本好きの下剋上: Volume 4+ discussion thread

An offshoot of the Advanced Book Club

This thread is for arcs 2 and later. If you haven’t finished volumes 1-3 (first arc), have a look at the 本好きの下剋上 Home Thread

Welcome to the general discussion thread for volume 4+


Discussion Rules

  • Feel free to discuss anything and everything related to the story.
  • Please hide spoilers with either a spoiler tag:

[spoiler]like this[/spoiler] which looks like that

          or in a details block

This text will be hidden

(Spoiler for volume -1, chapter 8) Example; click to expand

You are now spoiled.

  • If discussing something from the web version, provide the chapter number (and possibly a rough estimate of volume number for future proofing).
  • Also, remember that events in the web version may be altered in the published version.

Progress tracking

Because everybody likes polls
Currently reading:

  • Not reading
  • 1-3 (arc 1)
  • 4-7 (arc 2)
  • 8-12 (arc 3)
  • 13-21 (arc 4)
  • 22+ (arc 5)
  • Done!

0 voters


I could be wrong (since I’m not looking closely to avoid spoilers), but AniList says arc 4 is 9 books long. Are you sure it’s 13-20 and not 13-21?

Also, maybe rename the home thread to say that it’s for volumes 1-3 or something?

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Thanks! You are right.
I have the cover of volume 21 in mind (because I love it), but I keep thinking for some reason that it is volume 20 :thinking: Anyway, fixed!

It’s still the home thread. There’s a link to this thread in there, just after the other links to weekly discussion threads.

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I guess I should post my updates here from now on. Though I might still just post in the 多読 thread instead. This topic might end up with too many spoilers for my taste, just like the home thread.

Right now I’m up to book 8 (start of arc 3), but I haven’t started yet. Taking a break to read other things and to catch up on studying vocab from books 6 and 7. I expect to start book 8 in May-ish, depending on whether the other books I read keep my interest.

Speaking of amazing covers, I love the one from volume 11. It just looks so cool!


Haha, you are playing with fire!
But anyway, I really like the art in this series in general.
From arc 3, my favorite is probably volume 9. (cover spoiler?)That’s one massive book

That’s possible, but you are ahead of almost everyone else, so I feel like you’ll be safe :thinking:
I swear I will properly tag my posts.

All of arc 3 is on my wishlist so I can quickly check for sales. Not ideal to see the covers ahead of time, but oh well. When I do buy these I will definitely not be adding arc 4 books to my wishlist right away this time! Too easy to accidentally see the arc subtitle ahead of time. As you and I have both experienced, that results in major spoilers!

Uh huh. Suuure.


Volume 26 is heeeeeere!
Sadly, it only covers half the content I hoped it would, but that (hopefully?) means there’s more content!


I apologize in advance. This got ridiculously long! I’ve tried to break it up with hidden sections for each book (spoilers indicated for each volume). So if you’re interested in some excited typing about 本好きの下克上, there’s no shortage below. :joy:

After not reading any books for a while (unless you include some manga for clubs), I finally decided to get back to reading books. I had stopped reading entirely in the fall because RL got too busy, but for some reason it was really hard to start reading again. There were a couple of book clubs I wanted to participate in, but that didn’t end up happening. I think I started reading 容疑者Xの献身 like 4 or 5 times. The intro was actually interesting, but I kept thinking, “Ahhh, I don’t really feel like reading this now” and then I would put it down only to try reading the same part again the next day.

I finally decided to read 本好きの下克上 volume 3 since I left off around a quarter of the way through in November. I had enjoyed the series so far, so I thought it would be easier to start reading something I knew I liked. I had forgotten a lot of what was going on and had to start over a bit, but this ended up being a really good idea because I finished volume 3 over the course of a few weeks, and then read all of volume 4 in one week. It was my favorite so far! At this time, I’m not sure if I’m going to participate in any book clubs. I will probably read 本好きの下克上 until I feel like reading something else. I have up through volume 8, and I’m really just happy to be reading again, especially when it’s this fun.

