Cover Image: A Deadly Education

A Deadly Education

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Member Reviews

'I decided that Orion needed to die after the second time he saved my life.'

Right from the start Novik turns the tension to full blast. 
Galadriel has never been safe. None of the wizards at the Scholomance are. This school built into the void outside of 'mundane' (non magic folk) existence has been overrun by mals (monsters) for hundreds of years. 
It's never safe to be outside your room alone, but it's even less so to be inside your room with anyone else after curfew. 
As someone raised in a country where schools are the safest place, turning this on its head made the concept all the more unnerving.

The magical world Novik has created is a perilous one, even your breakfast might kill you! There are rules to follow, subjects and career paths to choose, alliances to be forged and a price to pay for every magical action you take.
There are no adults, no teachers, not even outside communication, only the students- each hell bent on surviving graduation, the final deadly test.

The story is told from the first person POV of our MC Galadriel, an underdog shunned by the entire Scholomance. 
'El' doesn't want or need any help, least of all from the schools self appointed knight in shining armour- Orion

A Deadly Education is the perfect balance of immersive world building, unique plot and carefully crafted character development centred on magic, monsters and murder.

Remember when you first read about Hogwarts? The originality, the wonder, the magic.. 
A Deadly Education gave me back all those feelings in a darker, more mature novel. This book is a definite for any fantasy fan. I might even say it's top of the genre for me right now.

Reader beware, after an ending like THAT waiting for the next release is going to be physically painful!
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3.5 stars but rounding it up as I did enjoy it. 
It’s a brilliantly different take on teen fantasy schooling and actually uncomfortably unsettling. Protagonist El is credibly angry and unpleasant, with small painful bursts of explanation, but the rest of the characters are glibly 2d.  And the story barrels along nicely, and unpredictably, but it is all a bit one note. It would have been better to have some layers and sub plots.  Hopefully the rest of the series will have more nuance and surprises
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This book was not at all what I expected, but I enjoyed it nonetheless! There were definitely times when I felt like the story would suddenly go on really long and somewhat unnecessary tangents in the middle of an important scene, but overall, the lighthearted tone and El's voice was so much fun to read. The world Novik created was so interesting to learn about, but I also found it to be pretty confusing.
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This book was one of my most anticipated books of the year and it did not disappoint. I immediately dropped everything and picked up A Deadly Education as soon as I was approved for it on Netgalley. I literally devoured this chunky book within 24 hours. I could not put it down. 

I did find that the plot and magical system could be complex at times, more so the history behind the school and everything within it. I think that is something I will appreciate more once I have a physical copy to reread and discover bits that I may have missed. That physical copy that I have already preordered! 

I literally love the fact that we are set in a school. , a school with deadly creatures at every corner. It really does make for a good atmospheric read and you can be guaranteed to be on the edge of your seat throughout. 

I absolutely loved the characters in this book El especially. What a wonderful main character she is. Whilst I didn’t like him at first, Orion is also a wonderful character, one which I am sure will grow on you! What I also loved is that the school is run without teachers or authority. Do what you’re meant to, whilst fighting away monsters who are persistent with wanting to kill you. It’s simple. 

There was just the right amount of everything in this book it was fantastic. I can’t wait for it to be released in the wild so I can rave about it with everyone else!
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If you like prickly 'I'm a bad guy (but not really)' kind of protagonists chances are you will like A Deadly Education. Maybe I approached this novel with the wrong expectations. The premise made it seem as a fantasy meets dark academia sort of thing but in actuality what we get is closer to The Hunger Game by way of Rick Riordan.
A Deadly Education is very silly. Which could have worked if it hadn't been for the writing. El's narration is bogged down by exposition and more than once the action is interrupted by info-dumping. For example El will be about to fight some creature or she's having a conversation with something, and then we get pages and pages of El explaining things to us. I understand that the author wanted to give a context to certain scenes but I've personally never been keen on narratives that are a heavy on the 'telling' and light on the showing. It didn't help that I found El to be a less entertaining version of Meda from Cracked.
The world building left a lot to be desired and I wasn't keen on the 'magic' system. I just was unconvinced by the whole school-thing (even if El 'explains' why the school exists and why it is the way it is).
The joke-y tone also didn't quite work for me, it was a tad too juvenile. The setting lacked atmosphere, which is saying something since the school did have the potential of being a perfectly creepy location.
Anyway, I'm sure that there are readers who will be able to enjoy much more than I did.
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I LOVED this book. Whole-heartedly and completely, every minute of it. I can't even begin to describe my excitement when I first started reading this novel. I'd previously read and loved Novik's other books, Uprooted and Spinning Silver but, honestly, nothing prepared me for the blast I was going to have reading this book. I think this is my new favourite book of hers and, sure enough, she has now become one of my staple authors.

The book follows El, a junior just trying to survive her two remaining years at a school determined to kill its pupils. El has always been an outcast, but an incident with a magical monster and an unbidden, persistent hero thrusts her into the spotlight and soon she's having to navigate the just-as-deadly social sphere. But something else is afoot...     

I flew through this book over the course of one night and the next morning. I didn't want to put it down. I was gripped. Hook, line and sinker. I think it was just the kind of novel I was waiting for. Dark, with a complex world, solid characters, a touch of angst, a host of different character relationships... It even had a splash of good humour to add to the mix! Half the time I feel like humour just doesn't seem to fit with the rest of the storyline but, for this one, it just added a little something extra to love. I was smiling and humming away at some of the scenes and character interactions, they were just so well-done and funny.

The characters honestly made this book for me. I fell in love with them. El was exactly the kind of heroine I like - snarky and strong but has her moments of doubt and uncertainty. I really felt for her and was invested pretty quickly in her story from the beginning. I love when authors present us with flawed characters, it makes them so much more interesting and multi-dimensional. Orion was also a great character and his brusqueness and interactions with El were most of the reason I couldn't stop smiling throughout this book. I even grew to love some of the side characters and am so excited to see their development in future books, as well as watch all the different character relationships develop.

