Secrets of the Silent Witch, Vol. 2

By Matsuri Isora and Nanna Fujimi. Released in Japan as “Silent Witch” by Kadokawa Books. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Alice Prowse.

Technically this book has a real plot. We even see it here! There’s an assassination attempt against the second Prince. It is, in fact, the climax of the book. And Monica stops it, which is why she’s at the school. That said… I highly doubt anyone reading this series is on tenterhooks to find out who’s behind all this. We’re here for the adventures of Monica at school, being bullied and feeling panicked but nevertheless persevering. If I’m going to be honest, the highlight of the story was not that big climactic scene near the end, with math magic and Monica exhausting all her magic. It was in the middle of the book, where a bullying attempt on Monica goes horribly wrong and consequences are slowly but surely dripped out against the perpetrators. I’d argue this was more of a tense atmosphere because Monica has minimal to no regard for herself, and if the book were about someone trying to assassinate HER, this series would be much shorter and probably more depressing.

Despite all her best efforts, Monica is managing to gain friends and slowly adapt socially to the academy. Even if she’s sometimes not good at spotting tsundere friends. We also get a couple of new cast members in Glenn, a loud and somewhat obnoxious mage who was probably added to the cast because it lacked someone of that type; Casey, a tomboyish young lady fro0m the sticks who quickly takes a shine to Monica; and Claudia, who has clearly been watching the Netflix series Wednesday and taking it a bit too much to heart. Someone IS definitely trying to kill the second prince, that’s for sure, but most of this book is about Monica’s school life, as she learns the joys of chess, the horrors of ballroom dancing, and just who she can trust.

Isabelle is on the cover of the second book, and has a major role in the middle, which pleases me, as I thought she was merely going to be a one-shot gag. She *is* a gag, yes, but the gag is that she’s not an actual petty teenage bitch, but a “villainess”, which means that she has the nobility and knowledge of who to protect that regular petty teens do not. When she goes up against the girl who poisoned Monica (even if it wasn’t MEANT to be attempted murder, it still was), it’s quite a sight to see. I also liked seeing her bond with Felix over the Silent Witch. That said, I am a bit worried about Felix, who proves to be a bit of an obsessive fanboy about Monica’s alter ego. I fear that when the secret gets out their relationship is going to change, and not in a way that Monica will like.

This is not that long a series – I believe there are only four volumes, plus an “After” volume, so my worries may be answered in the next book. That said, I love reading Silent Witch because it’s FUN, and Monica is a fantastic lead character. Get this one.

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