Volume 3 (no spoilers here)

I was really bummed when I got about 60% of the way through volume 3 and realized the last 40% or so was just side stories. I wish they mixed up at least a couple of the side stories with the main story, so it isn’t so disappointing when you get to the end, especially when it’s the end of an arc (the agony!). All I wanted to know was what was going to happen next, so getting through all of the side stories felt like such a slog. I took so many breaks when reading them. It probably took me longer to read the last 40% than it did the first 60%. I seriously considered skipping them (for a moment at least) but ended up powering through eventually.

Volume 4 (spoilers blurred)

Starting volume 4 was so exciting, and I loved the whole book. It was by far my favorite out of the volumes I’ve read so far. This was probably the fastest I’ve read a book of this length in Japanese. When compared to the prior volumes, I felt like the story really moved along and it didn’t get bogged down in anything. There was a lot more focus on character growth and interaction, as well as learning more about the 貴族 part of the world.

Thar be volume 4 spoilers! :skull_and_crossbones:

I was rather surprised that 神殿長 hardly showed up at all. I was constantly expecting him to be conniving in the background about something, especially once マイン became 孤児院長, but he never reappeared (aside from being mentioned occasionally by デリア). I thought for sure there would be more of a fuss about the トロンベ in the courtyard (wouldn’t there have been トロンベ pieces around?). It seemed weird that 神官長 never delved any further. I would have thought that a tree spontaneously sprouting up through flagstones in the courtyard would have obviously been トロンベ. It made me wonder if トロンベ weren’t familiar to nobles, or if maybe 神官長 himself doesn’t get out much. It didn’t really seem like he was intentionally playing dumb, but he is rather secretive.

I also felt a little suspicious of the fact that no one had ever noticed the タウ —> トロンベ —> 魔術具 substitution possibility before. No kid with even a little bit of magic ability had ever once participated in what seemed to be a super popular festival? Hmmmmmmmmm.

Volume 5 (all spoilers all the time – almost everything blurred)

Everything I remembered about the first part of the book flew out the window because of the second part, and the developments with the 騎士団 and 神官長. I had suspicions that 神官長 might be more important than he appeared because of his relatively young age and higher status position within the 神殿, but I was even more convinced (and really surprised) when it was revealed that he received the memory 魔術具 directly from the 領主. It seems highly unlikely that someone would ask for and receive permission from the 領主 to use what appears to be a valuable magical item without high-level connections, even if he does harbor suspicious about マイン. 神官長 had also mentioned that he received permission from the 領主 to allow マイン to be admitted as a 青色巫女見習い. That didn’t strike me as odd when I initially read it because it was an unprecedented decision, but it does make me wonder now.

Also, when 神官長 told the 騎士団 members that she was under his protection, I thought he was drawing on some political power as 神官長, but now I’m wondering if his family is actually much more important, possibly with close connections to the 領主. I also felt like there might be possessive implications that could be understood from his declaration of protection. The 騎士団 members only became intensely interested in マイン after her display of power, and based on all of the political happenings (and the fact that magical power is largely inherited from the mother) it seems obvious that they would want to either marry her or make her a concubine (not sure if those exist in this world) to make little baby magicians. If he is protecting her from their ambitions, it seems that he would then be implying that he (or his family) is staking a claim on her. Their immediate concession to his declaration implies that either he or his family is important. The position of 神官長 doesn’t seem especially prominent, so now I’m wondering if it’s family or other close connections.

I’m continually surprised that 神殿長 hasn’t appeared again. He’s apparently just a gossipy co-worker now? :thinking:

Onward to volume 6!


