Book Review – The Last Graduate

The Last Graduate (paid link) is the second book in Naomi Novik’s Scholomance series. I had to continue with this series because I had enjoyed the first book so much. You can find my review of that one (A Deadly Education) here.

I read this as an e-book.

Here is the blurb:

A budding dark sorceress determined not to use her formidable powers uncovers yet more secrets about the workings of her world in the stunning sequel to A Deadly Education, the start of Naomi Novik’s groundbreaking crossover series.

At the Scholomance, El, Orion, and the other students are faced with their final year—and the looming specter of graduation, a deadly ritual that leaves few students alive in its wake. El is determined that her chosen group will survive, but it is a prospect that is looking harder by the day as the savagery of the school ramps up. Until El realizes that sometimes winning the game means throwing out all the rules . . .

Another school year starts in this book and we follow El, Orion, and their friends as they try to study and survive it. In that respect it is similar to the first book, but this time El is less isolated while at the same time reluctantly put into a position of greater responsibility. The characters continued to shine in this volume as they navigate their way through the dangers of the Scholomance.

El is still haunted by the prophecy that claims she will become a danger to the enclaves, causing her to believe that she is destined to turn to dark magic. This was an intriguing part of the book to me since she has been clearly resisting the prophecy and I couldn’t see anything forcing her to make that change yet. However, I often distrust prophecies in fantasy fiction (thanks, Tad Williams).

This is definitely part of a series and would be difficult to pick up without reading A Deadly Education (paid link) first. The ending also ends on a devastating cliff-hanger, so be ready to start the last book, The Golden Enclaves (paid link), once you’re done.

Have you read any of the books in this series? Do you have a favorite series featuring a magic school? Let me know in the comments (above).

Find more of my reviews here.

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