Book Review: A Deadly Education

Summary From Goodreads:

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. 

My Review:

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik is adult fantasy, with a unique story plot, featuring a girl named Galadriel and a boy named Orion Lake. I wanted to really like this more than I did, but I wound up dnf’ing the book at around 200 pages. Galadriel was rather harsh towards Orion, and the plot wasn’t keeping my attention.

The magic system was good. I liked the whole school set up. But otherwise? I hated how the students treated one another, as though each of them were nothing more than cannon fodder to the other. It seemed rather callous between the students. I understand the whole ‘fight to survive’ element going on, but it seemed as though they could have banded together to accomplish more.

The pacing for the story was well structured, and I did like how the characters all felt real. The magic system was slow to be explained as were the monsters within and without the school. I generally was overall? Not a huge fan, but still liked it enough to make it past the halfway point. I’d recommend this to those looking for another fun fantasy setting set at an educational school.

Final Rating: 3/5 stars

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