本好きの下剋上: Volume 4+ discussion thread

Just finished volume 19.

Volumes 17-19 spoilers

Volume 17 was pretty good, but 18 and 19 were both fantastic. Probably the best part of the three volumes was the battle against the ターニスベファレン in volume 18. Of course the introduction of the third prince and the stuff with the 聖典 and what it means to be qualified to be king really shook things up.

I still think ローゼマイン has to end up in the 中央 in the final arc for the story to progress, but now there are more ways it could happen than I originally considered. Guess I’ll see soon enough.

I was debating internally whether to take a break here or rush to finish volumes 20 and 21 before the new Advanced Book Club book begins. But I think I have enough time to read them without rushing too much, so I’m going to do that. After that I will probably take another long break and read a bunch of other stuff I have 積読’ed.

Not to mention, I need to decide whether it’s even worth buying the books in arc 5 as opposed to reading the free narou version. Main reason being that I’ve stopped reading the “bonus” chapters because they went from “boring” to “boring with spoilers”, and for much of arc 4 even the prologues and epilogues have been more like recaps and/or also increased the risk of spoilers. The downsides to switching are the lack of pictures and the lack of ability (I think?) to read on my kindle, the latter of which might be a big enough reason to still buy them (even if I end up skipping a bunch of each book). @Naphthalene I’ll probably reach back out once I finish arc 4 to find out how to navigate narou in a way that avoids spoilers to compare for myself. You did say that the writing quality was still pretty good on narou, right? Were there any quality or continuity issues that I’d need to worry about if I switch?

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The writing was fine. I remember comparing the two around volume 24-ish. That being said, the author is going through the whole thing and editing, rewriting, or extending some parts. However, it doesn’t really change the content of the story (but I’m glad that it shows that the author cares, as opposed to some authors whose series were published as is).
There’s one (major?) thing that changed in arc 2, and the old version gets mentioned briefly during arc 5 on narou… It’s not important at this point, though.
Except for the extra characterization of some secondary characters, I don’t think you would be missing much. In fact, the pacing felt slightly better on the online version (since it’s shorter and interlude chapters do not have to be artificially moved at the end of a book).
I’m just reading both versions because I want more 本好き.

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Shorter because of the lack of “extending some parts” that you mentioned above?

You say interlude chapters artificially “moved” at the end of a book. Do you mean “added”? Or are there some kind of interlude chapters from time to time within the online version?

And the lack of extra chapters.

Some were in the web version. They are labeled as 閑話. In the web version, there’s a specific event that is written from the point of view of a different character, which worked very well. In the published version, we get to see that part from the main character’s point of view instead, while the part from the other character’s point of view got extended (to add context) and moved to the end of the volume. Not a fan.

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Ah, interesting. I would have preferred to have those viewpoints during the main story as well. I’ll have to go looking in narou (after I finish arc 4) to see some examples of the 閑話.

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Here’s one from Arc 3, volume 9

In this specific instance, I think the pacing of the published version was better, showing only her point of view and the results, and having the part I linked at the end of the volume.

… maybe I just like the version I read first.

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Yeah I remember that section. Seems like in the web version the two views were back to back, which maybe wouldn’t work as well. I count a total of 45 閑話 from my browser search, though I guess most of them are probably still the arc transitions.

This is a page for the PDF version from narou. Can you confirm that this covers the entire series? If so I may see if I can convert it to a format I can load onto my kindle. (Or rather, even if I can load the PDF directly, I’d want a form with selectable words for dictionary lookups.)

タテ書き小説ネット - 本好きの下剋上 ~司書になるためには手段を選んでいられません~

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Oh, that’s interesting. I didn’t know about that kind of pdf conversion.

I had a quick look. It seems to contain everything, but you also get the comments from the author at the end of each chapter (I guess you can easily skip those, though). Also, I hope the format fits your kindle, because it seems like it would be a pain to change it (but maybe there are settings on the webpage, I didn’t check).

I’ve got an epub of the WN that goes through Part 5, Chapter 217 which I think is the end, if you want it? I haven’t read it myself but it looks complete (and is 11,670 page flips in my phone’s e-reader :joy:)

:tada:

That seems to be on the web version too. Just maybe a bit more obvious in the PDF format.

From a quick search, it seems like Kindle supports PDF, but not for Japanese. In theory Calibre can convert this to another format, but it doesn’t seem to be working from a quick test.

Sure, if you don’t mind. :slight_smile: From a quick check, 217 chapters sounds right, so it’s probably everything. Thanks!

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I put it in my Google drive for ease of sharing

Bookworm WN delete later - Google Drive

I’ll delete the folder in a week or so. Anyone with the link should have access in the meantime but let me know if it’s not working.

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Got it, thanks so much!

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Volume 20

This volume had some not-so-good parts (e.g. all the stuff with the stupid fish; reminded me of the terrible cooking chapter from the first volume), but overall it was really great. フェルディナンド having to leave for アーレンスバッハ was not the twist I was expecting from the 領主会議. (I was expecting something impacting ローゼマイン more directly.)

