Rakuin no Monshou

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The countries of Mephius and Garbera have been waging a war for ten years and are trying to put an end to this long fight through a political marriage between the two royal families. Orba, who was driven from his home because of the war and was forced to become a gladiator, looks exactly like the crown prince of Mephius, and it has been decided he will be substituting him during the wedding ceremony. On the other hand, Vileena, the princess of Garbera, has secretly decided to ensnare the crown prince for her own country’s interests.

Associated Names
One entry per line
Emblem of the Branded
烙印の紋章
烙印纹章(小说)
Related Series
Tales of Leo Attiel ~Portrait of the Headless Prince~ (Shared Universe)
Recommendations
Nejimaki Seirei Senki – Tenkyou no Alderamin (5)
Madan no Ou to Vanadis (4)
Sevens (4)
Altina the Sword Princess (4)
Maoyuu Maou Yuusha (3)
Shinwa Densetsu no Eiyuu no Isekaitan (3)
Recommendation Lists
  1. Best of my read list so far, mostly isekai/fantast...
  2. Fun reads & Good reads Recommendations
  3. My recommended novels
  4. The Top 1%
  5. Good male protag novels

Latest Release

Date Group Release
01/20/18 Baka-Tsuki v12 afterword
01/20/18 Baka-Tsuki v12 epilogue
01/20/18 Baka-Tsuki v12c8
01/20/18 Baka-Tsuki v12c7
01/20/18 Baka-Tsuki v12c6
01/20/18 Baka-Tsuki v12c5
01/20/18 Baka-Tsuki v12c4
12/24/17 Baka-Tsuki v12c3
12/24/17 Baka-Tsuki v12c2
12/24/17 Baka-Tsuki v12c1
12/24/17 Baka-Tsuki v12 prologue
12/08/17 Baka-Tsuki v11 afterword
12/08/17 Baka-Tsuki v11c6
12/08/17 Baka-Tsuki v11c5
12/08/17 Baka-Tsuki v11c4
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53 Reviews sorted by


JackB
New JackB rated it
August 17, 2019
Status: --
It's long winded and boring. Nothing is short or concise about this authors writing style. If there was a condensed version of this I could probably enjoy this but as it stands its just not that interesting. From what I have read the idea is great it is just lacking in delivery. I think the author notices this as well as he tries to end each chapter with some sort of hook in an attempt to make up for it and to carry interest until the next chapter.

If you like... more>> a story that moves very slow and has to much unnecessary information then this is the story for you. This novel is a dinner with too much salad and not enough meat and potatoes. It doesn't need to be non stop action but it needs to at least keep me interested. <<less
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Renaxan
New Renaxan rated it
August 14, 2019
Status: v12 afterword
First im sorry, but I just got baited so I made this review.

Lol im choked when reading solmagnum low star review. I mean dude seriously? Plot is boring so rate it lowest? Although you manage to complete it *chuckled*

Consider the novel made at 2008 this novel probably one of earliest novel that take this kind of excellent from slave to king plot, except the ending bit rush probably. Dont get me wrong, im not new in kingdom building novel either. This one, are rare one. You didnt got OP MC... more>> that can rivalled army, the noble plotted each other and if you upset about romance, thats not the main focus of this novel either.

There's a lot lot more kingdom building novel that has more generic setting and worse plot, like novel where MC who is op in battle and s*x but useless in command army, MC who are un motivated but somehow he is brilliant in strategy as plot armor protect him and more. This one just like almost if plot armor barely exist. Sure he somehow 'survive' and have same face with prince but its not like he's having fun with it either.

However, it doesnt mean this novel perfect either. I'm bit disappointed about the ending. They should make some after story to clear some rushed thing happened in the end. The romance are god damn slow, probably one of slowest romance in my entire novel journey.

