Who Killed the Hero? Dare ga Yusha wo Koroshita ka

(Dare ga Yusha wo Koroshita ka)
by 駄犬 (Daken)

Author: 駄犬 (Daken)
Japanese Level: JLPT N3-N2
Genre: Fantasy, mystery
Pages: 264

Amazon Japan Kindle: 誰が勇者を殺したか
Bookwalker Japan: 誰が勇者を殺したか
Shōsetsuka ni Narō (free): 誰が勇者を殺したか


Japanese Summary




English Summary (translation by Japanese Talk Online)

The Hero killed the Demon Lord. But he also never came back.

It’s been four years since the Demon Lord was defeated. The now peaceful Kingdom should exalt the fallen Hero, so a new work compiling his great deeds has begun. One person interviews the Hero’s ex-companions: the Knight Leon, the Priest Maria, and the Sage Solon, but their words cloud the truth behind the Hero’s demise. “Why did the Hero die?” Was it the Demon King? Or the companions? A fantasy mystery you cannot take your eyes away from this tale of a Kingdom and its adventurers lives and emotions.


Why You Should Read 誰が勇者を殺したか

I am not an avid light novel reader. Especially modern light novels written on Shōsetsuka ni Narō—the website where people post their light novels and popular ones get picked up for publication and sometimes even anime. They’re often written by amateurs authors who don’t have editors to show them how to tighten the story and writing. But they’re really popular among a lot of people, so it could just be me who’s gets her feathers ruffled about this stuff.

Saying that, there are some light novels that I have liked (Faraway Paladin and Bakarina naming two), and much to my surprise, and 誰が勇者を殺したか is one of them.

To put it simply, Who Killed the Hero is a stand-alone cozy mystery high fantasy light novel.

The story is set after the Demon Lord (or however you personally translate maou) has been defeated, but for some reason the Hero was killed on his way back. The narrative is told from the perspective of someone as they go around interviewing the Hero’s companions to try and work out what happened.

Each chapter starts with a discussion between the investigator and one of the hero’s companions. Then we have a flashback to related events, once from the perspective of the companion and once from the perspective of the Hero.

Things quickly fall into place and you can easily guess where the story is going, but it’s a clever idea that I’ve never seen before. Despite how predicable the story was, I still liked the characters and how events played out.

I really appreciated the fact that it’s just one book, so unlike most light novels, you get a complete story by the end.


Why Japanese Learners Should Read 誰が勇者を殺したか

The story is not complex, and all the scenes are written clearly, but the Japanese used can be a little challenging. To match the high-fantasy style, Daken uses archaic kanji, uncommon words, and high-register grammar.

If you’re an avid light novel reader (especially of fantasy stories) then you’ll have no issues with this book. If you’ve not read much fantasy in Japanese before, then this could be a great place to start.

I would say this novel is good for N3-N2 level Japanese, and for people who like/want to challenge more high-fantasy Japanese.

Check out a free sample of it here!



This is a low-stakes and simple story—a cozy murder mystery, which I really enjoyed, despite the predicable plot.

A great novel for people who like fantasy light novels, but don’t want to commit to a multiple book series.

You can either buy the novel on Kindle or Bookwalker, or read it for free on Shōsetsuka ni Narō.


Similar Books You Might Like

最果てのパラディン (The Faraway Paladin)

Light Novel Comedy「はめふら」(Bakarina)

これは学園ラブコメです。(This is a School Romcom)

ログ・ホライズン (Log Horizon)