The Scholomance Trilogy by Naomi Novik

“She says it’s too easy to call people evil instead of their choices and that lets people justify making evil choices. Because they convince themselves that it’s okay because they’re still good people overall inside their own heads. And yes, fine. But I think that after a certain number of evil choices, it’s reasonable shorthand to decide that someone’s an evil person who oughtn’t have the chance to make any more choices. And the more power someone has, the less slack they ought to be given.”

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

The Scholomance series by Naomi Novik is an absolute blast, and I am both so glad to have read it and also so disappointed that I have finished it because now there is no more story left. I totally would not mind more books set in this universe, just saying!

This trilogy is comprised of the following books:

1. A Deadly Education

2. The Last Graduate

3. The Golden Enclaves

This series is dark academia at its absolute finest. I picked up A Deadly Education when it first released a few years ago and then hesitated to start book two because I tend to love binge reading the last two books in a trilogy. But I saw my library had them both and took it as the sign that it was- I must finish it. And so I did, and I loved it, but gosh did it hit me in the feels. 

This story opens up at the Scholomance. El is a wizard attending the school but this isn’t an ordinary school. There are no teachers or staff of any kind. Classes, lessons, food are set by the school. But the food isn’t exactly a nice, cozy place to live. At every turn, maleficaria are attacking the students, wanting to take away their mana. And El is just about as grumpy and cynical as one can get…she was born with the weight of a prophecy on her soldiers. She was told she would bring death and destruction to the world. Doesn’t exactly make for a fun time, does it? 

El enters the Scholomance just determined to get through, not planning on making any friends or allies. But as the school challenges the students more and more, they begin to strike up friendships. And enemies. Or sort of enemies. Orion is constantly saving El’s life which annoys her to absolutely no end, but there’s more to Orion than she realizes, and it’s not long before El admits that he may be useful to have around. 

El is one of my favorite, snarkiest characters of all time. She constantly whines and moans about everything but also has an insanely tough attitude. She is talented and she knows it. I loved her soo soo much, and I really want a thousand more stories about her. She was the epitome of cool and I would love to be friends with someone as cheeky as her. 

But I just want to take a moment to gush about how amazing, incredible and completely fabulous the world building was in this series. The school was amazingly thought out as dangerous and scary as it seemed, part of me longed to walk through its halls. And the magic system was fascinating, mana is the major source of magic but you have to work really hard to get mana (as in exercise like pushups or situps will help you build mana) or you have to be an enclave kid who has a connection to a source of mana. Exercise for magic sounds terrible! But I’d totally do it…

Overall, this is an incredible and amazing trilogy you don’t want to miss. Having read a few books by Naomi Novik before (Uprooted, Spinning Silver and His Majesty’s Dragon), I am just in awe of her versatility and talent. She is such an fantastic author, and I would highly recommend trying any book she wrote!

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