Overall its one of novel that im really enjoy especially at start. I know its too much to review 'like this' since people has different taste but I just cant comprehend to see someone manage to reading whole 12 volume just to rate it 1. I rather stop on v1/v2 if this novel isnt my thing, and do a review about why drop it. <<less
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Littledragonlady
Littledragonlady rated it
June 30, 2016
Status: Completed
Strategy, romance, fighting, character development, engaging storyline, unexpected conclusion of each volume. What else can a reader ask for? Rakuin no Monshou definitely deserve more attention that what it has been getting! Spread the words in hope that some english publisher catch a wind on it
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Promethean
Promethean rated it
September 27, 2016
Status: v12
This is one of the best light novel series out there.
I'm serious. It is really good.
Here is why:

1. Strategy that relies on more than just luck. He isn't lucky at all (well except in his 1v1 battles), but his strategies rely on more than just luck. They rely on reading the battlefield, improvisation, and days of meticulous planning to create the most advantageous positions. On my god is it good. 2. Great fighting. I don't really like most series in how they describe fighting, but this series... more>> does it well. Its not too overly detailed, but it is detailed enough to not break the flow of the fight, and you can still fill in enough details with your own imagination. Essentially a good written fight is one where the author directs you toward imagining the fight, rather than just telling you. This does it well. 3. Character development. This series is literally 50% character development. Half of all the chapters go toward developing the characters, making them grow, giving them more depth, and etc. It makes you want to know more about them. More about how they feel, what they think, and what they want to do and why. There is so much of that here. It is very dramatic. 4. Romance. Wow, the romance is great. It is slow paced, and actually happens like how it would happen in real life. You don't immediately fall in love with someone because they did one thing that made you like that. That isn't real love. And that isn't how real love works. That's more of admiration and lust than love. True love starts slowly, and works it way from there as people get to know more and more about each other, causing them to want to know more and about how to best support and understand each other. This does that extremely well. Its actually believable in this series, and although it won't fill you with instantaneous emotion like other series, it grows on you and makes you think that this is how it should be. 5. Plot. The plot is well development. They don't give tons of exposition in the beginning. In doesn't start by drowning you in information you don't care about. That is how lesser writers do it. It starts off with the most important thing, the characters. The first scene starts with trying to define a character to make it more like able. Then as you learn more about the characters, you gradually start to learn about the world, given to you in bits and pieces by how the characters react to it. Then there is the setting which you are given glimpses of, and makes you wonder about how the world got to the point, and what the characters will do from now it. Really good progression, to the point I don't even know how its going to end in 12 volumes. Everyone should read this. It is really good. This is on my top most desired novels to read (extremely closely followed by Overlord). <<less
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Kay60
Kay60 rated it
July 2, 2016
Status: v3c7
I'd give it 6 stars if I could. This novel is one of the few out there which balances action with politics with an MC who isn't too OP but still makes you think he is unbeatable. It's very well written, doesn't go off on random tangents, and is pretty realistic (as realistic as a world with dragons and stuff can be anyways). The only downside is the slow translation pace, but each chapter is huge so that's understandable, and the translators do an awesome job with..... well...... the translations.
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ladyartemis
ladyartemis rated it
May 6, 2016
Status: --
I really do not know how to properly write a review but I can only say my feeling regarding this novel. This is so epic! I really love how the story's being written. The plot is just as awesome as it is filled with political strategems and whatnot (i like this kind of genre). This is very interesting for me since I could really feel its depth. So I hope baka-tsuki would continue to translate this til the end. :)
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Lyase
Lyase rated it
July 8, 2016
Status: --
One of the few novels where the MC uses his brain and strength to overcome his obstacles. Nothing more to said, it's one of the best jp light novel out here.

One of the difference between this and for example a chinese novel is the amount of depth the characters has.

I'm sick and tired of re****s saying this novel is boring or slow, since this is the most common criticism. This novel at least has a ****ing plot and good characters where authors from xianxia/xuanhuan can learn from. I prefer a... more>> slow novel with complex characters and above story over a ****ty repetitive novel with one-dimensional characters and dumb unlogical situation. <<less
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nEoQuIcKsiLvEr
nEoQuIcKsiLvEr rated it
January 2, 2016
Status: v8
A Japanese-fantasy take, on a combination of "The Man in the Iron Mask" and "Gladiator, " two good stories to combine actually. It's a case of how mistaken identity and noble subterfuge play around. Not everything is how it seems. There's a lot of royalty, politics, and mind games that go on throughout the story and it's pretty excellent so far. While there are some muddling parts, the author takes great lengths to explain the character's thoughts and actions. A great read for those who enjoy battle tactics, strategy, wars,... more>> and political drama. <<less
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Ssjn4vega
Ssjn4vega rated it
July 5, 2016
Status: v3c1
One of the best light novels ever there is depth, intrigue, and a blooming romance. It's award worthy.
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Tasear
Dream Seeker rated it
June 5, 2016
Status: v3c6
There's one fate, but two faces to that fate. Facing such a fate, the two lives become one when one of them suddenly dies. Now the one who only could care if "I" will live the next day" will have to think about how " We will live the next day as a nation". A re-imagined version of prince and the pauper will lead the audience thrilled as they live with the protagonist and his trials from a fighting slave to a prince on the front lines of a conspiracy... more>> that intertwines three nations. <<less
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Chibba
Chibba rated it
October 3, 2017
Status: v5
So many people praise this but I can't understand why. The story is very very slow and there is very little focus on the MC and the princess, especially the princess. A very high % is written from other POVs. Which makes it different from other novels and hard to endure.

