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Fantasy Friday: A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

I decided that Orion Lake needed to die after the second time he saved my life.

Everyone loves Orion Lake. Everyone else, that is. Far as I’m concerned, he can keep his flashy combat magic to himself. I’m not joining his pack of adoring fans.

I don’t need help surviving the Scholomance, even if they do. Forget the hordes of monsters and cursed artifacts, I’m probably the most dangerous thing in the place. Just give me a chance and I’ll level mountains and kill untold millions, make myself the dark queen of the world.

At least, that’s what the world expects. Most of the other students in here would be delighted if Orion killed me like one more evil thing that’s crawled out of the drains. Sometimes I think they want me to turn into the evil witch they assume I am. The school certainly does.

But the Scholomance isn’t getting what it wants from me. And neither is Orion Lake. I may not be anyone’s idea of the shining hero, but I’m going to make it out of this place alive, and I’m not going to slaughter thousands to do it, either.

Although I’m giving serious consideration to just one.

Amazon Link: A Deadly Education (The Scholomance #1)

Author: Naomi Novik

Genre: YA Fantasy/Dark Academia

Rating: 5/5 stars

My biggest complaint about this book is that it ended on a cliffhanger and I have to wait before I can read the next one.

I love the unique take on a magic school and the Chosen One vs the Great Evil plot. It was full of so many great touches for world building and the banter was perfect. I almost love this book too much and I worry that the series won’t be able to sustain this, but I hope the author’s experience will prevent her from doing another Temeraire.

Favorite line: turned evil by crochet! I need that on a shirt or something.

Also, more books should have major conflicts take place in enchanted libraries. I would love to see this book as a show or game, and just more in this world in general. I can’t wait to see how El becomes an unlikely hero/villain and change wizard society.

Note: I read an edited version that had changed the line about locs being dirty. I’m glad that the original line was called out and removed from the book. Otherwise, I thought the diversity representation was good.

Please don’t tell me any spoilers for book 2 (The Last Scholar)! I’m still on the waiting list at my local library to borrow a copy. Since the ebook is $18(!), I’m waiting to borrow instead of buying.

Here is the book in my reading journal:


I'm an author, a blogger, and a nerd. I read and write fantasy.