Private Tutor to the Duke’s Daughter: The Saint’s Guidance and the Battle for the North

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.

This book internally takes itself seriously, and there’s no sense that it’s winking at the audience or anything. That said, if you, the reader, take this series seriously at all, you must absolutely hate it, because every volume gets more and more ridiculous. Allen is not so much a character as a Macguffin at this point, though he does get one chapter to himself. But his purpose in the series is to help everyone else find THEIR purpose in the series, and here it turns out that his legacy means that he can do that even with 200-year-old elves and dragons. And of course there’s Stella, who gets the cover and the focus of this book and ends up delivering so well that everyone starts to call her The Saint. Honestly, the only one still doing badly is Lydia, who gets one scene in the volume, but also gets Allen reflecting how she must be running wild and he worries about that little scamp, contrasted with The Hero and Lydia’s own mother coming up with contingency plans to murder her.

The rebellion continues, even though it’s rapidly becoming apparent the rebels don’t have anyone who can really see the big picture or due long-term planning. They still may end up getting control of the Great Tree, though, as the beastmen are near their limit, and they have to rely on Caren and Lydia’s brother Richard to scream and yell at the old, conservative leaders until they finally allow a “Gondor Calls For Aid” moment. In the South, the Leinsters have cleaned up easily, and are headed towards the capitol, but Lydia is still unapproachable and dangerous. And in the North, the Howards are waiting patiently for the enemy army to think they’ve won before they spring one final trap. At first Stella’s father insists she cannot join the battle, but later events will prove that it’s a good thing she didn’t listen to him.

This is not the first series to have “battle maids”, as fandom tends to term them, and it won’t be the last, but this volume really manages to sell exactly what we love about them, which is being insanely powerful and sadistic while also keeping that “ara, ara” feel you get from a maid character. Well, one type of maid character. Don’t worry, we get all types here. In any case, Anna saving the day is probably the highlight of the book, with apologies to Stella, and I would love to see more. (As always, this series has backstory that it’s constantly implying is more interesting than the actual story being told.) As for Allen himself, he’s picked up a new girl who worships him, this one apparently a little girl version of a great spirit/spell/something, but again, this volume isn’t about anything Allen does, it’s about what Allen represents. He improves literally everyone who’s ever come into contact with him and makes them their best. (Well, except that gang of Beastmen teens. Sorry, gang, you suck.)

The next volume should end the arc, and also has Tina on the cover, so I assume she’ll get the focus she didn’t get here… assuming she’s not overtaken by Lydia. Again. A good series to read if you enjoy ridiculous bullshit.

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