The Violet Knight takes a bit too long to get interesting in its latest volume.
Title: The Violet Knight
Genre: Adventure, drama
Publisher: Cross Infinite World
Artist: Ako Tenma
Translation: Charis Messier
Original Release Date: December 11, 2017
Review copy provided by Cross Infinite World
The first thing you should do before even considering The Violet Knight Volume 2 is to stop and read (or reread) the first volume.
Not only has it been over a year since its release, due to story reasons, protagonist Yuki is separated from all her allies she made in the previous volume. The light novel also doesn’t have a “story until now” prologue or a stealth recap right in the story, so I strongly recommend revisiting Yuki’s first months in this other world before continuing her adventure.
A caveat though: much of the adventure here feels very different from its predecessor. While Yuki’s goal is to reunite with Luca, her knight, she spends most of the volume helping cure a fatal disease known as the Ten Day Fever. And I do mean most; I think I was two-thirds of the way through the novel before the rescue mission really kicks off. That’s something considering Amazon estimates the eBook at 371 pages. (As a comparison, the first is estimated to be about 60 pages shorter.) If you were interested in the Witches, the Knight-Master contract, or the depravity of humans and wars, sorry, they also take a backseat to the epidemic.
The Ten Day Fever’s main purpose is to serve as the unwitting trigger for Yuki’s powers to awaken. Her new companions, Vigo and Selena, and the information broker Rifaenotis start to realize Yuki’s family history. They all choose to keep their revelations a secret, and in between their reflections and Yuki’s healing and dizzy spells, the journey to Adolunde feels like an utter drag for much of the story.
Even the other episodes during the journey are a mixed bag. Yuki is definitely a pacifist and wants to protect the people she cares about, but there are a few major incidents where she decides to berate people for their actions (or lack of) only for her to get schooled in return. (Not to mention one of her scoldings could have easily ended her life since she was stupid enough to walk into a room of soldiers alone.)
Some readers will enjoy seeing another dimension to a couple of the antagonists, but it’s sad when a minor character in the first volume gets more page time than most of the main cast in that same book. If your favorite character was Luca, Ain, or really anybody besides Yuki, you’re probably going to be disappointed at how little they appear here.
Yuki, fortunately for her, gains several new comrades as she tries to get back to Luca’s kingdom. Selena, despite being a fully grown woman, is the type who glomps Yuki at every opportunity, but she’s also a powerful Knight with a rather unusual relationship with her Master, the doctor Vigo. I mean unusual in a good way — far more interesting than usual siblings or lovers with these types of bonds. Selena may have the bigger presence since she is often with Yuki, but Vigo’s role is more significant since he convinces the heroine to keep making medicine despite the toll it takes on her. He is also a driving force for Rvydom to regain its independence.
I was pretty down for most of the light novel, and almost moreso in the last third. Not because it was bad but because it was exactly what I wanted the rest of the book to be. Yes, there is no fighting, but the ending builds towards a far more interesting “game” than going around to towns and mixing medicines. Even Yuki’s strong sense of justice comes across as a natural aspect of her personality instead of the actions of a child without critical thinking skills. Returning characters, more mysteries surrounding the contract, a crisis… sorry, Ten Day Fever, you just can’t compete with the intrigue of the last few chapters.
Like Cross Infinite World‘s other web-turned-light novels, several illustrations are included. The illustrations are even better this time around, but I wonder if part of it is because Yuki is in her fake form this time around and not in her ten-year-old body. I only noticed a few errors late in the story, and the often-formal speech makes sense considering people are talking to a (now-renowned) doctor and his party.
The Violet Knight traded rescue missions involving swords and witches for mixing potions, and it’s about as exciting as a real-world hospital stay. Thankfully, towards the end, The Violet Knight Volume 2 brings back the intrigues of the original characters and crises, but it takes way too long to get to that point.