Lesson One of the Scholomance: Learning has never been this deadly.
A Deadly Education is set at Scholomance, a school for the magically gifted where failure means certain death (for real) — until one girl, El, begins to unlock its many secrets.
There are no teachers, no holidays, and no friendships, save strategic ones. Survival is more important than any letter grade, for the school won’t allow its students to leave until they graduate… or die! The rules are deceptively simple: Don’t walk the halls alone. And beware of the monsters who lurk everywhere.
El is uniquely prepared for the school’s dangers. She may be without allies, but she possesses a dark power strong enough to level mountains and wipe out millions. It would be easy enough for El to defeat the monsters that prowl the school. The problem? Her powerful dark magic might also kill all the other students.
Buckle up folks, Harry Potter wouldn’t have lasted five minutes in the Scholomancy. El is a loner who is trying to figure out how the hell she’s going to survive without any help in this school, while also resisting the school’s efforts to turn her into a dark wizard of sorts. Poor girl asks the school for a spell to clean her room and gets one on liquifying the flesh off your enemies’ bones. Which is a type of cleaning I guess.
Meanwhile, there’s a golden boy in her year who is breaking the tradition of everyone for themselves and rescuing people left and right from monsters. He has the SHEER AUDACITY to “rescue” El. She totally didn’t need it. And he messed up her room. And she may just kill him from sheer annoyance.
Any of this appeal to you? Then go read this book. I’m leaving out a TON of world building, plot, character building and everything else, because part of the sheer joy is how well it’s all melded together in the book for you to discover. El is sarcastic, guarded, talented as all hell, and totally unprepared for anything as preposterous as basic human kindness. The golden boy (Orion) and El’s relationship is also a pure joy to watch unfold.
Think rated R Harry Potter where non-white and non-straight people ACTUALLY exist mixed with Lord of the Flies and Battle Royale and a sentient school (Sentient, NOT benevolent).