Jordan Taylor

Out of this World
A translator reviews untranslated Japanese science fiction and fantasy books

The Maiden of the Book Sings Vol. 4

〈本の姫〉は謳う 4 ([Hon no Hime] ha Utau 4)

2023-12-11T18:16:12Z

Summary

The series comes to a close as Angus and friends set out to stop our big bad villain from destroying the world, while we learn in the process about the history that led to these events. Why did the woman in the book lose all her memories? What exactly are Spells? Why does this doll insist on following me around?

About the Author

Check out my previous reviews here and here to learn about the author, since nearly half this blog is about Ray Tasaki.

Review

I'm going to be honest, I should've written this review earlier. I just finished reading another book which had me sniffling at the end and I can't get it out of my head to actually write this review (don't worry, that book will also make it into the blog eventually). It's also difficult to write a meaty review about a book later in a series without giving out spoilers, so this one may end up rather short, but I will do my best.

This series overall hit on a lot of big themes, which is an aspect I really like about Tasaki's work, the ability to work in large social or political themes all while telling you a darn good story, and without letting the themes overshadow the story. This story takes a good look at racism and xenophobia, which I mentioned in earlier reviews of this series. There's also the freedom of the one pitted against the good of the many, and then the freedom of the one pitted against the good of the elite masquerading as the good of the many.

I did find this a satisfying end to the series. There was an appropriate amount of wrapping up balanced against potential for the future. This one was fairly action packed compared to some of the earlier books in the series, which I think works as everything is coming to a climax.

Overall, as Tasaki's first series, I found it very enjoyable. It didn't overstay its welcome by stretching itself out to even more volumes like some series do. Tasaki could have written a whole story arc for each Spell that needed to be collected, but they didn't, and it still didn't feel rushed. It felt like there was a greater story at play, more than just wandering around collecting Spells, and that story played out in a satisfying way in these four volumes.

Potential Translation Issues

As I mentioned earlier, I really should have written this review sooner. I don't remember anything. I mean, I don't remember any potential translation issues beyond what I've discussed in previous reviews for this series. So, yeah. That's that.

Final Ratings

How many stars? 4.5 out of 5 (for the whole series). It doesn't quite reach the heights of The Festival of Sparks, but it's still a great read.
Would I want to translate it? Definitely. Why doesn't Ray Tasaki exist in English yet?

Recent Articles

All 21 Articles

Follow me on Twitter to get updates when I post new reviews.