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Will I Die or Will I Graduate?

A review of A Deadly Education (Book 1)

By Grace Genet-AllenPublished about a month ago 3 min read
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Will I Die or Will I Graduate?
Photo by Mathew MacQuarrie on Unsplash

Most of us had a rough high school experience, but maybe not one where we were trying to avoid getting eaten on the daily. (WARNING: THIS SYNOPSIS HAS SLIGHT SPOILERS)

If you thought your high school experience was bad, just think about what it would be like if you had to actually fight for your life every day. No teachers, just a school that is constantly changing, like a maze that you can never quite solve, and monsters constantly trying to eat you. Not to mention that graduation means a hoard of those same monsters, fighting for a piece of you, do you think you could make it out alive?

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik follows our main character Galadriel as she takes on her third year at this monster-infested wizard school. She is constantly being "saved" by the school hero Orion. The issue is that she has a secret, she has constantly been told by everyone around her (and a magic mirror) that she is supposed to be this great evil, and that she has the power to take down whole cities if necessary.

So in addition to the few times Orion has been saving her, she has actually been able to take down these monsters with just one of her hell-bringing spells. He however is completely unaware of this power, and they soon become good friends. The question is, will they be able to survive until the end of the year, and eventually through graduation? And could there be more than just a friendship between Orion and Galadriel? END SYNOPSIS

This book was a little hard to get into, it wasn't fast-paced at the beginning, and so I definitely skimmed through paragraphs. ADHDers beware, this book is something you will have to stick with to end up enjoying it. In the end I have decided I will go and grab the second book because while there wasn't a huge cliffhanger, there was still a small one that I am curious about.

This was one of those books that was popular a couple of years ago on Booktok and Bookstagram. I was already spending boatloads of money at the time to keep up with the recommendations from my peers on there, so I ended up originally passing on this one due to its lukewarm representation of my favorite book tropes. However, recently I was browsing in a bookshop, and I decided to try this one out due to the various great reviews, and the fact that it now has a second, and a third novel in the series. I am unsure if this is the end of the series, but it feels like it could be wrapped up in these next two books.

I ended up really feeling for Galadriel, imagine being prophesied to do horrible things, and while you do see yourself as a cold-hearted person in some ways, you can't quite wrap your head around doing some of those things. Orion and the rest of the student body are blind to those foretellings, but most of the students end up staying away from her anyway due to her solidarity and lack of social care.

She is one of those people we love, and hate that others can't see that she is just trying to be an authentic person, without regards to societies restraints. If you resonate with this, I think A Deadly Education would be a great read! It is a book with a highly detailed explanation of the magic they wield, and I always love an interesting idea about magic woven into a worthwhile plot.

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About the Creator

Grace Genet-Allen

Just trying to figure out what I want in life one day at a time. I read quite a bit and share my thoughts here, along with the occasional poem or life post.

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