A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik (The Schoolmance #1)
Reviewed by GGGinny
What I drank: sparkling wine. Twas pink. I got some good news today amd Sam was kind enough to celebrate with me. Also Im watching firefly which is a delightful bit of nostalgia.
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.
Drunk Overview: El is alone in the Scholomance, where many young magic users go to die. Orion Lake keeps saving people which offsets the balance of tge school. It means the malicious spirits are more vicious than normal. El, who alienates people like most people breathe, is the one who needs to take steps to save people.
Drunk Thoughts: I cant even describe gow much I love El. Shes one of those people who knowing make the “wrong” choices and ignores the people she doesnt think are worth her time.
- El is prickly in the best of ways. And the way she eventuallt chooses her friends is delightful
- Orion is a sweetheart who has always had so much on him that he diesnt know how yo say no.
- Their relationship is one of constant mortification
- The magic system was fascinating. I loved the idea of spells existing f9r common use once created.
- The idea of asking for what you want/need and only maybe getting it is wild.
- Plus this book had a wonderful wat of looking at privilege and the effects it has on everything was so interesting.
- El having an outside perspective on that privilege is what made so maby parts of this book interesting.
- The malicious spirits were also fascinating. The varieties and ways they attacked felt fairly unique
- This felt like a more realistic magic system than Im used to. I enjoyed the clear drawbacks and downsides to magic that dont show up in a lot of media.
- Don’t get me wrong, I wouldnt want to live in this world. I wouldnt survive. But it was a delight to read.
- I really cant get over how wonderful the character growth was.
What I’d Pair it With: moonshine. I feel like this book needs the kind of thing that could ve brewed in a bathtub without anyone knowing, if only for the trade value.