A Deadly Education: A Novel (The Scholomance #1) (Hardcover)
October 2020 Indie Next List
“A Deadly Education takes a fresh stab at the magical boarding school setting in this inventive and compelling new novel from Naomi Novik. Galadriel Higgins is a student at Scholomance, a dangerous institution full of things that don’t just go bump in the night, they tend to maim and murder the students. In such a perilous place, it’s important to have friends. Unfortunately, Galadriel is a sarcastic misanthrope with a potent affinity toward mass destruction and death, but she might have to start relying on her non-magical charms to get out of this school alive. With a wink to all your favorite series, A Deadly Education is guaranteed to enthrall!”
— Heather Herbaugh, Mitzi's Books, Rapid City, SD
K. First up. A HUGE shout out to the narrator of the audiobooks. Anisha Dadia BROUGHT El and this story to life for me in such vivid color. She perfectly captured the prickly, smart, and sarcastic El in all her awkward outcast glory. And this is important because El is telling us the story. Why should you read the Scholomance series? Well, I hate to compare it to other books, but I think these references will help you understand what you are in for. Imagine if Hogwarts had been run Lord of the Flies style with a touch of Hunger Games thrown in for good measure. I am writing this as a collective review for both the first and second book in the series. Novik has created a world where magic and monsters are real. Magicians with money and power created immense fortresses, called Enclaves, around the world to protect themselves from monsters and they send their children to the Scholomance so that they may learn critical survival skills through development of their powers. With no teachers, monsters lurking around every corner, and loads of classism and politics, it is everyone for themselves unless you are part of an Enclave or are extra special. El is not an Enclave kid, and she becomes our reluctant "Chosen One" anti-hero who may or may not destroy the world with her affinity for dark power... In the midst of trying to stay alive and learn enough to survive graduation, she is also facing many of the same issues the average teenager has. Does this boy like me and why? Do I like him or should I kill him? Should I try to make friends and form an alliance even though I hate everyone and trust nobody? I have loved how El changed and developed over the first two books in the series and the cliffhanger at the end of the second one has given me such a book hangover and leaves me counting down the months until the final book in this trilogy is released.— Cori
FINALIST FOR THE LODESTAR AWARD • “The dark school of magic I’ve been waiting for.”—Katherine Arden, author of the Winternight Trilogy
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.
With flawless mastery, Naomi Novik creates a school bursting with magic like you’ve never seen before, and a heroine for the ages—a character so sharply realized and so richly nuanced that she will live on in hearts and minds for generations to come.
The magic of the Scholomance trilogy continues in The Last Graduate and The Golden Enclaves
“The can’t-miss fantasy of fall 2020, a brutal coming-of-power story steeped in the aesthetics of dark academia. . . . A Deadly Education will cement Naomi Novik’s place as one of the greatest and most versatile fantasy writers of our time.”—BookPage (starred review)
“A must-read . . . Novik puts a refreshingly dark, adult spin on the magical boarding school. . . . Readers will delight in the push-and-pull of El and Orion’s relationship, the fantastically detailed world, the clever magic system, and the matter-of-fact diversity of the student body.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Novik deliciously undoes expectations about magic schools, destined heroes, and family legacies. A gorgeous book about monsters and monstrousness, chockablock with action, cleverness, and wit.”—Holly Black, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“At the Scholomance, monsters are everywhere and the breakfast might kill you, but the wonderful cast of characters will grab ahold of your heart and you’ll never want to leave this deadly school. Naomi Novik skillfully combines sharp humor with layers of imagination to build a fantasy that delights on every level. I loved this brilliant book.”—Stephanie Garber, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Caraval series
“Eyeball-meltingly brilliant . . . Novik is, quite simply, a genius.”—Kiersten White, New York Times bestselling author of And I Darken
“Hilarious and wild! Take any fictional magic school, make it as over-the-top dangerous as possible, and populate it with a bunch of snarky teenagers; the result is pure batshit fun.”—N. K. Jemisin, New York Times bestselling author of The City We Became
“A Deadly Education is a nightmare from which I never wished to wake: savage, inventive, and soulful. Novik grasps the totems of childhood that linger in your mind—schools of magic, curses, cutthroat classmates, monsters—only to twist them into a grand new tale that’ll make you believe in magic again.”—Pierce Brown, New York Times bestselling author of Dark Age
“A Deadly Education is a book that lives up to its gobsmacker of an opening sentence and follows right through to its shocker of an ending that promises more to come. Naomi Novik is relentlessly innovative and entertaining.”—Terry Brooks, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Druid
“Friendship in spite of itself; danger that doesn’t quit—what a wildly magical ride!”—Tamora Pierce, New York Times bestselling author of Tempests and Slaughter
“The magic and mystery of this chillingly lovely novel will appeal to both YA and adult fans of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books. . . . An unresolved ending leaves readers eager for the next installment.”—Library Journal (starred review)