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The Holy Grail of Eris 2

The Holy Grail of Eris Novel 2



Our review of the first volume can be read here.

Constance Grail is helping the ghost of Scarlett Castiel, Whether she wants to or not—and increasingly, her mission is to uncover truths that some would like to see buried. As Connie follows the trail of the people who knew Scarlett before she was executed ten years ago, she begins to realize that the roots of Scarlett’s death are much deeper than it first appears. Was Scarlett the villain she was made to be? Or was she just a convenient pawn, executed to keep other things from coming to light?

Holy Grail of Eris

Translated by Winifred Bird.



You really can’t always tell who you can trust, can you? For the late Scarlett Castiel, it wasn’t so much whether they were worthy of her faith as it was her conviction that she could overcome anything that stood in her way. But that confidence in herself proved misplaced, as it eventually led to her public beheading at the age of 16. Scarlett, now a ghost haunting 16-year-old Constance Greer, is learning how deep the roots of her betrayal go, and to say the answers are disturbing would be an understatement.

The second novel fantasy/suspense mix Light novels have brought us a lot of answers, and several of them only ask even more questions. Chief among them is the truth about why Scarlett was killed in the first place, and it’s interesting not just how strong her betrayal is, but how trivial that fact is in the grand scheme of things. The increasingly common villain subgenre of light novels (isekai or otherwise) has us expecting villains to be redeemed in some way, or to be rewritten by good guys as bad guys reincarnated into their bodies. It’s a genre trope that’s been thoroughly dismissed here, and admittedly, the first novel tells us it will be: Scarlett isn’t reborn or sent back in time; she’s a ghost whose life has undoubtedly ended. Constance is less trying to right a wrong than to figure out what really happened a decade ago, and Scarlett has been cast out of her lead role. This trend continues in the second novel—not only is Scarlett not the main character, but it turns out she never was. We can all be the stars of our own lives, but Scarlett isn’t even the villain in the lives of those around her—she’s just an expendable pawn in the hands of the powerful.

While this is an interesting plot development in itself – when you consider Scarlett’s personality and short life, it’s also a Very sad plot – it’s also very very pseudo Thor The century world where the story takes place. As daughter of nobility, Scarlett was considered more of a property than a person, someone who existed purely for her father’s benefit, to marry off (or be removed from the chessboard) because he thought it best suited the family and country Interests. Although Scarlett is a proud individual, she has only what she is allowed to have, and her position makes her especially vulnerable to the political machinations of those around her. As a woman, she is most valuable in what she can do – and that is to link two families through a procreative marriage. She is a walking womb, most important to the lineage to which she belongs.

Although this is not explicitly stated in the text, it is easy to piece together from the various flashbacks we have throughout this volume. While much of the novel is told in the omniscient third person, there are two chapters in the book, narrated in the first person, by actors who have left the stage or are about to retire: King Ernst Adelbaid and the late Lily Oramond. While Ernst gives us some very definitive answers about Scarlett’s death, Lily’s chapter provides the most information. You may remember Lily from the first novel, the wife of Connie’s current fiancé, Randolph, who committed suicide a few years before the main story begins. Take her word for it and elevate her from mysteriously absent player to a pivotal figure who makes a difference in her own right. As a childhood friend of Scarlett and Prince Enrique, Lily was at the forefront of everything that happened in the past, and her actions were arguably part of what drove it all. Her legacy set Connie and Randolph on a quest for the eponymous Holy Grail, and she was arguably the most important character in the whole mess that kicked off a decade ago—a character who voluntarily left the stage before someone could take her off, while the actual The mightiest in the world will reach out from beyond the grave. Scarlett may be a ghost, but Lily is the force that moves her.

All of this makes us realize that, at the end of the day, Scarlett doesn’t matter at all. She’s not ready to admit it, but it’s one of the book’s most compelling takeaways. She’s a better person, and as a ghost empowering Connie, she’s better than she was in life, which is pretty tragic, even as she fades into the background of her own series. Scarlett’s death is horrific, and she may have realized that due to her social status, she’s basically fulfilling the role she’s asked for, but in the long run, she’s not even the catalyst for the main plot. At this point, she’s mostly there to help guide Connie and fill in background details about the insidious drug jackal haven and key players. In the end, the book shows that Scarlett’s life doesn’t matter at all.

The story is not over yet, Scarlett’s character and our understanding of it may change. Neither she nor Connie have much of a role in the book, which is mostly about filling in the details of the past, but they’re still very focused on the central mystery and unresolved issues. If you are a fan of historical suspense and want to read some different villain light novels, it is worth a try. It’s dense in terms of writing and plot, but I think in the end it’ll be well worth the read.


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