Sophie Birch wakes up to a strange blonde woman claiming Sophie promised to be her “priestess” and honestly the whole thing goes downhill from there.
Classes? Levels? Mana?
Wait – on top of all of that, this place doesn’t even have coffee?!
In which our heroine wakes up in a fantasy world and wishes she had spent more time playing video games instead of reading all of that romance manga.
Accidentally a Shrine Priestess updates on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
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So, the story archetype is one of those Hallmark channel movies where a 30-something woman moves into a decrepit mansion on the edge of a rural town (often by inheritance by a distant relative) and fixes it up while getting to know all the characters in her small community. Now, take that and replace "mansion" with "shrine" and add a little LitRPG fantasy: voila! It's slice of life in a far more comely manner than most of what you see on Royal Road.
About the setting, unlike most fantasy, this has a more 19th century rural vibe, rather than medieval. So, there's no industrialization or equivalent in the town, but the quality of life seems fairly high with far more goods than really should exist in a rural community that small unless they're getting significant imports from larger manufacturing parts.
Sophie as a character is little difficult to appreciate in the beginning. She's so middle of the road and bland. She almost comes off as ditzy, but like someone who likes to stay at home. Even from Earth perspectives, she seems surprisingly unskilled and uninformed. Like, after lamenting the lack of a cell phone calendar, she somehow lacks the perspective that people used to have paper calendars before 2007 (and many still do); it's strange. She can't cook. She can't take care of a cat. It's almost like she peaked in high school and she became a secretary at a company. So, there's that. But hey, some folks like that. And in any event, perhaps it's the passage of time or chapter count, but I've started to really appreciate her homebodiness. (As an aside, she's actually only 23, but I really think she fits the mould of a 30-something single woman).
Another reviewer likened this to a Hallmark movie, but to me it reads more Stardew Valley and that's a wonderful thing. Accidentally A Shrine Priestess is some good light reading; The most conflict I think we've seen so far is about what you would find in the first season of your Stawdew farm, but that suits it just fine. I do wish the main character got into her own personal conflicts a bit more often and most characters thus far have been a little one note, but I can see some potential for some juicy conflict with the shrine spirit... 👀
Overall, cute read, good vibes!
Nothing much has happened over 24 chapters, but it's got a very cozy vibe. Sophie meets various friendly people around town, learns about the world and the obligatory RPG system, and doesn't really get into trouble beyond not knowing how to cook. Everyone is happy that there's finally a priestess to take care of the shrine, so the plot so far is more about Sophie coming to grips with her new job.
There's an overarching goal of "level up so she can take care of the shrine properly," and hints of a broader mystery along the lines of "what made the shrine fall into ruin to begin with?", which is enough to keep my reading, but overall it's really chill.
One thing I do enjoy is that while it's got an RPG system, it's not the in-your-face "Ding! Level Up!" that some stories have. Instead, people need to go to a shrine spirit, who (with the priestess's help) can tell them what level they are and grant them new classes. It does the same with other stock RPG features, like how clothes made by the local [Tailor] provide increased stats and a hammerspace inventory. It makes the system feel a little more grounded in the world.
So let me start off by saying that I am loving this piece to bits.
It's so nice and rather rare to see a portal/isekai fantasy with a level/progression system that does not quickly turn into a powergrind fantasy or has MCs start off with utterly broken advantages.
Instead we get a nice, although of course rather confused MC (with a coffeine addiction that is most certainly way past being healthy) that is just slowly getting to know the world she was suddenly dropped into, the people in it, and the powers she just aquired. Nothing is dropped into her lap, but the world is also not hostile and her survival and wellbeing are unthreatened so far. It takes its time to build the world and progress is slow, but this is really a good thing here. It's a lot more like a slowpaced slice-of-life story. There is potential for some drama, but there is no apocalypse, no demon lord or environmental disaster, no collapse of society. Just a girl, her friendly but a bit confused temple spirit, and the nearby town with the people therein - and an entire new world with magic and skills that is explored at a leisurely pace. And that is great in itself.
For people who are looking for epic battles, exploration of the entire world, stat tables and skill lists and the grinding of XP, monsters and quests, this is certainly not the right novel (at least so far). And personally, I hope it stays that way.
The writing itself is good, the vocabulary is varied and appropriate, the grammar doesn't leave reason to complain either.