This led to the revelations about フェルディナンド which were really interesting. I’ll admit that it was really hard to follow at times, though I think I got most of the important points. The most important thing I’m still fuzzy about is whether or not フェルディナンド is actually related to ジルヴェスター. My understanding was that フェルディナンド was born to some 王族 father and a mother who was some royalty or nobility from another country that occasionally sends a woman to ユルゲンシュミット, but was taken in by the former エーレンフェスト 領主. In which case, he’s not actually related by blood to ジルヴェスター. If that’s correct, I think it draws a really nice parallel with what happened to マイン. Both taken from their families and made part of the エーレンフェスト 領主一族, just from the opposite direction.

I think this was the first mention of another country, but I’m not surprised. Each arc has expanded the scope of the world, and now that we’ve had a whole arc interacting with a bunch of other 領地 I was expecting it to expand to another country in some way. Guess I’ll find out whether it expands like that or not eventually (maybe as soon as next volume I suppose).

I also felt these private scenes with フェルディナンド and ローゼマイン were the most emotional scenes since the dream sequence in volume 5 and マイン saying goodbye to her family in volume 7.

I’ll take a day or two off from reading, then I’ll start on volume 21.


Volume 3 scene, but some later volume discussion

Also, I was looking back at volume 3 to reread a specific scene, and I really didn’t understand certain things back then. Through reading the entire second arc and even part of the third arc, I didn’t really understand what the 領地 and 領主 were relative to a whole country. In my mind, ジルヴェスター was the top political person until I understood the setting better. So I didn’t even realize until just now when I reread a scene from volume 3 that the 中央, 政変, and 粛清 were all mentioned that far back. It’s really wild to think about how much foreshadowing there was.

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Volume 20

No no, the mother was one of the wives of the ツェント (making her by definition 王族) and she indeed came from a different country. However, if you remember way back in arc 1 or early arc 2, ベンノ (I think? memory is a bit fuzzy) mentioned that one of the wives of the former ツェント got in trouble for sleeping around, trying to get kids with extremely high magic power. Actually, I think that was mentioned again this time around? Not sure. Anyway, male 領主 are basically the strongest in the country, in terms of magic, barring 王族, sooo, yeah, you know.
At first I thought “well, how does she know he is the father, then?”, but since kids have similar magic to their parents, I guess it’s somewhat easy to check? In any case, I see no reason why he (the father) would have accepted to take フェルディナンド along if he wasn’t his son.

I cried.

Oh! I think that’s the discussion where they talk about フェルディナンド’s mother as well! At least, I think that’s the one I had in mind.

Volume 20

I do not remember that conversation about the wife sleeping around. I tried searching, but I’m not really sure what to search for… Searching for 姫 and 夫人 in the first two arcs yielded nothing (and appear too frequently in arc 3 and beyond to even check the hits in those volumes). Do you have any idea how to find that scene? If you have a term for me to search with (non-spoilery of course) or find it yourself, let me know.

Either way, your explanation certainly makes sense. I agree it would have been weird for the エーレンフェスト 領主 to take in フェルディナンド otherwise, but I wasn’t sure if there was just more to be revealed later. So thanks for the clarifications.

Oh, and I forgot to say in my original post, but this origin also explains why フェルディナンド is so powerful. He did feel like an outlier this whole time, but now it makes sense.

(I don’t think I’ve seen the term ツェント yet by the way.)

Well if that’s what you had in mind, I think you accidentally spoiled a (probably minor) thing from arc 5. Because I reread much of that scene and didn’t see anything like this, nor would there have been a reason to mention any of this based on the context. ベンノ was basically just explaining why the 神殿 is in a tough situation in terms of personnel, because of the political purge resulting in members of the 神殿 being brought back into the 貴族 world. I’ll read it again more thoroughly later though just in case…

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Discussion ctnd

It took forever, but I found the part I was talking about. It’s in volume 13, so MUCH later than I remembered, and it’s actually フェルディナンド who says it.
The sentence is 「少しでも魔力の高い子が欲しいと色々な男と浮名を流した王女だ。」 but based on the context, I think he is actually talking about a different person than his mother. Well… it still makes sense, since they have the same goal of making children with as much magic as possible (and won’t be involved in politics anyway).

… seriously? That can’t be right. It’s just the title of the king, the same way that アウブ is used for 領主 and ギーべ for the ~爵. I guess there’s no need to use it without meeting the king, but still, I would assume that it shows up somewhere?
I just checked with the pdf and no, it first shows up really late. Again, no idea why… but at the same time, it’s not really a spoiler.

It’s the scene I had in mind, but not the discussion I had in mind. No worries!

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Yeah, it’s quite amazing, the writer clearly had a very crisp idea of the entire world before writing anything at all. One of my favorite example:

Volume 16

In volume 1(!), Myne describe the building she is living in as having the first few stories built in some sort of white stone, but the upper stories made of wood. It become relevant in volume 16, when they renovate the lower city, because we learn that only the first stories are built by the archduke with foundation magic and the rest was built by the commoners themselves.

Also, one of the thing that bothered me while reading part 1/2 got perfectly explained in part 5, in a way that made clear it was true all along.

Edit:

English translation detail

One of the interesting choice of the English translation is to translate right from the start 王 or 王様 by ‘Zent’. Maybe a bit less flavorful, but also less confusing than the Japanese that start to drop ツェント quite late.

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