The Drab Princess, the Black Cat, and the Satisfying Break-Up, Vol. 3

By Rino Mayumi and Machi. Released in Japan as “Jimihime to Kuroneko no, Enman na Konyaku Haki” by M Novels F. Released in North America by Cross Infinite World. Translated by Evie Lund.

I am pleased to report that, at long last, this series about a break-up actually has it. As for whether it’s satisfying or not, well, I can’t speak for the characters, but as a reader it exceeded my expectations. Given that this series began with a misunderstanding because a bunch of teenage dumbasses were shit-talking at each other, so I’m amazed that in the end everything is resolved by people maturely behaving like adults. Now, this doesn’t mean that everyone is happy… honestly, the only happy one may be Seren… but it does mean that this book is blissfully free of people doing dumb impetuous things or kidnapped fiancees or any of the plot twists that happen in countless other light novels. The main complaint, as with the previous books, is that the books are still a bit too long, and Seren ad Viol are still a bit too dull. That said, this book features a speeder bike chase through the forests, which surprised me. All it needed was Ewoks.

As the book begins, Seren is already ridiculously good at magic, and we see her in this book go from that to ludicrously good at magic. She’s a prodigy, and that’s honestly the only reason this plot works at all. She even manages to surprise Viol several times, especially when she takes the cart she’d been using and combines it with flying to essentially make a hovercraft. She’s also still training with the others in the salon, though her sister Marietta is starting to feel the crush of expectations, and it’s depressing her, because she’s not a prodigy like her sister. Finally, in order to get Seren to do what she’s unconsciously been avoiding and TELL EVERYONE what she’s doing, Vi reveals the truth: he’s actually Viol, something that she frankly takes much better than I expected given she’s been clutching this cat to her bosom every night. Now all she has to do is tell her family and the royal family she’s dumping them.

As I said, this *is* a satisfying break-up. Seren explains exactly what she wants to do, what was the inspiration for her studying to do it, and shows off that she absolutely has the skills to pay the bills. The reaction of her mother and father is basically “we are bad parents because she didn’t even consider telling us about any of this”, but they do make sure to tell Seren that, yes, she SHOULD have told someone else about this, and that is a fault of hers. As for Prince Helios, given that this basically arose because of one accidentally misheard conversation where he was agreeing with his dumbass friends to brush them off, he’s a bit devastated, but once he sees her resolve (and possibly her love for Viol, though that doesn’t really occur to her till the end of this book), he makes the best of things and moves on. Hell, even Marietta, who I was certain was going to snap at some point, recovers from her depression slightly and resolves to try her best.

So yes, a bit boring still, but this was probably the best in the series to date. And yes, there’s a 4th and final book in the series, which may consist entirely of sweet love-love moments, since most everything wrapped up here.

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