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A Deadly Education Hardcover
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The characters are all great, the main cast is quite fleshed out for a first installment, and I’m looking forward to seeing them get their own little arcs in the future. And although most of the book was Galadriel’s inner monologue, it was all very entertaining: I could picture the school so vividly in my mind and the descriptions were very evocative.
I’m am desperately eager for the next book in the series, I don’t know how I’ll survive until then! This book was a bowl of fresh air in the fantasy genre, and I hope it will get as much (if not more) acclaim and success as other books in the genre.
Top reviews from other countries
The Scholomance, inspired by a real Romanian legend, is not the cosy, nurturing, adventures before bedtime school from so many other novels. Chances are, you will not make it out alive.
The protagonist is half-Indian, half-English Galadriel or El, or is probably going to destroy the world one day. Maybe. If her grandmother's prophecy comes true anyway.
El's nemesis (in her own head anyway) is Orion Lake, a more traditional hero and Chosen One, and with these two Novik has fun taking apart the Chosen One trope.
Deadly Education is more of a series of episodes than one story. El gets up to various misadventures but it lacks a strong central plot.
It has lots of amusing snark from El, and her interactions with Orion are generally quite funny, however other characters are not fleshed out as much, which then leads the story to lack extra dimension or depth.
The worldbuilding itself is done in broad strokes, so we must rely on our impressions of other examples of the Magic School trope to fill in the blanks.
While I enjoyed El's voice, so many chapters were filled with lots and lots of exposition, and often none of it would become central to the story. This started to become a bit tiring.
Generally an enjoyable book but probably doesn't live up to its hype.
This pre-ordered Kindle edition popped up this morning, and I have hardly stopped reading all day!
Naomi Novik is a fantastic writer, and one of the things she does amazingly well is tone; the Temeraire books caught the feel of Regency speech and thought; Uprooted and Spinning Silver each feel like fairy tales, and different kinds of fairy tales at that. This book (series? Oh, please, make it a series!) is funny, gritty urban fantasy, and it's wonderful. Here's the well-worn magic school trope, this time married (in timely fashion) to automated teaching. Role-reversals abound -- the main character is trying desperately NOT to turn into a villain, while the natural-born hero is also a bit of a prat.
Along the way there are trenchant observations on privilege and oppression (again, timely) in a cut-throat world.
And yet, it's so much fun! Also an amazingly convincing magic system (along with a good reason for the monsters not to attack mundanes). There's a really novel school structure (moving staircases are only the beginning). And the most terrifying graduation ritual of all.
The school is Infested with Monsters Great and Small.
Watch TRAPDOOR old UK tv series to get general idea.
The Name Of The Wind university Alchemy and Artifice magical system work well with a strong emphasis on languages, old and new, for the infinite range of textbooks.
There is much trading between students with only limited resources.
The students from the elite enclaves lord it over the rest with superior equipment and much higher survival rates.
The poorer students compete to gain favour from the enclavers, and increase chances of survival.
BEST SCI FI/FANTASY BOOK OF 2020.
I love that the school was founded by industrial Mancunians for that ratchetty, clanking steampunk background.
Seriously, watch Trapdoor for sprinkles on top. You won't be disappointed.
I can't recommend highly enough.
Galadriel is just trying to survive, a loner, and outcast she is desperately trying to find a in with the Enclave kids the privileged elite who an alliance with almost guarantees survival and a comfortable life beyond the school. Possessed of vast magical potential of the homicidal sort her days are taken up with elaborate plans for proving her worth all of which come to nothing because Orion the schools hero keeps saving her. But as graduation looms closer the clock is ticking on everyone.
Snarky, Bitchy but secretly warm hearted Galadriel is a treat to follow while the plot is outlandish the character interactions are fairly grounded with the mix of the sociopathic , the out for themselves, hanger ons and misfits that you would expect in such a survival of the fittest scenario. This isn’t the lord of the flies all the usual problems and everyday terrors of school exist along with monsters in the dark. I was pleasantly surprised despite the dark premise and actual life and death stakes in the book I found it feel good without being sugary sweet or insincere and while maybe more YA then expecting I highly look forward to book two.
The Scholomance is a school of magic, one with no teachers and you learn by surviving an environment where everything is out to get you. Very much survival of the fittest and smartest.
Our main character, El, narrates the story and her relationships with the other students. She is sassy and bad tempered and has a great deal of power she is trying to keep under control. We learn about her, the way the school works and her ongoing battles with just about everyone and everything. Did sound right up my street, but….
Far too much explanation broken up by little bits of action. A potential romance/relationship didn’t help either and it felt like a great idea without a proper direction. If you are going to do a very dark Harry Potter, Lev Grossman did it so much better.
Not an awful book but not one that is anywhere near as good as it should have been. I struggled with its targeted audience too, I ended up thinking it suitable for the older YA audience and, sadly, not me.