Ascendance of a Bookworm: I’ll Do Anything to Become a Librarian!, Part 5: Avatar of a Goddess, Vol. 7

By Miya Kazuki and You Shiina. Released in Japan as “Honzuki no Gekokujou: Shisho ni Naru Tame ni wa Shudan wo Erandeiraremasen” by TO Books. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by quof.

Covers always spoil of course, but this one perhaps spoils a bit more than most. That said, we were due. Given that Rozemyne keeps being engaged to various people, as well as the clear “we are each other’s destined forever” relationship she has with Ferdinand, keeping her looking nine years old forever is a non-starter. That said, this is only one of the huge things to happen in this book. The time for set up volumes is done, we’re now ready to fire off all the guns on the wall. Fourth year? What fourth year? Instead we get war, or “true ditter” as the book calls it, with Rozemyne being forced to choose between the life of one man and the fate of the entire kingdom and chooses the one man, because really what has the kingdom ever done for her? And honestly, she has a point. In other news, Letizia manages to pass Hannelore for “most unlucky person in the series”, though that naivete costs her a lot more.

The book starts off relatively normally. Rozemyne is headed back to school for her fourth year, and there’s a lot to do. She has to prepare for the move to the sovereignty, investigate the giant magic circle only she can see above the school, and of course get everyone to pass all their exams and get first in her year again. Sadly, that last one won’t happen, as while praying to the odd statue on the 2nd floor of the library, she is whisked away to meet the Gods. There she gets a book!… forced into her head, with so much knowledge that it’s painful. Worse, it’s not even the entire book – about 30% is with someone else. (Ferdinand. Come on, it’s Ferdinand, we all know.) In addition, after seeing that her “vessel” is far too tiny for all the mana she has, they get the God of Growth to give Rozemyne the body to match her age at last… which, unfortunately, means a lot of PAIN.

She gets back (yes, this is still a summary, it’s that kind of book) to find that the school year has come and gone without her (no first in class for her… heck, she may have to redo the year) and that Georgine’s plans are far more advanced than anyone realized. Everyone prepares to combat Georgine, but Rozemyne is mostly going to leave that to others. Then, um, Ferdinand is poisoned. And is slowly dying. And crying out to Rozemyne via a psychic link (we actually saw this before like 25 books ago, with Myne calling out to Lutz to save her, so kudos there) so that she knows exactly what’s going on. Now they have to go to war IMMEDIATELY, which means they need more manpower. Gosh, if only Rozemyne was best friends with a girl whose father was head of the most war-happy duchy around…

So yeah. It’s a lot. Oddly, despite the poisoning and general dire things going on, the Rozemyne sections are still the light-hearted part, if only as whenever we cut to someone else’s POV it’s much worse. Letizia is totally schnookered into being an attempted murderer, and might be executed, and she also essentially had the corpse of her closest ally thrown at her feet. Meanwhile, Detlinde is 100% OK with a foreign invasion as long as people continue to praise her and kowtow to her, though she perhaps is unaware that it’s all massively phony. (Her attendant isn’t, but sorry attendant, pretty sure you are also going to die by the end of this.) And then there’s Ferdinand, who still expects Rozemyne to have the common sense of this world, and also have an ounce of romance in her body, and she has neither of these things. Consciously, at least. Even if you don’t ship them, you have to feel bad for him.

Next time, TO WAR! Bookmaking will be taking a back seat for a while. Also, this series may end with Rozemyne as the supreme ruler of everyone. Be afraid.

Ascendance of a Bookworm: I’ll Do Anything to Become a Librarian!, Part 5: Avatar of a Goddess, Vol. 6

By Miya Kazuki and You Shiina. Released in Japan as “Honzuki no Gekokujou: Shisho ni Naru Tame ni wa Shudan wo Erandeiraremasen” by TO Books. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by quof.

This is another Bookworm volume that’s more relaxed and peaceful than others. The last book promised a huge upheaval in Rozemyne’s life, and this volume is all about how that upheaval is going to affect everyone around her. Its pretty much got everything you’d want in a Bookworm volume… well, OK, there’s a long, long, extended story told from Detlinde’s point of view. That was nightmarish to read. But other than that. The most amusing thing about the volume is the fact that everyone knows that something is going to happen soon to knock everything off the rails, because Rozemyne’s life is a series of such events. They have a year till she moves to the Sovereignty, those she employs have three years… but they’re all preparing to move at a moment’s notice because bad things always happen to this girl. Admittedly, she always makes them into good things, but that is beside the point.

