The Golden Enclaves by Naomi Novik

Book: The Golden Enclaves

(The Scholomance # 3)

Author: Naomi Novik

Genre: Dark YA Fantasy

Romance Steam Rating: 2.5 out of 5 (Gentle Simmer)

Publisher: Del Rey Books, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group

Publication Date: September 27, 2022

Format: Audiobook

Audiobook Narrator: Anisha Dadia

Length: 14 hours, 49 minutes

Just like with The Last Graduate, this book picks up exactly where the previous one ended. El Higgins managed to survive the Scholomance and safely return to her mother’s commune in Wales. Unfortunately, things didn’t go quite according to plan. Now El must once again achieve the impossible. This time without Orion Lake at her side.

What an ending to the series! As with the previous books, El narrates the story with her trademark sarcasm, prickly personality, ruthless logic, and fierce love. I don’t want to give anything away, but as bleak as the earlier books got at times, this one is far, far darker. Lines are crossed. Limits are tested. Awful choices are presented. Shameful secrets are revealed. It is all masterfully done. Random facts and events from earlier books suddenly make sense in a very terrible way.

Since this one takes place outside the walls of the Scholomance, readers get a clearer picture of the magic world as a whole, both within and outside of the enclave system. It was fascinating to see characters from earlier books in a different setting. People behave differently at home with their own families than they do when they’re fighting for their lives in a magic boarding school. It was intriguing to see how those characters were shaped by the people and communities they were raised in.

Fair Warning: This book is an emotional rollercoaster, even more so than the rest of the series. The author didn’t pull any punches whatsoever. I was an emotional wreck more than once while reading this. Gird yourself.

NOTE: This is the third and final book in The Scholomance series. These books need to be read in order.

I found the ending to be a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy. However, it’s still open-ended enough that Naomi Novik could certainly revisit this world in future books if she ever wished to do so.

Thank you to Penguin Random House for the complimentary audiobook.

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