I also loved the plot and setting Novik created in this book. Of course I would be drawn in by the idea of a darker Harry Potter-esque boarding school setting. The whole school-out-to-get-you vibe was executed so well and I was completely enthralled by the magic system and how it worked. I didn't find it read too similar to Harry Potter or anything at all, to me it was completely its own story. The book provided us with a lot of backstory at times but, in all honesty, I actually really enjoyed the context because I was so invested. It also made it easier for me to fall into the world quicker. So it didn't really affect the pacing for me at all. I enjoyed every minute of it.

Overall, I really loved this book. It has solidified Novik's position in my list of favourite authors. I flew through it. I think it is honestly one of the best books I've read so far this year and I am so excited to begin my journey with this new series. I loved the world, the concept and the characters and their relationships so much - it was just exactly my kind of story and exactly what I was looking for. The only thing now is I'm going to have to wait a while for book two!
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A deadly education is set in a magic school where you either graduate or you die. We follow El who is the year before graduation year as she navigates her time at school. El has enough power to protect herself against the monsters but this power also seems to put other people off being close to her. El is therefore working hard to figure out how she can create some allies if not friends.  

There is a lot to like in this book. The idea of the monsters attacking young people with magic and a school setting which no longer protects them the way is should. The development of El with other chararcters (I will not say any more as I do not want to enter spoiler territory), the diversity - the school accepts people from all over the world which leads to a diverse group of characters. 

However although I enjoyed this book it wan't a new favourite. I sometimes felt a little overwhelmed by the terms used within the book in relation to the magic system. Also at times it felt as if I was being told so much that I was slightly removed from the story itself.

Having said all that I am excited for more books in the already established world (I am guessing there will be more books). That last line has got me asking questions!
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Thank you so much NetGalley for giving me these e-ARC. First of all, I love Naomi Novik's UPROOTED so much and when I heard she's going to release A Deadly Education, I know right away I pre-ordered the book immediately. I got the chance to read the book earlier which I was very excited!! 

A Deadly Education is a dark magical story about our lead character, El, short for Galadriel (As in Galadriel in LOTR!) and her journey in this magical school for wizards called The Scholomance. The Scholomance is not that type of school of wizards (not like Hogwarts), you can find monsters here lurking in the dark and ready to eat you, you will never be safe in this school if you're going to class / library / cafetaria ALONE. If you do go alone, trust me, be ready to find monsters (in here it's called as Mal). What I really love about this book is the world-building in here, I love how Naomi crafted the world and the magical system in here is captivating! The fact that you have to take out 'a life force' or in here called as 'mana' to do some magic is very interesting. I love El so much, she's independent, she had to learn to be independent because of her differences (her dark magic power) , her character is quite relatable to me and i adore her so much. 

I give this book a 4-star rating! I almost gave it a 5 stars, however, I find the plot was a bit boring at first maybe because the author wants to tell us about this new world of 'the scholomance and its magic system' but i feel like this book is lacking in action scenes, i wish there was more actions between the students & the mals, it felt a bit draggy at first but overall I still enjoy the book. I'm really looking forward for the second book though, i hope it'll get better!
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I loved Uprooted and Spinning Silver, and expected something similar here, something fairytale-esque, but what I got was something completely different. It’s a weird world of a magic school without teachers, where it’s accepted that not all of your class will survive to graduate. A school the moves and changes and that is infested by creatures eager to harvest the lives of the student’s within.

It took me longer than I usually like to get into, as the world Novik has created is so bizarre and wonderful it took me a while to wrap my head around. Once I did however, I was drawn in. Everything worked so well together, and I think Novik proved again, at least to me she’s a talented writer.

If you struggled to begin with like I did, definitely push through. I found the payoff so rewarding, and I can firmly say this book is my favourite of the year so far.
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This was an interesting read because I really liked it, the characters were fun and well written, but the prose was quite long and could sometimes get confusing. I would definitely recommend it though. I know I'll be rereading it when the finished proof comes out.
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I stayed up until 5am reading this in one glorious burst, and I feel dead today but it was so worth it. If there's anyone in the world I stan, it's Naomi Novik (she MADE ARCHIVE OF OUR OWN!! she writes stories which INFECT MY BRAIN! her plot mechanisms are feats of engineering!) so I was incredibly excited for this. 
This is a take on the 'magical school' trope, which examines the idea that magic is a free, unlimited resource for students who are good enough at casting. Instead, you have to put real effort into collecting enough energy to cast spells (knitting or doing sit-ups are popular choices). Otherwise, you have to take life force from other living things to cast spells. It's something I examined in my next book The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker, where I wanted to examine the source of ghosts' energy - they have to fight amongst themselves to get the most power, or disintegrate. So this hit me in my sweet spot, in a topic I've thought a lot about recently. 
It's the most brutal, wonderfully cutthroat world of death and horror, within the closed environment of a metal school under siege by creatures desperate to consume the students' magic. 
The characters are great too: a girl who is destined to be evil, and a boy who is destined to be a hero. Both of them aren't entirely happy with accepting their fates, and rebel against it in different ways. El's mum was also brilliant - I love how the truth about her crept in slowly, starting with little references and growing into something really impressive. 
The beginning of the novel is a little exposition heavy, but that's only because once it gets going, it literally does not pause for breath until the final page. Novik is a master at setting up a plot to unfurl in a series of staggeringly well-thought out bursts of action, weaving together into an imaginative climax. This is no exception, and I am so, so excited for the sequel. I want more of vicious El and her lovely, besotted Orion.
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