What Nermie said seems to essentially be correct. End of the story is probably going to be Alice getting with the guy and having Alicia as her child, given her response to the guy's question at the end of one of the chapters. "Do you want to have Alicia alone, or with me, " to which Alice replies "with you." Which is weird enough as is. She's in love with Alicia and wants her to live but she'll be reborn as her biological child, and at the end of the day she's been in a relationship with someone completely different. It just reeeeaally rubs me the wrong way that her deciding to settle down with a man was never really her decision. It's her only choice if she wants Alice to live, so she begrudgingly agrees to the plan. To have a lot of unprotected s*x with a man in an attempt to become pregnant.
This entire set-up is just borderline NTR. I honestly only just realized that's why it's got me so miffed about this whole thing. That, and Ikuto will never truly end up with Alicia. Sure, there's a chance she'll be reborn as Alice's child, but that's not exactly the same as them becoming romantic partners, now is it? That's never going to be an ending or a possibility, though I suppose we've all known that since the beginning. I suppose if you're reading this spoiler, you ought to only continue reading if you want to see Ikuto's steady progression into becoming a woman, completely, in mind and s*xuality as well as body. No apparent Shoujo-Ai to be found here.
gained a human form
1: "Instead of grieving for her husband, family, and kingdom, she goes of to school and acts bored."
Literally what? One of the things she does the most is read books. She f**king spends hours in the library and on her free time reading about sh*t, and it's pretty clear that she still thinks about her former love and is interested in what happened for society to get to this point. She just has other things pre-occupying her at the moment. Just seeing someone who slightly resembles her husband caused her to start crying, you think she isn't grieving?
2: "When the MC wakes up, her first thought is that she's being held hostage, so she tries to kill herself with a broken bottle. Her butler and maids stop her, and then simply pretend that nothing happened.
Nobody tells her family. Nobody asks her why she attempted suicide. It's just, "Okay. We got the glass away from her. Put a bandaid on her quickly or she'll be late for breakfast!""
Ah, so you haven't read the story at all. Or you need it to be stated in plain text to understand. Drossel is ostracized by everyone around her. Her peers, her family, even her fiance, to the point that it's not a stretch to say that it might have driven her to suicide. Her family and peers also very clearly view her as so repulsive or evil that they probably would be glad if she dropped dead the next day. C4.5 even literally states that since birth she was an unwanted child, and all of her servants look at her in contempt and disgust.
3: "Most of the characters start off hating the MC because... she has no magic power. Despite this, for some reason she's also somehow the fiance of the prince... who also hates her."
Political marriage. Degradation of understanding of magic resulted in people with no magic power being ostracized and looked down upon. Stated in plain text. Next.
4: "The civilization of the MC's previous life is presented as such a grimdark hellscape of total war that I have to question how they were even able to maintain any level of civilization in the first place."
Not sure what kind of point is trying to be made here. It's not like society began this barbaric and hellish. A seemingly normal and peaceful world can be turned to hell in an instant by a world power suddenly being under control of a power-hungry imperialist. It's not outright stated or established in detail, but it doesn't take much of a leap of logic to understand how the world became this way.
Anyways, I concede on a lot of other points, like how convenient a lot of the writing is, e.g. first person she meets is a magic powerless, she teaches her easily, they become best friends, stumbles upon obvious love interest, etc. etc.
5: The point on the degradation of magic/technology/etc. over centuries because of "peace" and "there not being a need to further it" I agree is also a stupid trope that just doesn't make any sense, but I'm willing to give the novel the benefit of the doubt that this will be further elaborated upon. With how close to complete anarchy and chaos the world was before, it's not unimaginable that someone might take that opportunity to sculpt the world into a form that would suit themselves better. Whatever country ended up winning the world war would be in a position to flip the narrative however they pleased, and in an era where people kept knowledge in their heads with memorization magic instead of recorded in books, the complete erasure and re-writing of history isn't beyond comprehension.
This is all conjecture, of course, but it's just one way for all of this sh*t to make sense, and as of now, it's still a mystery why society degraded to the point it did over time. Give it some time. Complaining about mysteries that have yet to be solved in... *checks notes* 4 chapters plus the prologue is silly.