Spoiler about the romance until book 5:

Also whoever put the slow romance tag needs to consult a doctor. The MC is a typical "dense af" character so there is zero romance at least until boob 5, the girl is also... more>> a tomboy and very innocent so zero contribution from her side as well. The worst part is how the marriage gets delayed and delayed (it was my only hope for some sort of progress) until it is completely cancelt and the MC runs away. Honestly I am done with this novel. <<less
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Lazybum0
Lazybum0 rated it
September 17, 2016
Status: v6c4
Anything less than 5 stars wouldn't do it justice.

Easily one of the best things I've read on this site (under my standards of course.)

What can I say? Memorable characters, intelligent plot, likable MC and a strong female lead, an incredible world-building and the story just gets better and better as you read.

The story is about Orba this kid who has suffered because of the selfish motives of the ruler class, as expected doesn't have a shred of patriotism and yet he's forced to disguise himself as the crown prince... more>> and then as if his problems weren't troubling enough, this little princess comes like a hurricane, this extremely idealistic and patriotic with a bit of naivety yet brave princess clashes with his ideas of nobles and his own ideals, this relationship is very very interesting.

As for a more general outlook, the world is a bit chaotic with several nations crashing with each other for supremacy and a lot of skirmish in a smaller scale. In this world the MC is a capable warrior and commander, able to gather information, to read his opponent plans and come with some orthodox or unorthodox plan to counter his enemies, he's just brilliant. With the sword he's solid but a bit plaint, he fights to kill and survive. The world uses small dragons, guns, swords, air planes (something like that and they work with ether) and magic (some people), but there's no weapon of massive destruction yet.

The magic (ether manipulation) is more obscure than in other novels imo, no balls of fire, absolute zero or sh*t like that, is more like manipulation of the human psyche, invocations, exchange of information, also the ether is a resource and as such it can be wasted.

If I have to criticize something, maybe is that sometimes the characters act too chivalrously lol, people is more unfathomable, maybe is my fault that I don't believe in noble people sacrificing for honor, ideals or their nation (people), anyway is more beautiful this way.

All in all read it if you're not afraid of world building and a not so light story. <<less
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Doctor Hu
Doctor Hu rated it
September 20, 2017
Status: v8
Absolutely Amazing.

Disclaimer: I actually mainly read Korean and Chinese (but not xianxia) novels. I strayed away from JP novels because I dont series filled with generic tropes. This series had me proven wrong.

Characters: 5/5

The dialogue and thoughts of important characters are always expressed. Most, if not all characters have depth which makes this story much more immersive and believable. Orbas self conflicts, Vilennas responsibilities. Everything is so well tied and expressed that it almost feels as if these characters are growing with you. I think this is the only story... more>> where the MCs tragic past had made him more humane, rather desensitized, which is really amazing.

Translation Quality - 5/5
This quality of the translation is superb. The structure of the translation is amazing (with consistent paragraphs and dialogue mixed in between) to the point where it is much like English novels. The translators use casually drop phrases such as "in exhaustive worry that persist indefinitely" and even used the word "blitzkrieg" once where it actually made full sense to.

This series is probably #1 or #2 on my list (After Release that Witch). Cant stress how much I recommend this to readers. Even if you dont like or have never read JP novels. <<less
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Dragon God
Dragon God rated it
January 5, 2017
Status: v6
A wonderful story. On par if not superior to Madan no Ou to Vanadis, and Alderamin on the Sky. If you like war, tactics, political intrigue, etc then you will love this.

