Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Maiden of the Needle, Vol. 1 by Zeroki: review

4/5 stars on Goodreads

Maiden of the Needle by Zeroki

Maiden of the Needle is a Japanese light novel. A Tokyo woman finds herself reincarnated as a baby in a world with fairies and magic, with all the memories of her previous life. Yui’s new family has the unique ability to weave magic into clothes, but when it turns out she doesn’t have the ability, the family treats her like a slave.

At fifteen, Yui is sold to a man who is hated by her family. But he turns out to be a nice person and under his care she thrives and she’s finally able to show how skilled she is both as a seamstress and as a wielder of magic. Fearing for her safety, he instantly betroths her to the former king who can protect her.

This was a typical transmigration novel. The world is non-Japanese and organized like a video game, which Yui soon realizes. There are also elements of hero tropes, with labyrinths and the final boss that needs to be defeated. The bad guys are truly evil and good people are purely good. And the heroine turns out to be unique in her abilities and the saviour of the realm.

The story was light but interesting, and not in any way unique. Like most books in this genre, the narrative relied heavily on telling and was a bit all over the place, though I’ve read worse. The entire backstory is given in the first chapter, with random infodumps at odd times. Most of the book is from Yui’s first-person point of view, with occasional third person POVs by other characters.

The first volume has no romantic plot. Yui is fifteen, which apparently isn’t too young to become engaged. Her fiancĂ©e is in his fifties, which would’ve been grosswas a bit grossbut he gives to understand that the marriage will be in name only. All the other potential romantic interests already have their partners.

Unlike most light novels I’ve read, the first volume doesn’t end in a cliffhanger. It does set the story for the next volume though, and it sounds interesting enough to continue reading.

I received a free copy from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

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