Saving the world is a test no school of magic can prepare you for in the triumphant conclusion to the New York Times bestselling trilogy that began with A Deadly Education and The Last Graduate.
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.
What a ride! What a finale!
The Golden Enclaves starts just where The Last Graduate begins. With El finding her mom back but leaving Orion behind because he just shoved her out of the Scholomance and stayed behind the fool!!!!
Needless to say that El was devastated. All moping for days in the compound until her friends from the London Enclave came to ask her to save their enclave as a Maw-mouth was destroying it.
With El being the only sorcerer surviving a Maw-mouth, there is no respite for the barve and off she goes.
But that will open a can of worms and she’ll soon realize that someone is targeting all enclaves one by one!
And to thwart that nefarious design, she has to get back to the Scholomance because she has unfinished business…
That story was amazing!
One of the major assets is still El!
In The Last Graduate, I wrote:
“One thing that I got back with great pleasure was El’s grumpy attitude. El has been predicted to be the doom of the sorcerer’s world being insanely powerful yada, yada. She has been rejected by other sorcerers all her life because of that.
BUT under her piss poor attitude (who wouldn’t be prickly really if he or she has been shunned all his/her life?) El hides a heart of gold.
She CHOOSES to do good all the time!
Following her mom’s example, she is choosing the high path whereas going bad would be so easy for her.”
And that’s still true! I so love grumpy grouchy El who hides a golden heart.
She always seems to reluctantly believe that others might in fact like her and her band of friends, growing by the minute in this book, was also essential to my reading enjoyment!
In this last instalment, El discovered her true purpose, her true power and simply the truth. About her and about Orion.
About Orion, I also wrote last time:
“And how Orion is socially clumsy, just very goal driven, his goal being killing all mals. Giving mals to Orion is like giving all the sweets in the candy shop to a kid: a boon!”
Without revealing anything I just can say that I must have been psychic somehow.
That book was filled with non-stop action (there is no rest for the brave), twists upon twists, all that I never saw coming and horrifying moment with : “No,no,no,no,nooo! That can’t be true!”
You have been warned, fasten your seatbelt because it’s a real roller coaster!
Add to this a still very imaginative magic system and you have one of my favorite series!
My only critic was a sapphic relationship thrown into the mix that felt as an afterthought. I think it was unnecessary to further the plot and rather gives the impression the author wants to be inclusive otherwise she knows she’ll get loads of criticism. And that’s kind of sad that authors have to do that to avoid being burned on the pyre these days
Last word: the narrator Anisha Dadia was once more the perfect choice for narrating El’s story!
Thanks for reading!
I’ve heard of this author, but never read any of her books. Is this trilogy her best wirk? I feel she also maybe wrote a series about dragons, maybe….trying to visualize it.
She also wrote Spinning Silver, Uprotted etc. But I haven’t read these yet!
It’s sad when authors force inclusivity into their stories just to please critics… Great review, Sophie!
Thank you Lashaan! And it is sad indeed!
Great review! Gotta love it when the author wraps things up so well!
Indeed Laura! And thank you!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I think it definitely helps if you like gloomy El, lol! Probably explained why you liked it more than me, haha!
Yes that’s what I saw when I read your review LOL
So glad the series had a great ending!
Me too Tammy!!
It’s obvious how much you loved this one! Sounds like Novik really knows how to finish a trilogy with a bang!
Fab review Sophie
Thank you Caro!