Death’s Daughter and the Ebony Blade, Vol. 4

By Maito Ayamine and Cierra. Released in Japan as “Shinigami ni Sodaterareta Shoujo wa Shikkoku no Tsurugi wo Mune ni Idaku” by Overlap Bunko. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Sylvia Gallagher.

Getting back to a niggle I had last time, I will grant the fourth volume of the series this: the adjutant in the battle here does not appear to be in love with her commanding officer. That said, we do get a lot of similar beats, where the younger adjutant is told to retreat so that the older commander can die protecting the retreat. I admit that I am very fond of just how many women are in this book, and of course it stars Olivia, who is a monster in human form. All the same, I’m seeing similar things happening over and over in this series, and would not mind a female adjutant who stays behind and dies so that her commander can get away. You know, as a change of pace. I’m also not all that happy with the running gag of the women in love with the oblivious men, even as I will reluctantly admit that’s truth in literature.

Olivia’s success is having repercussions. First with her and her close companions – she’s made a major general, and given an army of her own to command, with Claudia and Ashton by her side. She gets to attend royal balls, where she interacts with the King, and also meets emissaries of foreign nations, like the Not At All Suspicious (TM) Sofitia. But in addition, her mere existence has caused the Empire to try to find other ways to win, such as proxy wars that they force an allied nation to take up for them (it goes badly). And Fernest is also having to deal with invasions of its own, though it’s helped there by the commander and the ruler in charge of the invading state both being very, very stupid. Don’t poke at Olivia to see what she does, you won’t like it.

There’s a lot of plot stuff going on here, to be honest, but Olivia’s actions seem to flow around it. Apart from trying to find out where Z has gone off to, she really has zero interest in all of the political machinations happening around her. She’s aware it exists, and does tell her aides that she is aware that Sofitia is probably inviting her to Mekia for nefarious reasons. But she’s never, ever had any fight cause her trouble since she last saw Z, and that doesn’t change here. Her reputation is starting to be less “oh no, that’s not possibly true” to “OH MY GOD IT’S HER”, and she’s definitely going to be facing stronger opponents, but I’ve yet to see anyone who can really take her on. Which might be for the best. No one is reading this book to see Olivia struggle and have self-doubts. She can delegate that to Claudia, probably.

This is a good “military strategy” series, provided you aren’t turned off by Olivia’s glorious OPness throughout. Frankly, that’s why I read it.

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