I have to admit that having to choose between your career, the very important cases and your lover soured the experience of the book a bit. I wasn’t surprised because the author literally tells us that we will have to choose and we won’t be able to do everything we want to do. The thing is, I think having to choose how to spend our time works in choices like “What to do before going to bed”. We have to manage our tiredness and we can’t do all if we want to get a good night sleep. That’s perfect. When going to the festival, there are lots of activities, but we don’t have time for everything. Cool, that works too.
The problem begins when you have to reject some missions or plans and there is no way to prevent hurting someone’s feelings, lowering your elationship with someone else or ignoring a very important case. And considering that our MC has a very clear goal (Be the greatest scholar, for example), it doesn’t make sense how the career path can be completely ignored. It’s MC’s dream since the first book. I felt like the career parts should be something that you can experience no matter what. Will you have what it takes and manage to get the job you want? That depends on how well you do during the career parts. You can totally fail. But having to choose between the love of our lives, our dream job and stopping a murderer… it’s too much. And very frustrating. A lose-lose situation.
Sordwin made us choose and we had limited time too. But in that book, it worked. Why? Because we could learn about the same things in different ways. We could solve the Big Problem by going in completely different directions. And yes, we didn’t get to see all the characters and content in a single playthrough, but it wasn’t frustrating at all. We could be with our RO, solve the mystery, have a complete plot.
Now, things like not being able to save the mayor’s son no matter what. That was great. And we were even warned that there was nothing we could do. That wasn’t frustrating because it’s where the story was supposed to go, no matter what. We read that part and were like “Oh, damn, that’s brutal! But I couldn’t do anything to prevent it. I’m intrigued to see where this leads!” Not being able to work on our career, or missing essencial time with our lover or ignoring murder feels awful. Because we HAVE a choice. And that makes it worse. No matter what, we end up feeling: “Pft, I should have spend time on my career. Wait, but then the murder… Pffft.”
I adore this saga, though. A lot. It’s one of my favorites. I will 100% buy and read the next book. But I hope I helped the author a little bit in understanding how some readers felt in this book in particular. Something to think about when working on the next installment, perhaps?