A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

5/5 Stars

If I could submit a review that was literally just me screaming for 5 hours, I would. Honestly this book is fantastic on so, so many levels but the ending is making it really really hard to think about anything else (in a good way!)

There has been waves of magic school ‘knock-offs’ since Harry Potter and its insane success, but I can say with full confidence that this is literally the most unique and amazing magic school novel I’ve ever read, with the most fascinating and interesting magic system on top of that. A school that literally tries to kill you but is still a safer option than not going? Unique distinctions between types of energy sources, affinities, AND different tracks of magic? There is literally so much to learn about this world and I could honestly just have read a guidebook and rated it five stars too, without the absolutely fantastic story and characters to match.

I’m not going to go too much into the plot and characters because people need to go into this book with no spoilers but??? It was just so good??? I love El on so many levels (won’t say which, spoilers), Orion is fantastic, and there are some amazing side characters as well. Even the characters that wholeheartedly suck do it in such a well-written way that you still appreciate their suckiness even if you hate them. Then the plot itself is filled with so much intrigue and mystery, so many twists and turns, and a whole lot of dark demons trying to eat your soul.

Honestly this is everything I want in magic school novels (and I think Naomi was genius in getting rid of the actual teachers). I’m seriously dying to read what happens next, but until that time, I’m going to definitely recommend this book to everyone I know (including you! read this book!)

2 thoughts on “A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

  1. This is the hard thing about reading an ARC and having no one to talk to about it! I just, gah, need to process it!

    For me, I found the violence a bit unrelenting and it’s one of those books that was really hard for me to get through but I can’t stop thinking about it now. There were also parts where it felt editing could have been really useful (so much angst!). I also think because Novik drip-feeds you information about the school through the story it doesn’t really hit you until a good 75% of the way through what’s actually going on which could be purposeful but can also be hard for people who won’t stick it out that long.

    But also El. Oh El. I love her so much. Any other character and I would have quit, but her voice carried the whole thing.


    1. Honestly I loved every aspect of this book, but I can see it being a bit much for some! But yea, this story definitely shines through El, and she is what made this book move from a good book to a great one for me.


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