Title: Record of Wortenia War #2
Author: Ryota Hori
Format: Light Novel
Ryoma may have been pulled into another world, but he’s determined to make his own way. When a scheme pulls his party into taking the fall for one side in a civil war, Ryoma determines to join the opposition in revenge. If he can help Princess Lupis win, he can use her authority to press his case against the instigator. All it will take is some strategic thinking and some good allies—neither of which Princess Lupis currently possesses.
This is the start of the first major arc for the series, and there’s a lot going on. Even before the civil war shows up, schemes and factions are everywhere. I like that none of the sides are easy to pigeonhole: Lupis may be the legitimate heir, but this is really a fight between someone on the noble’s faction and someone in the knights faction who are both using a figurehead to advance their own bid for the throne. And although each side has its adherents, there’s a significant fraction of the country that’s trying to play a wait-and-see game or just stay out of the mess entirely.
Ryoma is a newcomer to all of this, but that outside perspective may be more of a help than a hindrance. Lupis is smarter than her aides, but she’s no political animal, and her closest aides are blind loyalists who think everyone should help out of the goodness of their hearts. Ryoma, who understands profit is a better motivation than patriotism, is a much better match against the ambitious men working to undermine Lupis.
Overall this is the point where the story really starts diverging from traditional light novel plots, and it’s where the series starts getting good. The book does end right in the middle of things, so it would be a good idea to have the next one handy. I rate this book Recommended.