Why did I start reading it?
I enjoyed the first and looked forward to the continued adventures of this cunning princess.
What is it?
Poor Princess Fie. Sold off as a dowery gift to her sister's new husband she was banished to a small pavilion in the garden and forgotten about. After finding her new hope in an advertising leaflet for squire recruitment Fie snuck out, disguised herself as a boy from nowhere called Heath, and started her second path in life as a squire in the knights of Ostroll.
What are the characters like?
I hoped now we were passed the introductions and set up of the first book that I would be able to get to know more of the side characters. We didn't get to know as many as I wanted but I there were a few and maybe I was expecting a bit much from a Light Novel since traditionally they do tend to focus on one side character at a time.
Anyone particularly cool?
Hands down my favourite character right now is Gormus and looking back on it I'm a bit sad I never mentioned him in my review of the first volume. He was introduced as a muscle head, he believed he was so strong he didn't have to work too much on his actual sword skill. I didn't think much of his character when he was first brought in but the author unexpectedly made him a decent guy who leans his lesson pretty quickly and pushes to improve. He doesn't get as much time in this book but the time he gets shows how far he's come, the way he can calmly analyse a fight, the way he didn't rise to his opponents taunts like he has in the past. He's a character that took me by surprise with his development.
What's the bad news?
There's isn't much in the way of bad news on this one. My main complaints from the last book being bloated to a good length with side stories and not having that much of a substantial story are addressed with this. It still has some side stories but they fit so well that if it didn't say 'side story' at the start of the section I would have just thought it to be another chapter.
That being said I had some small nitpicks.
We are introduced to some of the squires of the eastern dormitory and as much as we aren't supposed to like them they are very extream in their personalities. One, in particular, I remember as being genius boy rather than his name because all he ever seemed to say is how he was better than everyone else for being a genius. He was generally annoying and the rest of the eastern dorm boys weren't much better.
Lastly, there was one particularly cringy scene I could do without...Fie was a bit too innocent in it and it was probably a teenage boy's worst nightmare... won't say more for spoilers.
And the good news?
Most of this book was taken up by a duel tournament between the Northern and Eastern squire dormitories. It was fun to read. The author is really good at writing sword fights. They are very analytical, each fight is more tactical than I thought a sword fight could be. Each squire had come up with their own plans and tactics to surpass what seemed to be the unsermountable skill of the squires of the eastern dormitory. I was a bit sad they skipped one of the fights as I saw it as an opportunity to get to know other squires but the ones we did see were more than epic and a great read.
I also liked the blooming bit of romance in this book. Sure there was the cringy scene I mentioned above but I liked the rest of it. The author takes his time with this little romance, taking into account that the characters are young and may not truly understand what it is they feel as well as the large complications poor Fie has with the whole secret princess issue. I look forward to seeing how the two deal with the issue in the future.
Between the romance and the duel tournament this volume felt so much more substantial than the last in terms of plot that seemed to meander through without much direction. It felt much improved.
Would you recommend?
Yes. If you enjoyed the first the you'll love this one. If you want a light and happy fantasy read to just escape in Walking my Second Path in Life is great for that.
This light novel was published by J-Novel so you can read previews of both the first and second volumes on their website.
You can also buy Walking my second path in life on amazon Volume 1 and Volume 2.
Missed my review of the first volume? You can find it here.