Private Tutor to the Duke’s Daughter: Illusions of History

By Riku Nanano and cura. Released in Japan as “Koujo Denka no Kateikyoushi” by Fujimi Fantasia Bunko. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by William Varteresian.

Private Tutor to the Duke’s Daughter is hardly the first Japanese series to feature what are, for want of a better term, “battle maids”. They’ve been around for as long as there have been anime. Generally speaking the key two aspects of battle maids are that they are ludicrously good at combat, but also incredibly proud of being maids, also to a ludicrous degree. That said, Leinster maids also have one very important aspect to them, one that can even get in the way of maid duties or combat: they like to watch Allen and Lydia be sweet together, and gush over it. In essence, they are us, because that’s exactly what I did in the last book, and in the parts of this book that feature the same thing. Oh, yes, and as if that weren’t enough, some of the maids are also orphans, kids who were discriminated against, or in one case a literal experimental child soldier. None of that matters, though, as long as you can protect Lydia and take video of her being tsundere.

When we left off, Allen and Lydia had just lost to a hideously powerful vampire woman, who fortunately had to leave before she could take care of them once and for all. Now they’re recovering their strength, trying to research vampires, protecting the boy that everyone seems to want to kidnap, and of course Lydia is also putting in the “you’re in love with me, right?” press every second of every day. (Allen’s response is ambiguous, as you can guess, but it’s clear he’s mostly lying to himself.) Unfortunately, the vampire’s reason for leaving them was to help the Church make sure this war absolutely starts, and by the end of the book they’ve pretty much almost succeeded. While back on the Southern Continent, everyone is trying to assault an impregnable castle, and they will need to combine all their “in love with Allen and badass” powers to make it happen.

Tina, once again, gets some stuff to do but is not the focus, though that should change by the next book. The main narrator here, aside from Allen, is Lynne, who has always suffered a bit from being “smaller, more sensible Lydia”, and indeed her big spell is Firebird, only this one is not backed up by an ancient hard to control spell. Lynne, like the rest of the female cast, is mostly defined by “being in love with Allen”, and you get the sense they’re all doing this not so much to save the country as to not disappoint him. Caren also gets a lot to do here, and she and Lynne have a final confrontation against a smug Church kid, and Lynne, Caren and Tina are headed off to the City of Water for the next book. Stella is still suffering from Magical Plot Device Disease, but she’s better at being a general anyway. Only Ellie suffers, as it’s frankly clear that the story has outgrown her since Book One, but the author hasn’t the heart to get rid of her, as she’s simply too nice. (And clumsy, but only around Allen. The girls know how to abuse tropes in universe.)

So yes, after a huge arc, we’re getting another huge arc, as this war (or near war) is not ending anytime soon. If you enjoy watching girls beat the shit out of people and pine for a perfect guy, keep reading, you’ll get more of it.

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