Ascendance of a Bookworm: I’ll Do Anything to Become a Librarian!: Short Story Collection, Vol. 1

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.

I’m sure some of you are thinking “didn’t we just have the Royal Academy SS book in July?” and yes, we did. This particular volume thus focuses on everything but the royal academy. That said, what it actually appears to be is that readers were curious and vocal enough about all the extra stories the author had written for store giveaways and the like that it was decided to bundle them up into this collection. There’s even some double-dipping, be warned, as several of the stories features here were also in the 2nd fanbook. That said, I enjoyed this book a great deal, mostly as it makes you realize the basic core premise of this series: Rozemyne has made everyone’s lives better, and without her their lives are very difficult. This is especially true after the first quarter of the book, when we get into the books in Part 3 and 4 of the series. Nobility is a drag.

Did you know Rozemyne has grown nearly eight inches since the first book in the series? I did not, fun fact. She’s still far too short, though. The early stories in this collection are from the POV of Gunther, Tuuli and Lutz as they have to deal with a Myne who is suddenly very different from what she used to be. There’s also a story with Wilma and Rosina, showing us Rosina’s frustration and selfishness. After that, though, it’s all nobles all the time, including nobles we’ve never even met, as two sort-of-Veronica faction sisters meet up and discuss the performances that Rozemyne and Ferdinand did, the sweets that they ate, and the fact that the Veronica folks could not go. (You do have to wonder if these two were later purged, though apparently a later fanbook says they were spared.)

The best stories in this book come near the end, with extended time devoted to Cornelius, Philine and Charlotte. Wilfried also gets a story, but it only serves to remind us of his painful naivete, and the fact that his attendants all seem to be evil. Charlotte in particular is well aware of this, but is also aware that the way things played out she’s lost the competition to be Aub without ever showing off her smarts, and it’s truly annoying. It’s annoying to the reader too, because we like Charlotte a lot more than we do Wilfried. The Cornelius chapters take place right after Rozemyne’s kidnapping and coma, and as you can imagine feature a lot of “it’s all my fault”, but give a good look at an underwritten character. As for Philine… god, her life sucked. I’m so glad she’s out of there now. The book is also very good at showing the class strata and how you can and cannot deal with things… and how Rozemyne tramples all over that. She saved Charlotte because Charlotte is her cute little sister and was in danger. This BAFFLES everyone. Family is something very different in this world.

So good stuff, but be prepared to dislike Wilfried even more. Something’s going to have to give there soon.

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