Book Review: Log Horizon – Books 3 & 4
When I last left the Log Horizon series, they’d gone into a political and economic thriller, as Shirou started forming the Akiba Round table with members of all the major guilds, before driving a bunch of the bad actors out of Akihabara through the unified powers of cash and good food. However, the series had also set up a new concept – that the People of the Land – the former NPCs are now fully sentient. Books 3 and 4, with the collective subtitle of “Game’s End,” get into the ramifications of that, along with what’s been going on while Akiba was getting its act together.
The books are kicked off by the Akiba Round Table being contacted by the leaders of the League of Free Cities, asking them to join for a conclave. At the same time, Maryelle of the Crescent Moon Alliance sets up a summer camp for some of the lowbie and mid-level characters so they can go out and learn how to raid and dungeon delve, since the current situation means that you can’t use wikis, videos, and other resources like before to share information.
This book gives us our first real view of how the People of the Land view adventurers – through three different perspectives, the general people, the aristocracy, and the lore. We learn about the second and last through the meeting of the League of Free Cities, and the first through the training camp – and in particular with the addition of two new point of view characters who are Landers.
The most prominent of these is Raynesia, the princess of Estal, and who ends up becoming close with Krusty, the leader of combat guild D.D.D. She comes into the story familiar with the attitudes of the nobles towards the adventurers, but through her talking with Krusty, she gets a better read on their personalities and figures out how the two can get along. This is actually where we get the biggest shift from the anime as well, as Raynesia is literally a point-of-view character. We got a few of her internal thoughts in the show, but nowhere near as much as we get here.
The other notable Person of the Land we encounter (who isn’t a spoiler) is Ri Gan, the Sage of Mirror Lake, and addresses the lore. Through meeting with Shiroe, he provides tremendous insight on the nature of how the People of the Land have perceived the Adventurers in the past, and in turn provides some really valuable insights that come up later.
The duology really gives an opportunity to expand the cast of the books, and flesh out some of the various characters we’ve run into earlier. If book 2 was about the thought put into the world itself, books 3 and 4 show the depth of thought put into the characterization.
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