The Princess of Convenient Plot Devices, Vol. 5

By Mamecyoro and Mitsuya Fuji. Released in Japan as “Watashi wa Gotsugou Shugi na Kaiketsu Tantou no Oujo de aru” by B’s-LOG Bunko. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Sarah Moon.

As the afterword says, this is very much a “wrapping up the arc stuff that began in the previous book” type of story. Romance, for the most part, takes a back seat till the end, with the one exception (and possibly the funniest part of the book) where Octavia asks, in a written note, if Guy wants to be her fake boyfriend. Guy, who seems to be the only person who can obviously see how jealous Klifford gets of anyone who gets near Octavia, is understandably terrified at the suggestion, and makes the obvious suggestion as to who the perfect fake boyfriend would be. But Octavia cannot bring herself to do that – for some reason she can’t quite work out. It’s fitting, therefore, that at the end of the book Klifford also decides that he has no idea how he feels about Octavia except she’s like a weapon. These two broken dumbasses are going to take 15 more books to kiss.

The book features Octavia’s brilliant plan to smoke out the traitor, which involves going on a jaunt around the city and leaving really obvious openings for a traitor to attack, then relying on the prince’s well-trained bodyguards and her own (suspected traitor) Klifford to solve the problem. Astute readers who read the fourth volume will see the flaw in this plan. On the bright side, she gets to have a nice lunch with her friends, only slightly marred by someone dosing it with truth serum, and she also has a slight detour in order to meet her grandparents (who are *very* unhappy to see her) and ask some pointed questions… though it’s the answers to what she doesn’t ask that may be more important. Why is there a sibling no one wants to talk about? And does it tie into Sirius’ busted memories?

Last time I complained we didn’t really learn as much about Sirius as I wanted, but we’re definitely getting there. He seems to be fighting both deliberate brainwashing and a traumatic event in his past, and the dichotomy between the old Sirius and new Sirius is what actually ends up being the driving force behind the traitor, as well as the arc question “if you were given two conflicting orders, which would you obey?”. It’s pretty clear that the “good” Sirius is definitely on Octavia’s side, and would no doubt help her try to stop the way this kingdom runs, but the “bad” Sirius is being railroaded into the game plot, and Octavia interfering means that he distrusts and suspects her and everyone close to her. The scene at the very end between him and Klifford is the best scene in the book that isn’t funny, and really makes you want to read Book 6.

Fortunately, that book is out in a few months. This remains an entertaining thriller.

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