Formerly, the Fallen Daughter of the Duke, Vol. 4

By Ichibu Saki, Nemusuke, and Ushio Shirotori. Released in Japan as “Moto, Ochikobore Koushaku Reijou desu” by Mag Garden Novels. Released in North America by J-Novel Heart. Translated by Andrew Schubauer.

Last time I said that this series remained OK, and that I hoped the fourth book was the final one. And it certainly FEELS like a final book. All the plotlines are wrapped up. The bad guys are taken care of. Our heroine is ready to marry her love once they are of age. And yet in the afterword we’re told that the author hopes to write more adventures of Claire and Vik after the wedding. So, I will admit, I do appreciate the fact that a romance book does not have to end with a marriage or end just because the characters may have aged past the series’ market. That said, I admit my reaction to seeing this news was “oh hell no”. There’s nothing hideously wrong with this book aside from an odd disconnect I’ll get to. But there are too many fallen duke’s daughters out there for me to care about this one, who is pleasant but oh so dull.

Things are going well for Claire, aside from a few hiccups. Charlotte is still missing after the events of the last book, and seems to have completely vanished from the entire country. Moreover, the magical tornado that forced her to time loop is still on its way, and she wants to make sure her magic is strong enough that she won’t exhaust it and trigger the same thing happening. She’s even, with Vik’s help, able to get her old dream job back of being Isabella’s governess. Unfortunately, she gets an invitation from Prince Gilbert, who is prince of a neighboring country, to come visit. Just her. Not her fiance. Suspicious. She goes, with Lui at her side as her bodyguard/attendant, and finds that Prince Gilbert is nothing whatsoever like what everyone thought of him. She also finds something even more annoying – Charlotte.

Getting the really obvious spoiler out of the way (I feel no shame, the author doesn’t try to hide it), Gilbert ALSO is a Japanese isekai. He’s not a gamer, but his sister was, and drilled into him her favorite route. Unfortunately, her favorite route is Claire’s. Even more unfortunately, all the other routes seem to lead to everyone in his kingdom being killed. This actually DID catch my interest, and could have led to some interesting things going on. Unfortunately, Chaire’s somewhat… unique relationship with the source (her memories of Japan are muddled and mostly come in dreams) and her desire to not tell her dear friends they’re fictional mean that resolving this by just saying “stop treating me like an NPC” isn’t happening. Meaning we get a lot of tedious “comedy” as Gilbert tries to woo Claire by hitting game flags only to fail over and over.

I did like the epilogue showing us Charlotte’s final fate. Assuming it is her final fate. Certainly, I’m perfectly happy leaving the Formerly Fallen Daughter here, even if there are later adventures.

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