A Deadly Education – Naomi Novik

Lesson One of the Scholomance

Learning has never been this deadly

A Deadly Education is set at Scholomance, a school for the magically gifted where failure means certain death (for real) — until one girl, El, begins to unlock its many secrets. There are no teachers, no holidays, and no friendships, save strategic ones. Survival is more important than any letter grade, for the school won’t allow its students to leave until they graduate… or die! The rules are deceptively simple: Don’t walk the halls alone. And beware of the monsters who lurk everywhere. El is uniquely prepared for the school’s dangers. She may be without allies, but she possesses a dark power strong enough to level mountains and wipe out millions. It would be easy enough for El to defeat the monsters that prowl the school. The problem? Her powerful dark magic might also kill all the other students.


I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review

My Rating: 4.5 Stars

Naomi Novik is absolutely in my list of top ten favorite authors of all time. Spinning Silver and Uprooted are so beautiful, romantic and atmospheric that I know they are books that will always stick with me. When I learned that we were getting a SERIES from Naomi Novik…and not just a series but A DARK ACADEMIA series? I legitimately jumped for joy. It was not cute and my downstairs neighbors definitely didn’t enjoy it, but it happened.

A Deadly Education was absolutely everything I wanted. The world was incredible and so unique. Novik actually managed to create a magical school that I very much do NOT want to attend. I never thought it would happen, but if I got admitted into the Scholomance I would legitimately run away. Far far away. Do not sign me up. Ever. Please. That being said, I loved reading about it. It is a school with no teachers that is instead filled with monsters that the students have to somehow survive in order to graduate.

El had the unique talent of being absolutely endearing in her narration, while simultaneously annoying me to no end when she spoke. Try to remember every snarky thing you’ve thought but kept to yourself. Now imagine what would’ve happened if all of that snark came out of your mouth instead of staying in your mind. THAT is El, and I absolutely loved her for it. When I tell you that El spoke her mind in this book, I don’t mean sometimes. The girl really spoke her mind. She also managed to be witty, funny, likable, tenacious and a surprisingly good friend to those who managed to slide into the role.

The pacing was a little slow to start, but that is to be expected of the first book in a new series. I didn’t feel as though there were any info-dumps, and the world was fairly easy to understand once I really let myself sink into it. While the book ends on a tiny cliffhanger, it is one that I can manage to survive. Do I want to call Naomi Novik and beg her for the second book right now? Well, yes. Will I be able to control myself and resist the urge? Probably.

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