Returning from the Archduke’s Conference, there’s a lot to discuss, namely how Rozemyne is moving to the Sovereignty in one year’s time. She’ll need servants, but not all of them can go with her, and Ehrenfest can’t lose ALL the people attached to her. So some folks have to choose whether to stay or go, which is made more difficult by the fact that Rozemyne, who is trying to be considerate, is not making her own feelings very clear. Meanwhile, she’s managed to save Ferdinand for now, at least, and proceeds to send him enormously valuable paper, and he sends her piles and piles of gifts in return, along with a letter that even asks, in obscure noble language, “do you like me in a romantic way?”. Rozemyne being the glorious asexual hamster that she is, does not understand this at all. (Yes, I know, Rozemyne’s asexuality will last exactly until the author decides to have her be attracted to Ferdinand, but let me have this for now.)

There’s a lot of great stuff happening here. Wilfried, given everything that’s been going on around him, and his low point in the last two books, took things a lot better than I expected. The scene with the four siblings having a tea party was marvelous, and it was amusing seeing Charlotte and Rozemyne trying to one-up one another in praise. Elvira and Rozemyne also had a long heart-to-heart, and we get a better understanding of just how AWFUL everything was in Ehrenfest before Hurricane Rozemyne arrived a good 20 or so books ago. Of course, there’s still some ominous rumblings going on – the aforementioned Detlinde story is a walking collapsing disaster, and Sylvester’s story basically has to have him talk his way out of a cleverly engineered trap (probably by Georgina, let’s face it). So yeah, even we don’t think everything will go smoothly in a year’s time.

Next tie we’re back to the academy, but no one cares, because if you look at the cover for the next book in the series… it’s finally happening! Join us for literal character growth.

Ascendance of a Bookworm: I’ll Do Anything to Become a Librarian!, Part 5: Avatar of a Goddess, Vol. 5

By Miya Kazuki and You Shiina. Released in Japan as “Honzuki no Gekokujou: Shisho ni Naru Tame ni wa Shudan wo Erandeiraremasen” by TO Books. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by quof.

If you go to Pixiv and look at fanart of the Bookworm series (please god set your setting to all ages), you will find that a good 90% of it is Rozemyne/Ferdinand shipping. If you go to AO3 to look for Bookworm fanfics, you will likewise see that 90% of it is shipping Rozemyne with Ferdinand. And, I assume, if the idea of the ship really bothers you, you’ve probably already dropped the series. And in this book we see that it’s not just fans of this fictional universe: all the nobles see it. Rozemyne and Ferdinand are far too close. The books have basically has as a major selling point that we see Rozemyne’s view of a thing, and then frequently get the noble view, showing how incredibly wrong or off base she is. She’s not a great narrator in the “truth” sense. And we see that here as well – only Rozemyne is in denial about this, saying that Ferdinand is like family, and that she’d do the same for other members of her family. Uh-huh.

The bulk of this book is taken up with the Archduke’s Conference, which normally would not involve Rozemyne, but she’s there to do blessings. She’s also sent to the underground archive, along with Hannelore and Hildebrand, to translate the writing there. Unfortunately, this means that she’s there when Detlinde stops by to essentially Detlinde all over the library, so she and the others have to hide. They do so by essentially sneaking out the back of the library and into a forested area, where they find a small, unlooked-after shrine. Rozemyne being who she is, she immediately cleans it, then goes to see what’s inside… and gets sucked into the shrine. What she finds is that she’s a potential Zent candidate and she gets a clue for finding the magic doodad that will automatically grand power to whoever finds it.

There’s no getting around it, this is a much darker book than the last few have been. Leaving aside the final story in the volume, which seems to imply we’re about to have a supporting cast member be horribly murdered, there’s everything about Rozemyne being a Zent candidate. The problem being that she’s not a royal. And this leads to bad things happening to her and Ehrenfest. Anastasius and Eglantine, two royals she thought were her friends, show how little that friendship really means when the fate of the nation is at stake. Her marriage to Wilfried is annulled, which does not bother her at all, but now she’s engaged to Sigiswald, which is bad because, as Adolphine already knows, he’s a terrible human being. And she has to leave Ehrenfest, who initially are supposed to just accept it and suffer, though thankfully Rozemyne’s inner Benno rises to the fore and she gets some concessions. This whole book is a game-changer, and the game is getting more dangerous.

And, as noted above, there is Ferdinand, who at least is no longer in danger of being executed for failing to contain the disaster that is Detlinde. Will he show up in the next book? Probably. And will Rozemyne stop looking nine years old? Probably not just yet.