The Dwarven Crafters is a little more tame than the previous two volumes of Overlord. With the Sorcerer Kingdom (still mistranslated as “Kingdom of Darkness” in the official translation, argh!) more or less established now, Ainz can focus his attention elsewhere. Which translates to letting Demiurge and Albedo handle the bureaucratic side of things so he can do that he wants. Readers see once again that more than anything, Ainz longs for the good old days of adventuring with his buddies. So, with a handful of his servants, he decides to venture out into the unknown and investigate the dwarven country he has heard rumors about.
Most of this book focuses on Ainz, more so than most of the previous books at this point. Shalltear and Aura join him as the sidekicks for this adventure along with one of the lizardmen and various unnamed minions. It is fun to see that even several years into the story, Ainz has to repeatedly tell his subordinates, “Do not just shoot first and ask questions later.” While they are growing as people and developing better critical thinking skills, most of them still view wholesale slaughter as their go-to option during any sort of confrontation.
There are several parts of this book that show other characters viewpoints, namely the new dwarf characters. This includes a single dwarven craftsman as well as their country’s governing council. Their reaction to someone like Ainz showing up on their doorstep goes about how you would expect. This includes Ainz BSing his way into success by making vague/innocuous statements and having others fill in the blanks. Oh, and magic. Lots and lots of super-powerful magic to scare the pants off anyone who witnesses it (and lives). While not as extreme as Volume 9’s events, this is a clear reminder that Ainz and co. are playing this game with God Mode cheat codes.
Overall, this was one of the more fun Overlord books. The stakes were not high and while the events were not action packed, they were not bland either. We get to see Ainz doing what he most wants to do: going on an adventure. Exploring the unknown, fighting monsters, and finding treasure. All the things that adventurers do. While he still must play the role of king to some degree, that is almost more of a secondary objective. In the end he gets what he wants, in more ways than one, as Nazarick’s world conquest continues.