My Magical Career at Court: Living the Dream After My Nightmare Boss Fired Me from the Mages’ Guild!, Vol. 4

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.

So, good news and bad news with this volume. The good news is that, mostly due to Luke being recovering in bed till the climax, there’s very little of the annoying pining going on. We get Noelle resolving the “he told me he loves me” cliffhanger at the start of this book, and she does it in the most Noelle way possible: “Oh, he totally means as a friend”. Unfortunately, in place of the tortured romance we get another one of THOSE nobles. You know, the ones that aren’t just evil but super duper evil with bells on. They murder, they blackmail, they poison, they rape, they’re pedophiles. I bet they also signed up for the Columbia House CD program without paying too. They’re so ludicrously bad it was almost distracting. But that’s the nature of these series, and no worries, once Noelle and Luke reunite, they’re basically unstoppable.

Despite what the cover shows, the subplot with Evangeline becoming Noelle’s bestest friend is only at the start of the book. It’s actually rather sweet, showing Evangeline as sort of a Yunyun type, who has no idea what friends actually do, so Noelle basically takes her out on a typical commoner day, eating, drinking, and having sleepovers. After this we get the more serious plot: the 3rd prince, who is 8 years old and has always been sickly, has been poisoned and is slowly dying. This is because the king is trying to have the nobles pay tax again, and the rich corrupt nobles object. Now Noelle, seconded to yet ANOTHER unit, must not only find a way to save the prince but also has to figure out the mole in their department who has been gathering evidence on the corrupt nobles and is trying to take matters into their own hands. Could it be the most obvious suspect?

Well, yes, it is the most obvious suspect. This is not a mystery, it’s a romantic suspense novel with comedic undertones. As such, Letitia is clearly going to get her tragic backstory now, though that’s less interesting than the fact that the relationship between Letitia and Gawain in school mirrors almost exactly the relationship between Luke and Noelle, and it’s also pretty clear there’s a romantic thing going on as well, which both are avoiding and which likely won’t happen as long as there’s “I need to lie in order to protect them” going on on both sides. Luke and Noelle don’t have that issue, but they may have a new issue carrying into Book 6: Luke’s attempts at getting Noelle by his side for good are upset by the Prince coming in and demanding that she move to HIS side. Everyone Wants Noelle. What can she do? Honestly, possibly continue to study as hard as possible to defeat her rival!

This remains great fun, and had some nice dramatic tension near the end. Just remember the Evil Noble Who Is Really Really Evil lurks within.

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