(Volume 5 spoilers all the time)

Laughs maniacally
But also, remember that, when he faces シキコーザ (by the way, fun fact! The author said that name came from 雑魚騎士 read backward), フェルディナンド asks “who is the highest ranked noble here?” And the answer is “フェルディナンド様”. So, regardless of his current status, he definitely has political power :wink:

Only commoners take part in the festival. Kids with even a little bit of magic ability are 身喰い who are not running around in the streets.

They do! (:frowning: )That’s what will happen to フリーダ ones she becomes adult as part of her contract. I think it’s first mentioned in volume 2. So, yeah, one of the objectives of フェルディナンド for マイン right now to avoid her becoming just a baby-popping machine.


I’m so excited for you! :grin:

I’m stuck on volume 4 because something about the characters got confusing for me, so I feel like I have to reread some parts before I can continue. I read the spoiler you wrote about volume 4 and now I want to continue reading it sooner rather than later! (I’m a bit busy with RL stuff and other books, so haven’t gotten around to it yet.)

Hope you have fun and enjoy volume 6! (I have no idea what it is about yet though :joy: )


Every volume has two side stories, and I agree that those are often boring and I want to skip them about half the time. But most of the “side stories” at the end of volume 3 are actually relevant for moving the plot forward. This seems to be the case at the end of each arc, as the end of arc two was the same way. Many important (and mostly interesting) “side stories” and then the two usual unimportant/boring ones.

All that said, it is kind of awkward reaching the climax of the book with so much left!


I guess when I initially read that it didn’t strike me as high enough political power that he would be on a regular conversation and 魔術具 borrowing basis with the 領主. He was also wearing a blue cloak instead of a yellow cloak, which seemed significant, but was unexplained. I initially thought it was because he was 神官長, but that last section has me wondering if it’s instead related to his status outside of the 神殿.

That makes sense. I couldn’t remember what フリーダ’s status would be and whether she would be considered a concubine or a (better-treated) slave. I guess realistically the distinction might not be that important since she still has limited autonomy depending on the contract they negotiated, but in a society like this I would expect a concubine to have a higher standing than a slave.

At any rate, I understand why you had so much fun reading this. I’m really enjoying it! I keep checking Amazon to see if any of the later volumes go on sale. If they do, I’m buying them all. :partying_face:

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If you have questions or want to talk something through for clarification, I’m sure the people here who have read volume 4 would be happy to help (I would)! When you have time, I definitely encourage you to continue. Even after reading volume 5, volume 4 was still my favorite. I seem to recall @seanblue finding volume 6 (?) somewhat tedious, so we’ll see how it goes from here.


No, I found volume 5 (other than the last few chapters) to be tedious. Volumes 6 and 7 were amazing.


Well, that’s great to hear! I was worried volume 6 was going to be slow. I can understand your complaint about volume 5 then. Compared to volume 4 there was a lot more business/food sidetracking.


She will have the concubine status, as per the contract. There were talks about her becoming 3rd wife, but then her kids would be legitimate nobles, which was an issue. She will have her own shop as well, and be mostly independent except for some regular err duties.

I guess I can’t say more than that you’ll have answers to your other points :sweat_smile:
Does that count as spoilers in itself?

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It can. :eyes:

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I’m fine with oblique spoiler implications, but I know not everyone is.

Comments on the first part of volume 6 (spoilers up to about ~25%):

The prologue of volume 6 is the first time I felt like 神官長 was actually approachable. He has been relatively prim and responsible, but when カルステッド was talking to him he got defensive and a little embarrassed, which made him seem so much nicer, like he is working to protect マイン because he likes her and not just because she could be a political asset. And then later when he was helping マイン feel less lonely/homesick by giving her hugs, I was like awwwwwwwww (:smiling_face_with_three_hearts:). Also, I totally expected there to be more シキコーザ, but he was given an offstage death (:scream:). I felt like the family got their honor back relatively cheaply for half a robe.


My kindle is currently showing an ad saying “Buy 本好き volume 8!” :eyes:


Well you should definitely follow that advice. :sunglasses: