A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

Book: A Deadly Education (The Scholomance # 1)

Author: Naomi Novik

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publisher: Del Rey Books

Publication Date: September 29, 2020

Format: book

Length: 336 pages

Somewhere in the U.K., hidden away from the eyes of mundanes, is a school of magic called the Scholomance. Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat: the Scholomance is not Hogwarts. The Scholomance is semi-sentient, does not house any teachers or professors, and is crawling with a variety of monsters hungry for young magicians. The Scholomance also encourages budding maleficers (evil magicians) to bring more chaos and destruction into the world. And the Scholomance has the perfect future maleficer in mind.⁠⠀


El has an affinity for mass destruction, murder, creeping out everyone she meets, and languages. She also has zero interest in becoming a maleficer. Mals don’t tend to live very long. Despite the schools best efforts, El has almost made it to the end of her Junior year without giving in to her dark talents, but if the school Hero, Orion Lake, tries to save her life one more time, she might finally cave.⁠⠀

I really enjoyed this dark YA fantasy. El has a prickly personality, but that’s mostly a defense mechanism. I like how El and Orion serve as foils for each other. They are both incredibly powerful, but one is an outsider who is ignored, despised, or sometimes even hated while the other is an insider who is lauded and praised.

NOTE: This is the first book in The Scholomance series and ends on a cliffhanger. The next book, The Last Graduate, is set to be published September 28, 2021.

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