A Deadly Education - Naomi Novik

A Deadly Education

By Naomi Novik

  • Release Date: 2020-09-29
  • Genre: Epic
Score: 4.5
From 829 Ratings


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of Uprooted and Spinning Silver comes the first book of the Scholomance trilogy, the story of an unwilling dark sorceress who is destined to rewrite the rules of magic.

FINALIST FOR THE LODESTAR AWARD • “The dark school of magic I’ve been waiting for.”—Katherine Arden, author of the Winternight Trilogy

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

Everyone loves Orion Lake. Everyone else, that is. Far as I’m concerned, he can keep his flashy combat magic to himself. I’m not joining his pack of adoring fans.

I don’t need help surviving the Scholomance, even if they do. Forget the hordes of monsters and cursed artifacts, I’m probably the most dangerous thing in the place. Just give me a chance and I’ll level mountains and kill untold millions, make myself the dark queen of the world.

At least, that’s what the world expects. Most of the other students in here would be delighted if Orion killed me like one more evil thing that’s crawled out of the drains. Sometimes I think they want me to turn into the evil witch they assume I am. The school certainly does.

But the Scholomance isn’t getting what it wants from me. And neither is Orion Lake. I may not be anyone’s idea of the shining hero, but I’m going to make it out of this place alive, and I’m not going to slaughter thousands to do it, either.

Although I’m giving serious consideration to just one.

With flawless mastery, Naomi Novik creates a school bursting with magic like you’ve never seen before, and a heroine for the ages—a character so sharply realized and so richly nuanced that she will live on in hearts and minds for generations to come.

The magic of the Scholomance trilogy continues in The Last Graduate and The Golden Enclaves

“The can’t-miss fantasy of fall 2020, a brutal coming-of-power story steeped in the aesthetics of dark academia. . . . A Deadly Education will cement Naomi Novik’s place as one of the greatest and most versatile fantasy writers of our time.”BookPage (starred review)

“A must-read . . . Novik puts a refreshingly dark, adult spin on the magical boarding school. . . . Readers will delight in the push-and-pull of El and Orion’s relationship, the fantastically detailed world, the clever magic system, and the matter-of-fact diversity of the student body.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)


  • Original take

    By MSAtK
    The whole series is some of the best fantasy I’ve read in years, and the first book sets up the world and characters. The people feel real, varied, even ‘side characters’ come with a sense of full realization. Turns the school for magic genre on its head in the best way.
  • Love Novik. Not so much this time

    By kessbd
    Uprooted was one of my favourite reads of the year. Clever, original, heartfelt. Spinning Silver didn’t quite hit the same heights, but the characters, world building and poetry kept me enthralled. A Deadly Education feels like it was written by someone else. Pages of exposition, characters introduced with barely anything to distinguish them, incomprehensibly convoluted reasoning and motivations, hanging narrative threads, all rendered through the eyes of a such a calculating and disenfranchised mind that it felt like we were being set up for a big unreliable narrator reveal that never came. World building is excellent. Everything else is under cooked or over cooked and served on beds of endlessly indulgent monologues. Bummer x
  • Puberty, magic, danger, and coursework - splendid

    By LeonF63
    Naomi Novik has created a school overflowing with magic but needing balance. A YA heroine intimately realized with a nuance of character that will carry many stories. Scholomance may remind you of Hogwarts for 3-seconds, then the lights go out and the world turns dark. It gets especially dark for a person without friends and a gift with no nuance. Galadriel is from the wrong side of the tracks and has no allies. Oh, don't forget those anger issues. Ms. Novik has created a wonderful world in a single building that looks and feels like the secondary (HS) school you attend(ed) but with the monsters under the bed that has actually followed you to your dorm room. Much like that famous story, this is part of a school and during the year, the students realize things are bad. Not bad in an expected way, but a much worse way. Incantations, Alchemistry, battle magic, and more are going to greet you in this wonderful world. Enjoy, I did.
  • Really enjoyed this book.

    By Habib85577444788
    I felt like it started slow, but I was also having trouble focusing. Once I got into it I couldn’t put it down. Fascinating world being built.
  • Deadly imagination

    By JJlov
    Wonderful, sardonic narrative voice! Somehow El describes the magical setting in a way I can understand. Buried under the fight to stay alive is a reluctant love story as old as time. Don’t miss this fantasy. I’m diving head-first into Book 2 as soon as I hit submit.
  • Great

    By marfy17
    I really didnt like this book for the first couple of chapters. It was a little confusing and felt a little all over the place. Im sooo happy I continued reading it. What a great book!
  • Awesome

    By akdbndodnwl
    Absolutely fantastic book, engaging and real feeling characters with a dope plot. I’ve read it like 5 times, excited for the next book.
  • Feels like a Terry Pratchett book! Wonderful

    By mmarcone912
    What I liked best is the author’s refreshingly different take on magic, and I love that Galadriel’s affinity is “dark sorceress/dominion of multitudes”. It reads very much like a Terry Pratchett book with the witty banter, lovable himbo hero, and somewhat sarcastic take on classic fantasy tropes while also mirroring real-world issues like prejudice and inequality. It’s almost like having Sir Terry back again, and that is a huge compliment to Naomi Novik. I also loved her other books, Uprooted and Spinning Silver, but this one has a different feel from the others. Can’t wait for book #2!
  • Reminds me of a run on sentence

    By rissz3233
    I was not impressed. It had a good story line but reading it felt like someone who never stops talking. You lose interest after while.
  • Loved it

    By R-Hays
    Started little slow but picked up and was a great read. Excited for the next book.