Naomi Novik is one of those authors that I always say I want to get into but never do. I’m upset that it took me this long to pick up one of her books. Once I started reading A Deadly Education, I knew I had no intentions of slowing down until it was over. Her writing style is different than what I’m used to. The novel is written as though Galadriel is talking directly to you. Naomi tends to go off on tangents in her writing.
I don’t know if it’s a writing style that I’d like reading all the time but, it works for this novel. From Galadriel’s point of view turned out to be highly entertaining. Everything about her world is compelling the monsters to the magic system. I like that the novel carried a darker tone from the beginning. There’s no sugar coating on how messed up the Scholomance is. It’s also made very clear how it’s even more dangerous on the outside. It’s like a double edge sword.
This is the first time I’ve ever read a novel where I actually enjoyed the ‘not your average girl’ troupe. It’s also the first time I agreed with said assumption. In this novel, Galadriel isn’t your average girl and, it’s not just because she strong. Galadriel was born infused with dark magic. While that alone was enough to draw me in. It wasn’t what made me fall in love with her. I like that the author didn’t make her the bad girl who didn’t want to be. No, in the beginning, Galadriel had no qualms about blowing up the place or draining her classmates of their mana. She simply didn’t because it wasn’t the smartest move. It wasn’t the key to her endgame.
Based on first impressions, I’d found Orion to be annoying. It could have been because Galadriel did and I was reading from her point of view or because he was playing goody two shoes. I have a pretty good bullshit meter and, it was going off loudly any time Orion was on the scene. Through the rest of the novel, he did grow on me. Orion and El bring each other out of their respective shells. I got to see a side of Orion that I did like. Their odd relationship and banter produced a lot of humor in what would have been a tense novel.
El’s character growth is off the chart. This just proves that the people you surround yourself with can help you become the best or worst version of yourself. The friendship between the characters is so raw. The progression of friendship between the characters seems natural. Another review I read dubbed it “a friendship despite itself.” I couldn’t agree more.
There’s so much more I want to touch on. But I feel as if I’d be giving you spoilers. I’m not saying it’s the best book I’ve ever read or it’s the most eloquently written but, it’s pretty amazing. I’d recommend A Deadly Education to anyone who’s looking for a good time.