Lyle Walt is a young noble boy and heir looking forward to the day he can inherit his family's territory. Except around when he was 10-year-old, his parents started neglecting him more and more in favour of his little sister, Celes. On his fifteenth birthday, he is challenged to a duel by his sister to see who will inherit the household and horribly loses, being cast out of his family.
Afterwards, he gets treated by the family groundskeepers and receives the family heirloom Gem from him that Lyle's grandfather had entrusted to him. From there, he begins an aimless journey with his childhood friend and former fiancée, Novem, and the Gem-turned-Jewel that houses the memories, personalities, and Skills of seven of his ancestors.
This is a review of the Web Novel, which is completed at 343 chapters. While there are some differences between it and the Light Novel (such as some new characters and differing arcs), the core content remains the same. Of course, this review will be spoiler free.
Funnily enough, 7th (or Sevens) was a novel I picked up solely for its length. Not only was did it have over 300 chapters, it was also completed, which was exactly what I wanted. From the summary, I expected something a little above average, with a possibly decent set of characters. Boy, was I in for a surprise. As
I kept reading, 7th slowly but surely climbed up to become one of the best novels I have read. Now, I’ll be going into the details of why it stood out so much.
Honestly, 7th can’t be said to have a strong start by any means. The main character, Lyle Walt, gets chased out of his house for reasons that sound absolutely absurd, and what follows just seems to throw up plot hole after plot hole. There are often times when various events just seem to stretch logic a little too far, and just ends up feeling far-fetched. Yet, as the plot moves on, you begin to understand that a lot, if not all these ‘holes’ are intentional. Not only are they addressed later on, they are even suitably explained. From this, it’s clear that either the author is really good at planning ahead, or that he knows exactly how to fill up holes that he accidentally made.
Generally, when one sees that the story is set in a fantasy world and that there is a harem involved, they’d assume that the story is purely wish fulfillment and not much else. In this case, the author has managed to turn that on its head. While the world falls into the fantasy world category, it is surprisingly well built, with a good amount of attention to detail. We get a detailed picture of the politics, trade and even social structure of the world. As for the harem aspect, it shows what could be called the dark side of harems, including infighting, faction formation and the politics that would invariably be involved.
One thing about 7th that I really appreciate is how it actually goes into detail about various aspects that are often avoided in such media. One example of this would be the harem factions, as I mentioned above. Another important aspect is how they go in depth regarding what they would do *after* winning, instead of solely focusing on victory itself as the goal. Overall, the story is very well rounded, and steadily improves as you keep reading. It has healthy doses of comedy, action, and even heartrending moments.
The Web Novel lacks illustrations, so this score is based on the illustrations in the Light Novel. I have no complaints regarding the artwork. It manages to match quite closely to the images one would conjure up while reading the novel.
7th has a rather large cast of characters, which can be called both a strength and a weakness. Initially, the author spends a good deal of time fleshing out each and every character, but as the story goes on and the cast gets larger, it becomes obvious that the author is having trouble keeping up. The characters that are introduced later in the series often seem flat, and may have been better off not being introduced at all. That being said, the author has done a great job with the core characters, which explains my score.
All said and done, 7th was an extremely enjoyable series. While it took some time to pick up, it steadily improved, and had me captivated till the very end.
Overall (8.5 ~ 9/10):
Put together, 7th was a great novel, which was well worth the time spent on it. It explored many themes that one wouldn’t usually see in such a story, and was all the better for it. As long as harem elements aren’t too much of a problem, I would highly recommend this novel.