Culinary Chronicles of the Court Flower, Vol. 7

By Miri Mikawa and Kasumi Nagi. Released in Japan as “Ikka Kōkyū Ryōrichō” by Kadokawa Beans Bunko. Released in North America digitally by J-Novel Club. Translated by Hunter Prigg.

I’m starting to get the feeling that the consummation that keeps getting put off between Rimi and Shohi is never actually going to happen. Leaving aside the fact that Rimi still thinks of herself as a mom more than a lover to him, there’s also the fact that the Chancellor exists. There are other aides in this book as well, and some of them like Rimi and some of them dislike Rimi, but they all seem to see Rimi as, well, as a real human being. The Chancellor, on the other hand, regards Rimi as this sort of otherworldly poisonous creature whose mere presence destroys the Emperor and everyone around him. Leaving aside the fact that there’s a name for that and it’s called “being the protagonist”, it does mean that Rimi is going to find becoming Empress very hard to do. We already knew that, of course, but it’s getting even harder, especially with the arrival of an even bigger rival than the Four Consorts: a better political marriage match.

Rimi is delighted to hear that the court will be seeing the return of Shar, ambassador from Saisakoku. Things get less delightful when the delegation also has an extra person, Princess Aisha. The princess is gorgeous, and is clearly there to deepen ties between the two countries. What’s more, the best way to do this would be to move Rimi quietly to the side and let Aisha be impress. It’s the sensible thing to do. That said, Shohi is reluctant, not just because he loves Rimi, but also because the young princess is a little hellraiser, running around the court like a bull in a china shop and taking very badly to any attempt to criticize her. When things finally blow up to the point that the princess runs away, Rimi and company need all the allies they can get to find her. Even if that means seeing Shusei again.

This series is mostly a romantic thriller, but I do appreciate that in every book there’s always one scene which is hysterically funny, and here it’s right in the center, with Princess Aisha showing off to the four consorts in a way that is both jaw-dropping and also makes you want to find a ball to see if she can balance it on her nose. The best part of the book is Rimi and Aisha’s relationship, as, even though she knows that Aisha is there to destroy everything Rimi has done up till now, she can’t help but try to make things better because she’s that sort of person. (She does, this, of course, with a meal, in case you’d forgotten what book you’re reading.) Shohi too continues to develop and grow into his Emperor title. If it weren’t for the Chancellor, there would be very little getting in the way of their union.

Sadly, there is the Chancellor, and another vicious cliffhanger. We’ll have to wait till next time to resolve it, but I remain addicted to this series… so much so that I look forward to Sugar Apple Fairy Tale in a few weeks from Yen On, by the same author.

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