Spice and Wolf (volume five) by Isuna Hasekura, illustrated by Jyuu Ayakura
Summary: Covering the same material as the second arc of the second tv season, Holo and Lawrence have arrived in the town of Lenos where they have heard a town chronicler might have more records of where Holo’s elusive home of Yoitsu lies. A fellow merchant introduces them to him but they want some help in return, help with a risky endeavor involving the town’s fur trade that might end up being more than they can chew.
The Good: The books continue to excel in creating secondary characters that don’t feel like repeats of an earlier side character and are rather fleshed out for characters who (probably) won’t ever appear in the series again. This is a bit easier to accomplish in a story that spends a lot of time with the characters sitting around and talking but when you think about it it’s impressive just how many characters Hasekura has been able to create without repeating traits (and there are still 12 more books to go!). There was also some very good foreshadowing this time around and once again felt like a solid installment.
The Bad: So far the stories have been rather good at explaining the economics and politics that make up the various situations and I’ve been able to follow along (and having already seen many of the stories in anime form has helped) but this one did confuse me quite a bit. This didn’t make me like the story less per-say but when everything was said and done I wasn’t quite sure what had happened and I do hope the economics in the next book are easier to follow.
Despite my trouble with the economic parts I still thought this was a good installment, although I must confess I'm more excited for the next book since then we'll be dealing with completely new material again. Funny enough by now I really want to watch the anime series again, it's been a few years since I've seen it, I've now read all the source material, and Funimation has some rather good prices for both seasons now, hmmmm.