I read the first book in Naomi Novik’s Scholomance trilogy, A Deadly Education, last year and loved it. Harry Potter meets the Hunger Games with a scrappy, angry underdog protagonist and an odd-couple romance sprinkled throughout? Yes, please! It ends on an uncomfortable “wait, what?!” double-take but luckily, book two, The Last Graduate, was already published and I could move straight back into the story to see what in the world that last line meant. This second book turns many of the things we learned in book one totally inside out and we come away with a deeper understanding of the world Naomi Novik has created. Plus, there’s a very satisfying “montage” series of activities in the middle of the book. Book two ends on an even BIGGER cliff-hanger and to my dismay I had to wait nearly a year before I was able to get my hands on The Golden Enclaves.
In this third book, the author does an incredible job of slowly revealing answers to all of the loose ends (ones I’d even forgotten were still loose) and each of those answers flips all of your previous understandings about the series on their head. I sincerely need to go back and re-read the whole trilogy now with these new eyes. The entire series has themes woven throughout about privilege and how it directly affects those who have it and those who don’t, and the blurry lines between “good” and “evil.”