Sexiled: My Sexist Party Leader Kicked Me Out, So I Teamed Up With a Mythical Sorceress!, Vol. 1

By Ameko Kaeruda and Kazutomo Miya. Released in Japan as “Onna dakara, to Party wo Tsuihou Sareta no de Densetsu no Majo to Saikyou Tag wo Kumimashita” by Overlap. Released in North America digitally by J-Novel Club. Translated by Molly Lee.

There is a variety of stories seen, mostly on television, that are described as “ripped from the headlines”. You take a current real-life story and fictionalize it in order to craft a good drama. you rarely see that extend into the field of fantasy light novels, but in this case the book was definitely inspired by a real life event: the discovery that Tokyo University (and others) were fudging medical exam results to admit fewer women into medical school, ostensibly as they believed they’d just get married and become housewives anyway. This news surprised a lot of people who had not been paying attention to the inherent sexism in women’s everyday lives. And so this author decided to write a version of the story where a harried and underpaid mage, kicked out of her party by her “childhood friend” Ryan for being a woman, ends up getting her revenge. And it is a glorious revenge, make no mistake.

Tanya is furious at the actions of her smug party leader Ryan, and decides to blow off steam by going to a nearby deserted area and throwing off a few Explosion spells. Doing so wakes up a woman called Laplace, a legendary sorceress who had been sealed away for three hundred years until Tanya woke her up. Tanya is actually a fantastic mage, and Laplace can actually “change her class” (via kissing – there is a bit of yuri in this), making her an even more powerful Magi-Knight. Given that Laplace is already super-powerful in her own right, the two form a tag team to take on Ryan and his party in the upcoming tournament. OK, they may be a bit TOO overpowered, so they also take on the guild secretary Nadine, a level 3 healer whose stats help the party to average out… though she has secrets of her own. Will Tanya get her revenge? Or… will she realize that revenge is not really what she’s after?

Hell yes, she gets her revenge. This book is a marvel from start to finish if you are sick of men and their smug sexist attitudes. Tanya may be filled with rage and anger at Ryan and society, but is otherwise a relatively happy and fun person. Laplace is wonderful, combining the “airhead” personality with a bit of the ancient wisdom that she has, and also leads to the best translated gag from the book, where Tanya gives her the nickname “Stone Cold Stunner”, which she loves, and proceeds to use all the time. There is a scene that mirrors the medical school scandal as a young girl Tanya had been tutoring in magic finds that the local Mage school doctors its scores so that there are fewer women – this gets taken care of fast. And then there’s Tanya’s fight with Ryan near the end of the book, which I don’t want to spoil but is simply magnificent.

There’s a second book in the series, and we do see a few plotlines that could be used going forward, mostly involving the royal mage Maxwell, who is as old as Laplace and also the one who sealed her away. I also want to see more of the other characters – I liked Katherine, introduced to us as Ryan’s girlfriend and the replacement for Tanya in the party, she quickly learns what he’s really like and becomes much more sympathetic after being shown some basic kindness by Nadine. More to the point, I loved the writing in this book, filled with great humor, telling observations about the sexism in everyday life, and a wonderful female power fantasy that does not particularly concern itself with being “fair and balanced”. I quoted liberally from it on my Twitter feed, and could easily have done three times as much. This book will put a big grin on your face and make you pump your fist in the air.