Reborn to Master the Blade: From Hero-King to Extraordinary Squire, Vol. 6

By Hayaken and Nagu. Released in Japan as “Eiyu-oh, Bu wo Kiwameru tame Tensei su. Soshite, Sekai Saikyou no Minarai Kisi ♀” by HJ Bunko. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Mike Langwiser.

Several characters over the course of this series have noted an odd disconnect between Inglis and, well, everything she says or does. We, the reader, know the reason for this, i.e. she’s a reincarnation of an ancient King. Of course, that’s not entirely the explanation, because the previous King was honestly nothing like Inglis – this seems to be that King unfiltered, with “fight fight fight eat eat eat” as their main theme song. Sometimes, though, this disconnect ends up happening to the reader as well, because some of the events in this volume feel like straight up horror, or tragedy, but they’re not written that way at all. They’re written the Inglis way. Which is to say “Aw, shame that happened, anyway, next battle plz”. And the effect can be jarring. I already have tremendous trouble with remembering anyone in this series who is not Inglis or Rafinha, I need my books to be uncomplicated. And what happens here… is, but that’s the problem.

To sum up this entire volume: “what if Smaug was a woobie?”. Inglis and the others have found an ancient sleeping dragon, but it’s hard to wake him up, so they decide instead to cut off his tail and use it to feel the starving people of that area (well, and feed Inglis and Rafinha, who gets first shot). The tail grows back, so no issues there. Finally the dragon does wake up, and he’s really, really pissed off at Inglis. Sadly for him, Inglis not only really wants a good fight, but is good enough to back up her talk. What follows is almost bullying, and it’s only resolved when the dragon finally decides “why am I bothering?” and stops rising to her taunts. That said, Inglis may have a bigger problem… the folks in the town they’re staying in want to execute Pullum for her brother’s crimes.

As I said, I liked the dragon. He was clearly being led by the nose by Inglis, and his solution to the problem was funny. Even the cast thinks that her plan was “become friends with the dragon”. That’s why the sudden ending of that plotline left such a bad taste in my mouth. It feels like it should be terrifying, sad and awful, but this author cannot really seem to do convey that mood, so it comes out, as most things in this series do, as “OK, so that happened”. Similarly, Ian’s story, which is similar to what happens to the dragon’s, comes to a sudden fatal end here, but there’s no real time for any emotions or grieving because we’ve already moved on to the next crisis. I get that they’re at war, but it’s not letting the reader connect with any of this either, and the result is that we don’t care.

This is still a good book if you like meathead girls who love to fight. But it’s very, very shallow.

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