Sugar Apple Fairy Tale Novels 2 3

Sugar Apple Fairy Story Novels 2-3

Note: You can find our review of the first light novel here.

Is it worthwhile to read the novels if you’ve already seen the first season of the anime adaptation of Sugar Apple Fairy Tale? Yes, I’d answer. These two volumes complete the first season, so you won’t learn what occurs next from them, but they are also packed with information that the anime omitted to make the program far more PG than PG-13. They complete the characters and the worldbuilding in ways that advance the plot and give the novels a much richer, more complete feel.

These distinctions become apparent to us almost quickly. The Duke of Philax plot, in which the formerly friendly duke offers a sizeable reward to the confectioner who can produce a piece to his high requirements, is covered in the second book. Before the next opportunity to become the Silver Sugar Master, many young confectioners are interested in taking advantage of this possibility to advance their careers. Anne runs into the worst of the lot right away after deciding to join the fight. If you assumed that sentence was referring to Jonas, you are correct; this time, he has friends and resentment. He has also identified Anne’s friend Challe, a warrior fairy, as her weakness. Instigating a chain of events by persuading Challe to leave Anne On the way out of the duke’s manor, Challe runs across Hugh, the Silver Sugar Viscount. Hugh immediately snatches Challe’s wing, turning the fairy into his slave.

This is only one of several instances in these two volumes that cast Hugh in a categorically unreliable light. We already know that Hugh is interested in Anne and would love for her to work in his studio, but now we can also see just how vicious he can be while pursuing this objective. Hugh makes the comment at the beginning of volume three that he didn’t kill Challe by destroying his wing so that Anne would have no one else to turn to but him because he was afraid of what that might have done to her; he says specifically that he was afraid it would have “broken something” in her. We should evaluate Hugh’s motivations in light of this assertion as well as the fact that he stole Challe’s wing and thought about killing him. Does he wish to be her mentor? She has the ability to make candy, in his opinion. Does he wish to have control over her? Or is he taking a more intimate view of her, viewing Challe as a potential competition for her affectio? Hugh seems to be intensifying, at least in his feelings, even though he tries very hard to hide them in order to avoid seeming to be favoring her. We don’t receive a clear answer in either volume.

We frequently witness Anne’s ability as a confectioner having a double-edged effect. The socio-religious history of Highland is extensively explored in volume three, and the misogyny that was subtly present in the first two volumes is brought to light. It turns out that Anne is the only known female candy maker in Highland, and many males don’t think she should be included in that category. They are even more enraged by the fact that she is even more proficient than they are, and they have no issue telling Anne that she doesn’t belong in their guys’ club. While this is annoying and upsetting, Bridget, the daughter of a significant candy factory, is interesting. Although there is a hint of the spoiled brat in Bridget’s hate for Anne from the start, it soon becomes apparent that Bridget is only jealous of Anne. Bridget had been told that candy manufacturing is a “man’s” work despite being from a distinguished family, thus she finds it difficult to watch Anne fully participate in it while completely dominating the boys. She believes that Anne unfairly has both a job and a dashing fairy by her side, and as the story progresses, we witness her resolve to make sure Anne has only one of those by the end of the book.

Both Jonas and Bridget are interesting and significant characters while being simple to despise. One reason is that they act as obstacles for Anne, who will not let anything stop her from pursuing her goals. They are both immature and enraged, and they very easily let their envy control their behavior. Jonas is aware of his horrible behavior, and part of him might even believe he is deserving of being blamed for another confectioner because to the way he has treated Anne. But as of the third volume’s conclusion, Bridget has no regrets about what she did. If Anne was foolish enough to treat Challe as an equal, well, she deserves to lose him, in her mind, she is putting things right. Even though Jonas is struggling to let go of his sense of entitlement, he is. Bridget is much more self-centered, and “angry” doesn’t go well with selfishness.

Challe’s responses to the events in the two novels are also fascinating. In volume two, when Anne is concerned about money, he casually suggests doing sex work to get some money, which horrifies Anne and Mithril. But that also serves as a hint for what will happen at the conclusion of volume three and tells us that, whatever Anne may have imagined he went through while a slave, the reality is probably worse. Because Anne enables him to believe in something greater than the life he has lived since Liz’s passing, Challe loves her and longs to be with her. But the fact that he was willing to give that up for her goals suggests that he still has the hurting notion that perhaps he doesn’t merit the happiness she can bring him. You don’t live through situations like his and then move on, so it makes perfect sense. Through chapters written from Challe’s point of view, author Miri Mikawa does a fantastic job of bringing that truth to our attention.