Not all the answers are going to be there immediately. It seems like we're currently in the stage of the story where Leticiel is just taking the opportunity to experience things she didn't before. She had a fixation/hobby in reading, so in a literature-rich age she's understandably ecstatic, among other minor things like the improvement in food quality over time. In a society as different as this in general, there are a lot of things for her to do, research, and learn about for there to be plenty of room for potential future plot developments. I can understand reading through like, maybe two volumes and there being no semblance of whatever intrigue there is being developed, but again, four chapters.
But sure, I guess. If you don't have the ability to suspend disbelief or the patience to read beyond 4 chapters for everything to make sense, then this really is a sh*t novel. Don't even waste your time. Pepega
The God who reincarnates our protagonist, whether willingly or not willingly, chooses to use an unconventional scale for "average." Rather than taking the mean, he takes the median, which obviously would skew her power levels. Her magic level is in the middle of the most powerful magic user in the Universe and someone with no magic. Whereas the average magic user is probably in the lower 5%, she's plainly on a completely different level from the average populace. She reincarnates into a noble household because the median in the class system happens to not be "commoner, " but a lower rank of noble instead. So on and so forth.
So technically she is average? I guess? It's not like Evil God Average where the protagonist asked one thing and God just said "f**k it" and ruined everything for sh*ts and giggles. This God's just lazy. Really though, this is another story with an overpowered protagonist, and if you thought it was about someone with average skills in an underdog story or doing some other interesting stuff with that premise, then I'm sorry for your loss.
Katahane no Riku focuses essentially on two protagonists, rather than a villain and a protagonist. Or perhaps, you could say that the positions are reversed in this scenario, to an extent. Riku, the titular character, having been discarded and putting herself through hell to get revenge on those who cast her away becomes essentially a psychopathic murderer who only ever had on her mind trying to appeal to her benefactor, who is blatantly throughout the story trying to use her. She kills without remorse and tortures the people who have wronged her. While Riku is the person who is seeking revenge, she also isn't someone you're supposed to entirely sympathize with. She's a robotic killing machine that doesn't really develop at all throughout the story. Apart from her obviously having the makings and personality of any villain, she's otherwise an intelligent, strong, driven individual that while often driven by rage, is capable of not flying into uncontrollable rage.
The only person who really goes through any character development is Rook, Riku's sister and the protagonist of the game the world is based on, whom also possesses memories of said game world. Basically, while he is the villain of Riku's story, he is the protagonist of every other game reincarnation Isekai story in existence. The difference however is that Rook doesn't solve everything magically with his knowledge of the game, and instead constantly ends up f**king up the lives of everyone around him, suffering failure after failure. He goes through all the stages of grief. From denial, putting blame on others, to seeking revenge, and eventually, determination to fix his wrongs. He starts idealistic and even sticks to his ideals to the end, and suffers many hardships throughout the story. He has literally all the makings of any standard heroic tale, yet is not the main protagonist. Hence, why I said there are two main protagonists, or perhaps the situation is reversed, as Riku having killed everyone and taking everything Rook knows from him, is his story's villain.
In a way, Riku and Rook are polar opposites. Riku is someone who won't hesitate to kill anyone necessary, and she won't let anything resembling ideals cloud her judgment. She's always on her guard and has long since abandoned her naivety. On the other side of spectrum, you have Rook, who sticks to his ideals, hesitates to kill anyone, even his enemies that are trying to kill him, and is naive to an almost infuriating extent. Riku has strong enough discipline to not step out of line when provoked, most of the time, whereas Rook has no such disposition.
Riku is someone that will readily torture someone brutally and laugh maniacally like a crazy person but it's already been established that she's f**king insane and everyone in the army fears her accordingly. Some other stories like to act like the protagonist seeking revenge is some paragon of morality that's just doing the right thing, or even just someone who you as the audience is supposed to root for because "the enemy is just more awful than the protagonist is, so they had it coming, " and that to me just makes things really hammy and difficult to take seriously. Usually it's like that, but here, Riku is just an insane, murderous psychopath. The story and characters itself acknowledge it, and so //should// the readers.
Riku may be a murderous maniac that lost her sanity and humanity long ago, but she never does anything truly, completely edgy. She'll use her position and power to keep people in line and essentially rules those below her with fear, but she never kills allies or innocents unnecessarily, and at the end of the day, the actions she takes are her responsibility as a soldier in an army. A belief that she holds that will often be brought up by her is: "If you step on the battlefield, you should be prepared to die, " hence, she kills without hesitation. She isn't "evil for evil's sake."