Book Review; A Deadly Education- Naomi Novik

Lesson One of the Scholomance

Page Count 336

 Publication date  2020/ Publisher Del Rey

GoodReads link



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

Right from the start Novik turns the tension to full blast.
Galadriel has never been safe. None of the wizards at the Scholomance are. This school built into the void outside of ‘mundane’ (non magic folk) existence has been overrun by mals (monsters) for hundreds of years.
It’s never safe to be outside your room alone, but it’s even less so to be inside your room with anyone else after curfew.
As someone raised in a country where schools are the safest place, turning this on it’s head made the concept all the more unnerving.

The magical world Novik has created is a perilous one, even your breakfast might kill you! There are rules to follow, subjects and career paths to choose, alliances to be forged and a price to pay for every magical action you take.
There are no adults, no teachers, not even outside communication, only the students- each hell bent on surviving graduation, the final deadly test.

The story is told from the first person POV of our MC Galadriel, an underdog shunned by the entire Scholomance. I really enjoyed her voice, El is the epitome of strong independent female, she doesn’t want or need any help, least of all from the schools self appointed knight in shining armour- Orion. I really loved the idea that no matter how strong or talented you may be, the only way to survive graduation is with the help of others. Even if you only want them there to distract the big bads from eating YOU!

A Deadly Education is the perfect balance of immersive world building, unique plot and carefully crafted character development centred on magic, monsters and murder.

Remember when you first read about Hogwarts? The originality, the wonder, the magic..
A Deadly Education gave me back all those feelings in a darker, more mature novel. This book is a definite for any fantasy fan. I might even say it’s top of the genre for me right now.

But reader beware, after an ending like THAT waiting for the next release is going to be physically painful!

Roxanne’s Reactions:


Author: Roxanne Michelle

Dramatic, curly-haired wannabe writer from a nowhere town in Somerset. Stop-starter of all projects great and small. Here to talk books, film, mental health and lifestyle.

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