Book Review – The Golden Enclaves

This is it – the third and final book of Naomi Novik’s Scholomance series! The Golden Enclaves (paid link) picks up immediately after that heart-stopping conclusion to book 2. You can find my other reviews for this series here:

I read this as an e-book.

Here is the blurb:

The one thing you never talk about while you’re in the Scholomance is what you’ll do when you get out. Not even the richest enclaver would tempt fate that way. But it’s all we dream about, the hideously slim chance we’ll survive to make it out the gates and improbably find ourselves with a life ahead of us, a life outside the Scholomance halls.

And now the impossible dream has come true. I’m out, we’re all out–and I didn’t even have to turn into a monstrous dark witch to make it happen. So much for my great-grandmother’s prophecy of doom and destruction. I didn’t kill enclavers, I saved them. Me, and Orion, and our allies. Our graduation plan worked to perfection: we saved everyone and made the world safe for all wizards and brought peace and harmony to all the enclaves of the world.

Ha, only joking! Actually it’s gone all wrong. Someone else has picked up the project of destroying enclaves in my stead, and probably everyone we saved is about to get killed in the brewing enclave war on the horizon. And the first thing I’ve got to do now, having miraculously got out of the Scholomance, is turn straight around and find a way back in.

I did enjoy this final book in the Scholomance series overall. However, I felt like it wasn’t quite what I had hoped for in the conclusion to this series. Beware, there may be some spoilers below.

While it was interesting to see what the rest of the magical world looked like outside of the Scholomance, it also lacked the same feel as the earlier books. I enjoyed seeing how the students of magic went about their days with classes interspersed with danger. This story was bigger than the Scholomance, though. But then I also felt like it changed the relationship between El and Orion and made it less satisfying than it had been in book 2.

The revelation about the price that must be paid to create an enclave was one of the best parts of this book. The magicians knew they must keep the terrible truth secret, but at the same time, many of them knew and were willing to force someone to pay that price.

I felt that the final conclusion scenes of this series were rather anti-climactic. Both sides postured and threatened, and then nothing happened. They figured out a solution and then that was it. The tension that the prophecy and the danger had built fizzled for me. Still, I mostly enjoyed the series and will definitely be looking for Naomi Novik’s next book.

Have you read the Scholomance series (paid link)? What did you think about that ending? Let me know in the comments (above).

Find more of my reviews here.

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