A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik succeded all my monstrous magic school dreams


 *Thank you Penguin NZ for the review copy!


If you can't get enough of dark academia, magic schools, spiky heroines and fucked up monsters, A DEADLY EDUCATION has been crafted just for you.


I felt like A DEADLY EDUCATION was stuffed to bursting with all the things I love and adore about fantasy and it was absolutely HEAVENLY to get completely swept away every time I picked it up. I loved every single word. Well, maybe not the cliffhanger ending that made my jaw pop from clenching so hard but besides that I had no complaints. Definitely going on my fav books of 2020 list! 


A DEADLY EDUCATION has a very different tone from Novik's previous books and I couldn't get enough of it. I'll be keen to see what other readers think of it as it think it'll be polarizing among some readers. For me, the light tone made the book a lot easier and more fun to read. It's quite a dark tale with extremely high stakes so I was relieved the writing style was light and sarcastic as otherwise I don't think I could've handled the tension in the book at times! 


I love me some epic magical world building and Novik delivered another fascinating world I could easily spend hours reading about how it works. I was impressed with all the different kinds of spells and monsters that were described in fascinating detail. I adore a truly terrifying beastie and Novik's are so well imagined that they all felt like they were going to jump off the page and eat me.



Another thing I loved was the magic school setting and how bleak and desperate it was. I thought it was great how it distanced itself away from more traditional imaginings of magic schools and is something I need more of in my life in the future! 


Character wise, I thought El was wonderfully spiky and interesting to follow - she's a 'Chosen One' type except she'd rather be anything but. She's also got a bit of the anti-hero in her as well which I'm hoping will be developed further in the next book. I am surprised this series is being marketed as an adult series considering how young El's voice was. Although I can tell both adults and young adults will enjoy this book, it'll definitely be the YA aged readers that will click with El's character more. 


I found A DEADLY EDUCATION such a blast to read and really appreciated that the book was more focused on being a delight to read than a super heavy fantasy. More like this, please!


Buy this book:

Whitcoulls / Mighty Ape

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