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Reading 'A Deadly Education'

By: Sydney Spangler

In a world where magic proves dangerous, an unwilling dark sorceress must defy her destiny to save her fellow students. The Scholomance isn't Hogwarts. It's a school that demands the survival of the fittest, with the weakest students left to fend for themselves.

"A Deadly Education" by Naomi Novik is the first book of "The Scholomance" series. It follows Galadriel "El" Wiggins, a half-Welsh, half-Indian sorceress, who must survive to graduation while keeping her destructive abilities at bay. She's a junior with a penchant for dark magic that could bring about catastrophic events and is destined to destroy the magical world. She's also at the bottom of her school's food chain, which is a hurdle she'll have to overcome if she wants to graduate.

The Scholomance isn't your typical school. Cliques are more than just social clout, they're the only way to survive the monsters that pick off magic users one by one. El knows this and is saving up her mana, the energy needed to perform spells, to impress the most prominent students in school in hopes of joining one of their groups. But there's a kink in her plan. Orion Lake, the school's golden boy, keeps coming to her rescue. How is she supposed to show off her potential when the boy savior keeps getting in her way?

What I liked most about "A Deadly Education" is El's independence and desire to forge her own path. She's an outcast from the backwoods of Wales, has a dark prophecy hanging over her head, and she's socially awkward. She spent her first two years at the Scholomance without any friends and nobody to depend on but herself. But after Orion starts hanging around her, El's social opportunities open up and she's given the chance to squeeze her way into a clique--which is everything she could have wanted. However, El doesn't choose the easy path. She wants to be valued because of her own self-worth, not because she's become friends with the most popular boy in school. In the end, El does find friends who like her for what she brings to the table and isn't that what we all want? To be valued for who we are and our own abilities?

Anyways, "A Deadly Education" is a cool book. It's a little heavy on exposition but its worth it to see El come into her own person.

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