By – Naomi Novik
A Deadly Education is now my favourite read of 2020. Anyway, our main character, Galadriel, or “El” is in a school where monsters ramble around who like eating kids with mana, magic. However, the varsity remains safer than the surface world, where magical kids are twice as likely to die during their teenage years when their mana is growing but they haven’t learned tons of spells to guard themselves yet.
El doesn’t come from a flowery background, so she has got to work hard to form alliances, which is even harder by the very fact that apparently people think she’s evil. I loved El’s snarky and sarcastic voice immediately, but the primary 20 pages was a struggle because there was tons of info-dump on her background and her growing up. However, once that was over, and that we get to the particular info-dump about the world-building part, i was all in .
Naomi Novik has built a tremendous school and setting for the story. School where the staircases can stretch, monsters hide in your food just expecting you to let you guard down and libraries can prevent you from finding books. I definitely wouldn’t have hold on, but El’s got spunk and she’s smart.
I loved every tiny detail of the magical school, also El and how she felt real. If this was a contemporary Young adult Novel, she’s no different from a shy and socially awkward girl that does not quite slot in . She wants so desperately to suit in, not because she loves the favored kids, but it had been a matter of life or death. Still, even when given the selection , she chose to sacrifice her life for the well-being of others.
I agree with another reviewers there are number of the other characters in this novel ( A Deadly Education ) who aren’t well developed , which could’ve been better, but the story’s main focus is on El and her growth which was done rather well . Also, I can see how the random large amount of information can turn some people off if the world doesn’t grab you immediately. From the instant it had been mentioned that there was a void in her bedroom that throws her magical spellbooks at her request, I knew i was in!
Overall A Deadly Education is good book. El’s sarcasm and snark kept me smiling, I can’t wait to read the second book!