I am looking forward to more of this!
A fun story about the perils of getting wasted! Actually Sophie seems to have learned her lesson ... it just took her being (maybe) Shanghai'ed to another world to learn it. It's (so far as of Chapter 11) a light, easy story about a youngish woman who discovers her place as a shrine maiden in another world. Very light progression metrics, no heavy stats or skills or abilities yet, but they are hinted at, so we'll see!
Seems well written, grammatically correct. No real obvious spelling errors. And stylistically, the character is very much a work in progress but in a slow-burning, character driven manner. She's definitely not an OP Mary Sue.
While it is still too early in the story to tell where this will go, I enjoyed the characters and worldbuilding. The writing is of high quality, I've not noticed any errors, grammatical or logical.
It managed to keep up my curiosity and suspense even if what happened until now was actually pretty mundane. Five stars for a strong start from me!
So, this one is unusual for me to read in that it's still VERY early in it's story. Despite that, I am quite enjoying it. It's quite obviously a slice of life tale, with the central theme so far being renovating a decrepit shrine, and learning the tasks that our main character has been assigned as a Shrine Princess. Therefore, the body of the story is focused on one particular place, and the interactions of the MC with the people surrounding it. With that in mind, it's quite well done. The character's personalities seem natural, and the setting is well described and fluid. All in all a good start! I'll have more, in detail thoughts and critiques as the story progresses, but I'm happy enough with it's start. 🤪
Accidentally a Shrine Priestess is almost like a source material for the slice of life anime show. Cute girls doing cute things, nothing interesting ever happens, isekai edition. Well, I can't be entirely sure that all female cast of this story is indeed cute looking, author didn't described them to that detail, but I certainly imagine them as such simply because story hits all checkpoints I expect anime to hit. Including entirely meaningless RPG system for the plot at hand, no real conflict, focusing entirely on mundane life in fantasy Japan equivalent, gimmicky protagonist, and of course, all main character are girls...
Only distinguishing feature that sets this story apart from the numerous Japanese Light Novels is its style - unlike those, this story is actually well-written. No awkward and wonky translation real Light Novel would have, this one was supposed to be in English all along.
I give it's style 5 out of 5 with no objection against the way it is written. Also default 5-stars for grammar.
My only critique would fall in Story and Character category. Not because it is a bad story, but because it is very dull. Just like Slice-of-Life shows it mimics, nothing interesting ever happens, and its characters are equally unappealing. I am almost certain that story will soon introduce the girl character protagonist adopts like a daughter. SoL Isekai almost always does that. It feels that predictable.
Otherwise, I have no real complaints about the novel, rating it as Good with 4.5 out of 5 rating. For people who love to relax watching the Slice of Life anime, and want to see the same plot in the written format, it would be a perfect story.
A young woman from a big city is suddenly stranded in an unknown world after a drunken trip, and has become a priest without her knowledge at a deserted shrine just outside a village under mysterious circumstances. The story tells how she slowly adjusts to her new role and learns about the world to which she has come. She is not good at practical work, and much of the story focuses on her inability to cook. The villagers she comes into contact with are friendly, but the story develops slowly, partly because she is initially afraid to say that she is not a native of the new world.
The story is well told from the main character's point of view, and the mystery of the world she has come to and how it works, including magic, classes and levels, captures the reader from the start. However, in my opinion, too little happens. Much of the action is day-to-day stuff like cleaning and (attempted) cooking, while she – and by extension the reader – only gets to know more about conditions in the local world in dribs and drabs. After 26 chapters, I'm starting to find it a bit tedious, and wish the narrative would progress faster.
I enjoy that the story so far is completely devoid of violence and fighting. I don't even think we've seen a weapon at any point in the story. Most of the conflict has revolved around the main character's internal struggle with accepting her new role - which she perhaps does too easily.
Story: good plot (so far) – 5 stars.
Style: too slow development for my taste – 3 stars
Grammar: Good language – I didn't notice any errors – 5 stars
Character: Mostly good, but the main character doesn't seem entirely believable to me – 4 stars
Overall: 3.5 stars
A fairly interesting day by day story about someone who wakes up in a new work. Doesn't take too long to get to what seems to be the main fun story. Release schedule is fast paced currently, but we'll see what it is in the future.
I'm looking forward to future chapters as fast as they come.