I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.
The books in this series are expensive. Which sucks because I have a feeling I'm going to want to get the rest. I picked this one up during a Kobo 50% off sale but passed on the others because I didn't know if I'd like them. Darn it.
This really does remind me of The Goblin Emperor, if that book had been written from the perspective of Maia's sister or fiancee. Margerit cares more about scholarly pursuits than trying to get herself a husband, and Barbara has been trained to act as a bodyguard and is at least as educated as Margerit, if not more so. And they're going to become a couple at some point, yay. :-)