The plot is deep, the feels are there. The writing is wonderful, and the characters are masterfully created. Not one dimensional or stereotypical.

The main character is refreshing and wonderful. This makes for a truly exciting story.

A novel that I greatly enjoyed and loved: A full 10/10.
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JualYal
JualYal rated it
August 19, 2016
Status: v3c5
This is one best jp novel I read so far on par with mushuko tensei. The author really do his best here.

This novel have great story line, if you like medieval setting this is for you.

It start with our MC is captive and sold to become a gladiator wearing a mask and some twist of event he become the prince of mephius.
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ninish
ninish rated it
January 28, 2016
Status: --
kill! Kill! Kill!

er, I mean, this one is cool! It's not comedic, it's quite serious. A good read. Not a harem, not an OP story. Not excesive fantasy. I love the MC because he is the type to do things with his very own hands, he won't manipulate things from the shadows (maybe not yet), but does everything with his life on the line. Also, I thought i'd hate the princess; I tend to get annoyed by relena peacecraft type of characters: but this one is to my liking so... more>> far.

5/5 <<less
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Kefi
Kefi rated it
October 12, 2017
Status: v2c1
From the very beginning, this story about a gladiator impersonating a prince to foil assassinations during a political marriage is marred by clumsy writing.

... more>>
Spoiler

A weak boy is selected as a look-alike to the prince, so they put a magic helmet on him to accentuate the resemblance... and then they send him to die in the arena as a gladiator.

By miracle, he survives for two years, so they free him and explain their machination to him... in front of witnesses.

No constraint is put on the boy, so the first thing he does after surviving his first assassination attempt is to reveal his true identity to two former acquaintances which he doesn't have any reason to trust...

Then he goes on a suicide mission on his first battle, while a random gladiator impersonates successfully the prince...

Add to this that they are descending from a space-traveling civilisation that has somehow regressed to firearms and canons. And yet, most of the fighting is done with swords...

[collapse]

So far, we have a complex story in a detailed world (which is good), populated by idiots trying to have gravitas and failing.

Anyway, it's something to read while awaiting new chapters on better stories. <<less
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Overlord
Overlord rated it
September 11, 2016
Status: v5c1
Rakuin no Monshou - it's one of those novels, which clearly outshine the average ones due to its exceptional and brilliant writing style, as well as incredible story-telling. The characters really come to life, you can almost picture every scene as it is unfolding in your imagination, because they're described in a beautiful atmosphere that bring them to existence.

Strong points of Rakuin no Monshou:
- incredible and sound world building
- believable background story of the characters and in general
- description in great detail, where the scenery, characters etc.... more>> Come to life
- feelings are authentic, behaviour feels natural in regard to the situation
- great character interaction
- no happy-go-lucky re**** setting
- long chapters
- very satisfying translation

High quality read! <<less
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sithkazar
sithkazar rated it
September 7, 2016
Status: v4c7
I am in love. Deeply and truly in love with the most beautiful novel I have ever read. It is called Rakuin no Monshou and I can not possible say in words how great this story is.

I am making this review now because yesterday one of the translators updated all of volume four (seven chapters, plus prologue and epilogue). Now the chapters is this novel are like those in printed novels and each one is the length of 10+ chapters from a typical light novel. So I spent the day... more>> reading these (finished at 3:30 AM). The emotional roller coaster was one of the most enjoyable things I have ever experienced.

Why should you start it now?

Because the chapters are so long, the story is drawn out over a long period of time and its difficult on the reader. Having such a massive update is a rare joy and normally there is only one chapter every three to four months. However, now is a great time to start this novel if it appeals to you. Without saying any spoilers I will tell you the the end of volume four is a good place to end. Though the overreaching story is not resolved, it feels like the end of the first act of a play or the first movie of a trilogy. It would not be over reaching, to say it would be like reading the Fellowship of the Ring, though there is more to come, the first arc is done and you can walk away satisfied.

Why its so Good

The Characters - The best way I can describe the characters is that they feel human and relatable. I know that sounds silly but its something that is often lacking from fantasy novels. The magic and conflict in the story often seems to get in the way of fully immersing myself. I know what it is, fantasy stories often come across as similar to mythology. The characters feel more like legends, then real people. This story feels much more personal to me. The "fantasy" does not replace good old character development. I also want to mention that the characters change organically, as they face challenges they learn and adapt.

