By a Twist of Fate, I’m Attending the Royal Academy in Disguise, Vol. 1

By Ringo and Tsukasa Satsuki. Released in Japan as “Wake Atte, Hensō Shite Gakuen ni Sennyū Shiteimasu” by PASH! Books. Released in North America by Cross Infinite World. Translated by Alex Castor.

I had talked about artifact titles only a couple of days ago, and this is an even better example: after the first forty pages, the title becomes totally incorrect, as this book does not take place at the academy at all beyond that point. Which makes sense: like the best LaLa titles, this started off as a complete in 40 pages short story, which was then expanded, and is now a volume, with a second one on the way. Despite that… yeah, she’s still not attending the royal academy. Oh well, I’ll happily read it anyway, because I like the main couple. We have a heroine (and yes, for once it’s not a villainess or fallen noble but is playing the cliche straight) who is straightforward and blunt and also perhaps doesn’t care enough about her well-being, and a royal prince who is far more similar to her than he’d like. But she’s a commoner, so they can’t marry. Certainly not with everything getting in her way this volume, at least…

As the title suggests, Cesia is at the Royal Academy pretending to be Selene Diane, a noble lady who is a bit of a bitch, and doesn’t want to deal with the bullying she’ll get from being engaged to the handsome lothario Lord Raymond Chaser, so Cesia has been there the last two years in her place. A pile of money awaits her at graduation… unless she’s working for evil nobles. Oh, no, she’s working for evil nobles! So, after escaping from her imprisonment, she resolves to attend graduation to try and get some revenge… even if she has no idea what it is. Then she runs into Marcus, the second :Prince, who not only is here to help her with her revenge but also seems very familiar… After this, the rest of the book plays out, which basically involves Cesia working for the government and ending up in constant life-threatening danger.

There are several interesting aspects of this book, but my favorite is probably Maria. Maria was an acquaintance of Cesia’s at the academy… and also turns out to be Prince Marcus, who can disguise himself to magic to be a woman. Despite discovering this, Cesia continues to see Maria and Marcus separately. Part of this is likely due to the fact that Marcus is royal and it’s easier to be more casual with Maria, but a lot of it is simply subconscious, Cesia is more comfortable with Maria. Which makes Marcus… feel a bit ambiguous. The rest of the book is not all that original (jealous younger sister who turns out to be a total sweetie pie, decadent nobility taking drugs, Cesia almost dying like 4 times…) and ends with a nasty cliffhanger, but Cesia is fun, and really needs some self-esteem. Marcus calls her a “stray cat”, never wanting to settle down, and he’s not far off, but he’s also ignoring his own lack of self-regard, as he’s not the heir.

The second volume is coming out relatively quickly, which is good. For those who like a bit of thriller in their commoner/noble romance.

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