Ascendance of a Bookworm: I’ll Do Anything to Become a Librarian!, Part 4: Founder of the Royal Academy’s So-Called Library Committee, Vol. 9

By Miya Kazuki and You Shiina. Released in Japan as “Honzuki no Gekokujou: Shisho ni Naru Tame ni wa Shudan wo Erandeiraremasen” by TO Books. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by quof.

And so another arc in the Bookworm series comes to an end, this one the longest arc yet, at nine volumes. The arcs tend to end with big dramatic world shifts, and this one is no different, as Ferdinand finally departs for Ahrensbach to start his new role as victim… erm, husband to the delightful Detlinde. That said, Ehrenfest is managing to stay busy. The entire volume has the air of waiting for an axe to fall, which does make it a wee bit frustrating that it doesn’t quite fall yet. It can make for uncomfortable reading. We are basically watching our heroes getting ready to carry out a series of politically-motivated murders, and only Rosemyne is bothering to question it. And even then, she’s just saying “are you really going to kill the 5-year-olds as well?”. The other uncomfortable part is the relationship between Ferdinand and Rosemyne. It’s still very mentorish, but is rapidly becoming The Elephant In The Room.

The author makes a joke about how Eckhart and Justus are also on the cover, but they’re hidden by the title box, but that does sort of fit the “main” segment of the book very well, as Ferdinand and Rozemyne prepare to be separated from each other, and we watch each of them try to outdo each other in “being strong” and also “giving amazing going away presents”. Unfortunately, his departure happens a lot faster than they would like, owing to the ill health of the Ahrensbach Aub. As such, there’s only time for one more big deadly adventure, as Rozemyne arrives back at the temple after Ferdinand’s heartwarming and hilarious Italian dinner, only to find that something seems off. Her intuition helps her avoid death, but there’s still a sense that Georgine has won the day somehow, and that means that Ehrenfest is also going to have to get rid of the former Veronica faction once and for all…

So yeah, let’s talk about Ferdinand and Rozemyne. The relationship between the two of them has become, for many people, the main reason to read the book. Certainly it’s more interesting than the relationship between Rozemyne and Wilfried, which seems utterly doomed, mostly as the two of them really are not interested in each other at all – even political marriages need SOME sort of connection. Ferdinand has been a teacher to Rozemyne, as well as a mentor, and it’s to the writer’s credit that he’s never felt like a father. Rozemyne has a number of dads, but Ferdinand is not one of them. And then there’s the protective hairpiece he gives her on his departure – something that everyone around notes is the equivalent of a marriage proposal, even if Rozemyne totally does not take it that way. I think the book is edging in that direction. The main problem with it is that Rozemyne, even if the book says she’s been growing “slightly”, STILL looks eight years old. Nothing should happen unless that changes. To sum up, your discomfort level may vary.

The next arc is called ‘Avatar of the Goddess’, which makes me worry that Hartmut’s gospel of Rozemyne is spreading much too far. We shall see. Till then, this was a good Bookworm, but also has all the stuff in it that makes you say “It’s great, BUT…” when you recommend it.

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