A Deadly Education

A Novel

hardcover, 336 pages

English language

Published Sept. 29, 2020 by Del Rey.

ISBN:
9780593128480

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4 stars (28 reviews)

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.

4 editions

Good in every single way

5 stars

I love this book and this series. I’m reading A Deadly Education for the second time, and it’s just as fun as the first time I read it. One thing I love about Novik’s style in this book is how she interleaves the background context so thoroughly into the unrelenting pace of the narrative. There’s so much more to love about this book - just read it!

Perfectly dark. Perfectly humorous.

5 stars

I love fantasy novels and Harry Potter holds a special place in my heart, so finding a new British school book that's darker, gripping, and has a very different style of magic was extremely exciting. Try this book and you won't be disappointed. I will admit that I was annoyed by the MC in the beginning, but that fell away as I was introduced to the world and her own character developed.

Slow burn

4 stars

This book was such a slow burn for me. Coming highly praised, I came in here expecting a traditional school of wizardry tale. But your HP it is not. It's good though, very good.

Told from first person perspective, our narrator is Galadriel, a sophomore at the Scholomance, a deadly place of education indeed. The students learn magic simply by surviving the many horrors the school throws at them. There are no houses or anything the like, but alliances to make sure you survive your senior year. Students have to fight their way out, through masses of monsters.

Galadriel is a loner though. Secretly, she's one of the most powerful magic-users of the school, but she can only use spells of destruction. As the story progresses, Galadriel has to make alliances herself, and figure out if she and the most prolific monster killer of Scholomance, Orion Lake, are dating or …

Review of 'A Deadly Education' on 'Goodreads'

1 star

Abandoned after first chapter but I will concede that I am probably the wrong audience for this book; it would more likely appeal to mid-teens. I usually love YA fiction, but I just could not get past the arrogant whine of the main character. I flipped through to spot read to see if her entitled attitude would dial back and then realized I wasn't invested enough in the hints of the story to come presented in chapter one, so back to the library for something different.

Fun all the way through

4 stars

A lot of reviewers complained reasonably that the worldbuilding is pretty unbelievable at times, but I was having too much fun to notice.

I loved the big gimmick underlying the whole book: the protagonist has the talents and affinities to be the most powerful and destructive necromancer of her generation - there’s even prophecies about her! - but she was raised by pacifist hippies and works incredibly hard not to accidentally incinerate or mind-control her classmates, building power not by sacrificing animals but through push-ups and crochet.

It was ok I guess?

3 stars

I've read Uprooted and Spinning Silver and liked those a lot, but this book really clanged for me. I almost gave up on it a few times, but persisted through to the end and found it to be mostly okay. It's a pretty interesting concept for a book (I didn't realize until I was finished that the Scholomance is from folklore) and I could imagine the next book being ok, but I can also imagine that I might not bother reading it.

this felt almost there?

3 stars

There is a lot that I liked (and that I think people who've enjoyed Novik's previous books will enjoy) -- she writes characters with strong chemistry, the pacing is excellent, the world-building is super interesting. I think the does an impressive job of writing an angsty teen character and a romance based on being kind of mean in, which normally I would find unbearable.

But there are so many things in the plot that just... don't make sense. It really bothered me! I wasn't wild about the gotcha at the end that sets up the sequel either.

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