ROLL OVER AND DIE: I Will Fight for an Ordinary Life with My Love and Cursed Sword! is a light novel series written by kiki and illustrated by kinta.
It started as a web novel, and was adapted into a light novel some time afterwards. The series also received a manga adaptation.
Both light novel and manga are licensed for English release by Seven Seas Entertainment.
Bloodied, but Unbowed…
Flum Apricot was never meant to be a hero. Despite zero stats across the board and a power she can’t even use, she somehow finds herself included in a party of heroes. But Flum’s life hits rock bottom when the party’s renowned sage, Jean Inteige, decides that the useless girl is a dead weight, and arranges to have her sold into slavery.
Tossed to monsters to be feasted upon for her master’s entertainment, Flum makes the desperate choice to reach for a cursed weapon… and something new awakens within her. A grimdark tale about one woman’s blood-soaked quest to reclaim her life!
So, what can you expect from ROLL OVER AND DIE: I Will Fight for an Ordinary Life with My Love and Cursed Sword!? Well, I think the author puts it best in the afterword: “fantasy, lesbian romance, horror and fight scenes”.
I actually admire that a lot, because kiki has written something based on their own interests, as opposed to whatever is popular. A typical isekai story this is not.
This isn’t even an isekai story, actually. No reincarnations here; all the characters are born into this fantasy world of kiki’s creating.
The story focuses on Flum Apricot, as I’m sure you’ve gathered from the blurb. It seems that Flum’s lot in life is just to suffer, at least at first. Things start to change for her once she acquires a cursed sword, but even then the unfortunate events do not stop.
This story gets very dark, very quickly. Definitely not one for those who cannot stomach extensive gore, as kiki doesn’t really spare any details when describing such things. Fight scenes get particularly brutal.
I’m perfectly fine with it, and it does make those happier moments that Flum experiences feel worth it when they come around.
I like Flum’s character a lot. Of course she starts out fairly innocent at first, but that soon changes. Her moral compass gets shifted somewhat, although perhaps that’s for the best. There are a few moments where she debates whether she should carry certain actions. I did feel like she came pretty close to talking herself out of doing so once or twice, but then she went ahead and did them anyway.
After all Flum goes through, it’s nice to see her not holding back. There’s definitely a sense of catharsis there; I’d probably be a little annoyed if she did actually hold back.
The other main character in this light novel is Milkit. A slave girl who has seemingly given up on life, but finds new hope when Flum rescues her. Milkit steadily grows as the plot progresses; she’s incredibly stoic at first. However, she gradually opens up to Flum more.
The two have such a wholesome relationship, too. With all the darkness and gore going on, Flum and Milkit’s relationship shines as one of the bright spots in ROLL OVER AND DIE. Honestly, I just want nothing but happiness for the pair of them. Shame their world is such an unforgiving place, though…
Some of the plot beats are pretty familiar: a supposedly benevolent faction that holds most of the power in the land has dark secrets, for example. Naturally, Flum happens to stumble upon these secrets.
It’s the case of things not being exactly as they appear. I’m perfectly fine with that, though. I’m intrigued to see what comes of all that, and how exactly Flum is part of it all.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading ROLL OVER AND DIE: I Will Fight for an Ordinary Life with My Love and Cursed Sword!. I’m not one to shy away from “grimdark” stories, as they put it. Besides, it’s all worth it to see Flum overcome all those obstacles and return to Milkit so the pair can grow even closer.
This light novel is fantastic, and something I would happily recommend to anyone who can handle it. This first volume alone is enough to propel it into my top three light novel series.