The Sorcerer’s Receptionist, Vol. 4

By Mako and Maro. Released in Japan as “Mahousekai no Uketsukejou ni Naritaidesu” by ArianRose. Released in North America digitally by J-Novel Club. Translated by Adam.

It’s been a while. Indeed, it’s been over two years. Long enough for me to forget 90% of the cast and 50% of the plot. Long enough for the book to need a new translator. Long enough for about 100 other romance-focused fantasy series for women to come out over here. But throughout all that, some things never change, so you can rest assured that Nanalie’s every waking moment is taken up with being grumpy about Rockmann 100% of the time. Yes, she realized she’s in love with him last volume, but that’s not going to stop her – if anything, the love has to struggle harder to get out from under the layers and layers of competitive tsundere she’s got draped over her. This is exactly the same as the previous books, which is a shame as it was one of the more annoying parts of the series. That said, the series seemed to wrap up perfectly well with the third book. Is this sequel necessary? Hrm…

Nanalie wished for all the revelations about her in the third volume to be left a state secret, and so they are, thanks to some memory altering, so she’s back to the regular everyday life as a guild receptionist. Or rather, she would be were it not for a rumored time traveling thingummajig that everyone seems to be looking for. Naturally, it exists. Somewhat less naturally, it’s in the form of a garden gnome, like the ones you see on lawns. And it turns out that a noblewoman has used the time travel thing to go back in time so that Rockmann can fall in love with HER and not Nanalie! So now everyone has to pile back in time, disguise themselves as teachers, and try to stop the noblewoman before history is changed forev… wait, the gnome says history can’t really be changed. OK, so we’re all good, then.

Gonna be honest, a lot of this book is a slog. The main reason being what I just told you. Before everyone goes back in time, they’re told that no matter what they do, nothing can really be affected. And that turns out to be true, even when the *real* reason for going back in time is revealed. There’s a threat to Nanalie’s past self… that is kind of pointless, because, again, time travel can’t be used to do that. You’d think that this might be used to get Nanalie to admit her feelings more readily, and they sort of try to burble up at times, but she’s just SO tsundere about everything that it’s not satisfying from a romance novel standpoint. Oh, yes, and we get a sort of cliffhanger ending, so I guess we’re getting a Book 5… which, judging by the ending, promises to immediately break all the stuff they had to fix at the end of Book 3. Good times.

If you really loved this series, you’ll want to read this. If you just liked it, feel free to have Vol. 3 be the end.

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