Despite being reborn into a whole new world with thrilling things like magic and monsters, Rudeus is content living a quiet life with the people he cares about. That’s upended when his father ties him up and ships him off to earn his school tuition. The gig is simple on paper: teach a young girl math, reading, and such. But, because fate likes being funny, it turns out his new pupil is a wrathful creature out to tear him limb from limb—his second cousin.
The Not-Really Irony:
In order to convince his cousin that basic math and reading aren’t lame, Rudeus stages a kidnapping, but then his fake kidnapping ends up being a real kidnapping. I loved this twist of fate, but the story was too nervous just letting events play out as an ironic coincidence, so it just says the butler did it. It’s hardly much of a difference story-wise, but it was a let-down knowing that the side characters weren’t scrambling off-scene shouting, “They weren’t supposed to get kidnapped for real!!”
The Effortless Worldbuilding:
A slice of time is put into building up the world, which I respect, but the book gets rather lazy when it comes to the niceties. There’re eight languages, for instance, but they’re all called X God Tongue, X standing in for whatever fantasy character trope was pulled from a hat. The book even ends with a story about a territory numerous countries are constantly at war over, which sounds neat in concept, but it doesn’t establish what anyone would want with that patch of dirt.
This series is unabashed with its depictions of sex, which I am all for. Rudeus in one scene walks in on his great-uncle railing one of the maids. What I’m not all for is everybody trying to hook Rudeus up with his cousin. She’s twelve. He even comments on how he would impregnate her if they slept together. He’s ten. Buddy, at that age, you can’t even get it up, and if you somehow managed to, you’re shooting blanks.
A good read overall, just some sticking points with details. Save for the kidnapping, the pacing’s a touch on the slow side, but the story makes up for it by dropping an out-of-nowhere bomb on the city and calling it a volume.