apparently no Tina, Ellie, or Lynne as well. That leaves the actual little sister, so I’m not sure how much hareming we will get – I expect more of the “the kingdom is in danger” plotline. Till then, still enjoying this harem fantasy series, despite its awkward harem.

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