My Magical Career at Court: Living the Dream After My Nightmare Boss Fired Me from the Mages’ Guild!, Vol. 3

By Shusui Hazuki and necomi. Released in Japan as “Black Madōgushi Guild o Tsuihō Sareta Watashi, Ōkyū Majutsushi to Shite Hirowareru: White na Kyūtei de, Shiawase na Shinseikatsu o Hajimemasu! ” by SQEX Novels. Released in North America by J-Novel Heart. Translated by Mari Koch.

It’s always tricky for romance writers when they introduce other potential partners who might get in the way of the destined couple, because you always worry that the reader will actually like them better than your end pairing and just get annoyed. And while I haven’t really minded Luke in the previous two books, I must admit the longer he’s gone without saying anything, the further down he’s fallen (even his “confession” here is a classic “I’m talking in my sleep” variety). We get a cool new partner for Noelle and Luke, and he bonds immediately with her, also being someone who was hated by everyone but got where he was through hard work and gumption. He’s not the problem – I’m not even sure he was meant to be a rival. No, the problem is the incredibly powerful elf queen who has just discovered Noelle and has decided that they are going to be BEST FRIENDS! Yuri? (no. But I can dream.)

Noelle is now a gold ranked magician, and she’s not going to let any wacky clumsy girl anime fall ruin her moment. Well, she is a bit. Now she and Luke are off to the World Magic Championships, where their country has always struggled. She ends up being paired against powerhouses who will destroy her right from the start. And yet… she keeps winning. She wins by casting faster. She wins by coming up with new magic theory on the fly. And she also wins by punching and headbutting her opponent when all else fails. (We don’t actually see this in detail, which is my biggest complaint with the book.) But it’s when she’s attacked by a group of skilled assassins that she starts to realize: someone wants to stop her getting far in the tournament… even if they have to kill her.

After two books of Noelle having low self-esteem because of her old job from hell and having to get used to everyone thinking she’s the bee’s knees, here we see that there are still plenty of people who hate her. Or rather, they hate that she’s a filthy commoner. Yes, evil nobles are still evil nobles no matter what the light novel is, and these are the usual. How dare they not know their place, if things are decided by merit we’ll lose power and privilege, etc. Fortunately, there are some mages who do still love Noelle, including the most powerful mage in the world, who has spent the past twelve years studying time magic (which Noelle almost duplicates in about two DAYS), and also the aforementioned elf, who has spent a thousand years being raised to lead the elves and never have any fun, and is now rebelling. She thinks Noelle is AMAZING. She’s the best part of the book, and I’m very happy she’s on the cover of the next one.

That said, the love interest is still Luke. Will Noelle finally figure out that he loves her from his saying “I love you, Noelle” in his sleep? Signs point to no. Good stuff regardless.

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