The countries of Mephius and Garbera have been waging a war for ten years and are trying to put an end to this long fight through a political marriage between the two royal families.
Orba, who was driven from his home because of the war and was forced to become a gladiator, looks exactly like the crown prince of Mephius, and it has been decided he will be substituting him during the wedding ceremony. On the other hand, Vileena, the princess of Garbera, has secretly decided to ensnare the crown prince for her own country's interests.
Since I spent two days and 3 nights up to 3am reading this novel, I thought I'd write a review, though I am too lazy to write a comprehensive one.
An amazing start. A shitty finish.
...sums up the plot of this novel. The setting is in a medieval, slightly fantasy world. We follow the story of a young slave, who later is tasked with the pretending to be the dead prince. Throughout the adventure, we often view things from the supporting character' POV.
This book, unlike most other light novels that revolve around high school drama, resembles western fantasy war literature more. The world construction is
detailed and vivid in the first few volumes. In fact, when I finished the 4th volume, I thought this would be my first 10/10 light novel. However, the plot failed spectacularly in the latter half of the story. There were a lot of annoying plot devices that long outstayed its welcome. Way too many characters are introduced without proper buildup or even plot significance (Several characters are introduced in the last volume!). Even existing main characters lost some of their charm, as they act unlike their previous character. Worst of all, many conflicts are resolved in manners that raise eyebrows and warrant face-palms. It would even be better if the author just write a more detailed epilogue giving its fans some much needed shipping, but even that is not done...
The art is quite good. It really gives a medieval feel, which is the setting of the story. However, good art can't save bad writing in the second half of novel.
Overall, I was disappointed. Instead of the 10/10 I had been expecting, I found myself something more akin to 7/10, considering its strong beginning.
*I am very sorry to kill everyone's hope since I understand that the English version is only translated up to volume 2. The truth need to be said. Don't expect too much for the ending.
Rakuin no Monshou is not your typical light novel. It follows western literature in its style, which means that it neither contains hyper-sexualized children nor any of those overused anime tropes. Instead, it opts for realistic characters with appropriate depth, along with a story focusing on war and political intrigue. While this may sound rather dull at first glance, it is actually quite interesting once you get into it. The battles range from gladiator matches to open warfare, while the politics is done in such a way that it is actually interesting to read about. Below, I will attempt to analyse this novel.
is quite similar to Spartacus, set in a semi-realistic fantasy world. While most of the technology seems to be pre industrial revolution level, magic and airships are present, which may bring Final Fantasy IX to mind. The story progresses with a good deal of plot twists and reveals, which make it a rather engaging read.
The pacing is handled quite well most of the time, although there are some parts that feel a little inconsistent. There was an entire arc that seemed pointless at first, but given some time, it managed to redeem itself.
The author managed to paint a rather vivid picture of his world. We get a good idea about the various countries and their relations, as well as the politics involved behind the scenes.
Overall, the story was done quite well, with very little to complain about. I was expecting a messy ending, having read another review from this site, but I was pleasantly surprised. While the ending was certainly a little anticlimactic, I wouldn’t call it a disappointing conclusion by any means.
I don’t see much of a point in talking about the art in a light novel, but I guess I’ll give it a shot.
The art-style was fairly clean, and makes it easier to visualize important scenes. While it isn’t anything spectacular, I’ll cut it some slack, since it’s an LN after all.
The characters in Rakuin no Monshou are quite realistic and well-written in general. The main characters, Orba and Vileena are both fairly deep and interesting, and they receive a good deal of development as the story proceeds. Not only are the main characters done well, even the side characters such as Shique and Ineli are fleshed out quite well. Nothing to complain about here.
Rakuin no Monshou was a gripping read from start to finish. Orba and Vileena’s journey was extremely enjoyable to read about – so much so that I was reading at a pace of one volume a day, and was left wanting more when it was over.
Overall (8.75 ~ 9/10):
All put together, Rakuin no Monshou was the best of its genre that I’ve read, and is also among my all-time favourites. If you’re interested in war and politics with a dash of romance, try this one out. You won’t regret it.