The seventh volume of the Spice and Wolf novels offers a break from the main story. This annoyed me because of how little happened in volume six: the worst volume thus far. Volume seven features the usual bad religion, especially in the novella which forms the first part of the book. (You can tell already what most of my comments shall be about.) This novella and one of the short stories were as bland as the prior volume. Only “The Red of the Apple, The Blue of the Sky” showed Isuna Hasekura at his best. The second short story was interesting in how it took Holo’s perspective, revealing how terribly insecure and anxious Holo is behind her quick-witted and capable facade.
The novella takes place before Holo settles down as the goddess of the harvest and concerns two children, Aryes and Klass, who are forced to flee their lord’s estate and find a new life for themselves in a far off town. On the way, they run into Holo, who makes herself extremely useful and extremely annoying by turns. (Holo appears unable to help teasing any man or boy in her company.) The story ends with a thrilling chase, which would have been better without the twist.