A Deadly Education

A Novel

hardcover, 336 pages

English language

Published Sept. 28, 2020 by Del Rey.

ISBN:
978-0-593-12848-0
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4 stars (126 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

reviewed A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

A tasty introduction

5 stars

Cons: It's not really a standalone. You'll want to know more and the cliffhanger at the end is primo.

Pros: Everything else. Characters are great and evolve, world seems consistent, the reasons magic doesn't solve everything feel right, the

El (Short for Galadriel, like, you know, "All shall love me and despair!”) is an outcast and a hard worker. Her mom is a kind hippy wizard who sees her differently than the rest of the world, which is to say her mom loves her and doesn't think she is a force of darkness destined to be an evil supervillain. She works hard to do things ONLY in the good ways so she never sets a foot on the path of darkness, no matter how many people she desires to invert over an ant-pile in the course of a day.

We meet El inside the Scholomance, a superdark high school for …

Excellent Trilogy Starter

No rating

I put a lot of weight on the main character, and El is relatable in a prickly, keep-your-distance kind of way. Thoroughly enjoyable to read.

The magic system was unique and very well thought out. The social commentary was obvious, but enjoyable. I'm interested to see if they expand the worldbuilding beyond the school in the later books.

I desperately want a My Immortal version of this, and it's also sort of like this is a somehow good version of My Immortal.

Drawbacks: El does tend to infodump. It's also painfully obvious that this is the first part of a trilogy rather than a complete story. Not sure I've ever read a book where that was so obvious.

reviewed A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

Cool concept that lacks magic.

3 stars

This has been a series on my reading list for awhile and it comes up repeatedly in suggestions for good fantasy novels so it was one I felt I had to read. As someone who has previously enjoyed the Harry Potter series it was also easy to draw some parallels here and a sense of intrigue. A darker, deadlier Hogwarts? Sign me up!

I went into this novel very enthusiastic and wanting to enjoy it, which is why I'm almost surprised I can find myself only giving this opening book of the series three stars; three and a half tops.

That isn't to say this was a bad book, though. There were many elements that I did enjoy, such as:

👍 The Scholomance: I think the world building in terms of the school were some of the best parts of this book. The Scholomance is unique in the sense …

entertaining and unique

4 stars

Loved the premise here, even if at times I questioned some of the internal logic of the magic laws at work. I was a little put off at the start by the narrative tone, but I eventually found a rhythm and it stopped bothering me. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

A Deadly Education

5 stars

Aw, this was a lot of fun. I enjoy the author’s other work and I’m glad that I enjoy this one too - and have a series to look forward to! On my library audiobook app it’s titled ‘A Deadly Education: TikTok made me read it’ which is very funny to me, I didn’t know it got big on tiktok. It makes sense though, it’s good YA that has (imo) well-executed themes of privilege & how it can be ignored by those who benefit from it, it’s got an undeniably dark academia-compatible setting, and it’s got… like…. a ratfic (as in fiction coming out of the rationalist community, like uhhh HPMOR) vibe, if ratfic identified itself more often as a viewpoint particularly attractive to teenagers as a kind of bad way of dealing with a specific set of probably temporary dissatisfactions than the ratfic I’ve read has. (That is pretty …

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.

Review of 'A Deadly Education' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

Anissa Dadia does an excellent job as narrator keeping you interested in a book that starts out featuring an angsty teenage dark mage who is in a terrible place by force. Naomi Novik deserves credit for setting up such a difficult task as an author. But as things progress, and the book wins the reader over, we get to see Novik’s ability to subtly include allegory on a number of real world social ills. That and some very nice language work… plus a very good ending making me get the second volume right away. 4.5 stars rounded up!

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