A Royal Rebound: Forget My Ex-Fiancé, I’m Being Pampered by the Prince!, Vol. 3

By Micoto Sakurai and Kuroyuki. Released in Japan as “Konyakusha ga Uwakiaite to Kakeochi Shimashita. Ōji Denka ni Dekiaisarete Shiawase nanode, Ima sara Modoritai to Iwarete mo Komarimasu” by DRE Novels. Released in North America by J-Novel Heart. Translated by A. M. Cola.

I’m afraid the law of diminishing returns is hitting this series very hard. I was surprised there was a second book after the first seemed self-contained, and was also surprised that there was a third after the second seemed to run out of things to talk about. And now here is the third, and we’re told in the afterword this is the final book. It stars Amelia. She’s very nice. She’s engaged to Sarge. He’s also really nice. He has three brothers. They’re all swell guys. They have fiancees. All the fiancees get along and have sleepovers together. But wait, didn’t this series start with her getting bullied at the academy? It’s OK, they’re reforming the academy so this sort of thing never happens again. Fortunately, there is a country next door where everything is still terrible, because otherwise this might be 210 pages of just wedding prep.

Unfortunately for Sarge and Amelia, the magical devices they gave to the Beltz Empire are not working the way that they work back home – in fact, in some cases they’re making the drought worse. Going to the Empire to try to figure things out, they find that the issue seems to be the Empire itself, which causes magic to drain at a much faster rate than back in Bedeiht. While there, they get caught up in a succession war and foil an attempted assassination, but honestly neither of those events seems to have much of an impact on our two leads, who are basically concerned with weather, crops, and nothing else. They need to track down what is draining all the magic, and do this before the Empire becomes too hot to live in – or before a war is started.

Honestly, that paragraph makes this sound a lot more exciting than it is. The closest we get to actual danger is when Sarge accidentally gets locked in a magical basement while trying to investigate it, but even when when they break in and get to him, he’s basically fine and far more concerned with magic circles. We also have to deal, throughout the book, with Amelia’s massive case of Imposter Syndrome, which verges on self-loathing. She absolutely refuses to take a compliment to the face, and insists that everyone else around her does the cool things, all she does is have the odd idea or two, not realizing that the ideas are the spark of inspiration that everyone is looking for. It’s meant to be adorable, instead I want to strangle her. In any case, we do finally resolve things and get the pile of weddings I suspected would take the entire book. We then get a honeymoon… which involves going back to Amelia’s hometown to do crop samples some more. Once a nerd couple, always a nerd couple.

This was probably two books too long, but didn’t do anything hideously wrong, apart from needing to take in conflict from an outside source because things are super lovely at home. I wish the cast a happy, dull as dirt life.

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