The World - I can not understate the wonderful and unique world that this is set in. Though it is a fantasy setting, it feels more accurate to compare it to a science fiction. Though this could change in the future, as of now "magic" is mostly used as a method of powering tools. The story is also missing the obvious troupes of sub-humans like elves, dwarves, and beast people. Even the "dragons" in the story more closely resemble dinosaurs rather then the mythology picture that comes when you here the word.

The Conflict - Rather then some over reaching goal, the main focus is simply on survival in a world were strength is not just determined by how well you wield a sword (though that helps). Though the battles are epic, part of the joy is seeing the clever ways that the protagonist is able to face them. If nothing else, he is a survivor. I normally can not handle novels focused on military maneuvering, but I found even the descriptions of troop movements to be exciting and easy to follow. The author does a great job of "showing" rather then "telling." Instead of a long explanation of what the plan is, we watch it unfold. Even if you do not completely understand immediately, you learn and follow as the characters do.

The not so Good

The Investment - Though this is also what makes it so engrossing, I will warn you, this is not a light read. I would equate this to picking up The Lord of the Rings. It is a heavy read that will take an investment of time to enjoy. As with most stories like this, it is hard to put down again and then pick back up. That is why when volume four proved to be the ending of the first arc I wanted to let everyone know that it was great time to put in that effort. For those thinking of waiting until all twelve volumes are translated, I assure you that though possible, it would very daunting to read the entire thing straight through.

The Romance - As of now, this is by no means a "romance" novel. Part of that stems from the fact that the main characters are still very young and immature. Perhaps that later volumes will develop their relationship more as they grow. I would say that that its more like learning to respect and trust one another then romance. But as I stated before the characters are very realistic and relatable, so this makes sense in the world that they live in where trusting others can be seen as a weakness. Though I personally would enjoy more romance in the future, the story's strength lies in its political drama, so I do not know if it will develop more romance later or not.

Last but not least.... I wish to give my heartfelt thanks to those translators and editors over at Baka-Tsuki that have undertaken such a difficult task. You are my heroes. Without your dedication and effort to the project I would never have had the great joy of reading this novel. Thank You so much. <<less
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Warnock
Warnock rated it
May 27, 2016
Status: v1c7
Well damn just finished reading the first volume and I don't think ill continue until the entire novel is translated, if I may say, this novel is super slow paced, the 1st volume is like a huge intro and it gives you this massive background of cities, empire history, characters, religion, etc. It was such a pain to read thru that, it seemed over detailed imho.. Maybe I'm used to **** authors and this type of massive world building is considered good, but for me it was too much, also... more>> the fights are boring.. Isn't the author's forte but considering fights count for like 5% of the entire volume I didn't mind that much that they were bad (but still worth mentioning) <<less
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Salexe
Salexe
February 10, 2018
Status: v4
I have mixed feelings about this lightnovel. It is quite obviuosly japanese with tropes and cliches that come with that. He hides his strength and uses a overly complicated 1 person living 2 lives. I mean why continue to use your gladiator persona? That is never explained. Sure sometimes it makes sense but most of the time it is just stupid.

Then the schemes and plots are very badly explained and even worse executed coming down to luck in the end. Sure the MC uses some inteligence gathering and plotting. But... more>> he can never make sense of it untill it is already happening and he has to save the day with his amazing skills/luck, which he btw wants to keep on hidding. There is alot of scheming, betrayal and plots going on but as the reader we are never 100% sure wtf is going on in the MC's head. Sure it could help build some suspense and mystery, but that would be leading up to the grand unveil where you get the ''aha'' moment. But that moment never comes in this novel. It builds up just to stumple trough the unveiling with luck.

So I would say good for a japanese novel. But it is very clearly a japanese story (with a little bit of discuise from a good baseline). <<less
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MaceTheDon
MaceTheDon rated it
March 13, 2018
Status: completed.
Wished the romance was more pronounced... Very unsatisfying ending I must say in regards to that.

As for the kingdom building/war story, I did very much enjoy it... Though did not enjoy the supernatural elements of the story.
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