Mikawa isn’t very good at handling the whole slavery factor that she’s put up because Anne did buy Challe in volume one, even if she set him free. Sugar Apple Fairy Tale is still far from ideal. However, the world is expanding, and the narrative is consistently tense. Picking up the novels fills in numerous aspects that demonstrate why this got an adaptation in the first place, even if you’ve already watched the show.

f you’ve already watched the first season of Sugar Apple Fairy Tale’s anime adaptation, is it worth reading the novels? I’d say yes. Although these two books bring us to the end of the first season (so you won’t find out what happens next from them), they’re also full of details that the anime left out to make the show much more PG than PG-13. Those bits and pieces enhance the worldbuilding and the characters, rounding them out in ways that help move the story along and give the books a much fuller, more comprehensive feel.

We start to see these differences almost immediately. The second novel covers the Duke of Philax storyline, in which the previously amiable duke has promised a hefty reward to the sugar candy crafter who can make a piece up to his exacting standards. Many young confectioners are interested in using this opportunity to boost their standing before the next chance to win the title of Silver Sugar Master. When Anne decides to join the fray, she immediately clashes with the worst of the bunch. If you thought that statement meant Jonas, you’re right on the money—and this time, he’s got friends and a grudge. He’s also got a bead on what he believes to be Anne’s weakness: Challe, her warrior fairy companion. By convincing Challe to leave Anne, Jonas sets in motion a series of events: Challe bumps into Hugh, the Silver Sugar Viscount, on the road away from the duke’s manor… and Hugh promptly steals Challe’s wing, instantly making the fairy his slave.

This is just one of several instances across these two volumes that portray Hugh in a decidedly untrustworthy light. We know that Hugh has his eye on Anne and would very much like her to join his workshop, but now we can see how ruthless he can be in the pursuit of this goal. At the beginning of volume three, Hugh remarks that he didn’t destroy Challe’s wing (effectively killing him) to put Anne in a position with no one else to turn to but him because he’s afraid of what that might have done to Anne; he specifically says that he’s afraid it would have “broken something” in her. This statement, along with stealing Challe’s wing—and seriously considering killing him—should make us question Hugh’s motivations. Does he want to mentor her? He sees her potential as a candy crafter. Does he want her under his power? Or is he looking at her in a more personal light, seeing Challe as a rival for her affections? We don’t get a clear answer in either volume, but Hugh seems to be escalating, at least in his emotions, even as he works very hard to mask them to avoid appearing to be favoring her.

Anne’s skill as a confectioner is something we continually see working as a double-edged sword. Volume three delves much more into the socio-religious history of Highland, as well as bringing the misogyny lurking in the background of the first two volumes to the forefront. Anne, it turns out, is the only known female candy crafter in Highland, and there are plenty of men who don’t believe she ought to be counted as such. The fact that she’s even more skilled than they are is just fuel on the fires of their hatred, and they have no problem letting Anne know that they don’t think she belongs in their boys’ club. While this is frustrating and infuriating, what’s interesting is Bridget, the daughter of a major confectionary workshop. Bridget dislikes Anne from the moment they meet, and while there’s some spoiled brat to it, it soon becomes clear that Bridget is simply jealous of Anne. Even though she’s part of an illustrious family, Bridget has been told that candy making is a “man’s” job, and to see Anne fully participating in it – and blowing the boys out of the water – is something Bridget can’t handle. In her mind, Anne unfairly has it all: a career and a handsome fairy by her side, and as the novel goes on, we see her resolve to make sure that Anne ends the book with only one of those.

Although easy to dislike, both Bridget and Jonas are interesting and important characters. For one thing, they stand as foils to Anne, who won’t let anything hold her back from doing what she wants to do. Both of them are immature and angry, and they very quickly allow their jealousy to dictate their actions. Jonas knows he’s behaved badly, and a piece of him may even think he deserves to take the fall for another confectioner because he’s treated Anne so poorly. But Bridget has, as of the close of volume three, zero compunctions about what she has done. In her mind, she’s setting things straight, and if Anne was foolish enough to treat Challe as an equal, well, she deserves to lose him. Jonas may be having a hard time getting over his entitlement, but he is getting over it. Bridget is far more selfish, and that’s not a good combination with “angry”.

Also interesting are Challe’s reactions to the events of the two novels. In volume two, when Anne is worried about money, he makes the offhand offer to engage in sex work to bring in some cash, horrifying Anne and Mithril. But that’s a bit of foreshadowing for the end of volume three, as well as letting us know that whatever Anne thought he went through while he was enslaved, the truth is probably worse than she imagined. Challe loves Anne and wants to be with her because she allows him to believe in something better than the life he’s lived since Liz’s death. But his willingness to sacrifice that for her dreams shows that a piece of him is still suffering, believing that maybe he doesn’t deserve the happiness she offers him. It makes perfect sense – you don’t live through experiences like he’s had and then get over them. Author Miri Mikawa
does a good job of reminding us of that fact through chapters from Challe’s perspective.

Sugar Apple Fairy Tale still isn’t perfect, and Mikawa isn’t great at dealing with the whole slavery element that she’s set up because Anne did buy Challe in volume one, even if she set him free. But the world is growing, and the story is taut throughout. Even if you’ve seen the show, picking up the books fills in many details that show us why this got an adaptation in the first place.


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