I decided that Orion needed to die after the second time he saved my life. I hadn’t really cared much about him before then one way or another, but I had limits.Naomi Novik (ARC, subject to change)
(Thank you to Del Rey Books for the review copy)
If I wasn’t a slut for Naomi Novik before this book, it’s sealed now and forever.
I don’t even know how to TALK about this book? It felt like a fever dream reading it. If you’re my friend (which I only post for y’all so HI), you know I absolutely could not stand Carry On.
This book feels like Naomi heard my thoughts and decided to write me a version with everything I loved.
Galadriel “El” Higgins is at the Scholomance. The Scholomance is the magic school “you-know-the-comparison-I’m-avoiding-because-trans-women-are-women” of this universe, and magical kids are dropped off freshman year and left to fend for themselves until a deadly graduation. “Why fend for themselves” you ask? Because the school -well the monsters that exist in abundance in it because of how magic in concentration works- is trying to kill them! How fun!
Galadriel is fine as a lone wolf, she acts like she doesn’t need an enclave (think coven for safety in numbers) until she graduates, she doesn’t have any friends, and she’s pretty sure a boy in her hall murdered a girl last week and has her body in his room. Until Orion Lake (think a HIMBO who can’t help saving the day) saves her life again, annoyingly she’ll add, she doesn’t have any connections. But now Orion senses something about El, and he sticks around, and on top of that being insufferable, it starts changing how everyone, enclave or no, treats her, and she starts having to think about how Hero Boy – seriously they are PRECISELY Megara and Hercules vibes – plays into the school at large.
I don’t want to spoil a single thing about this book – I seriously think the less I say outside of my interpretation of the synopsis – the better. Novik treats you to a world that is as complicated as it is entrancing, a heroine with such dry humor you’re surprised she’s not passing out from dehydration, and a cast full of so many unpredictably lovable survivalists that you can hardly pick a favorite among them (still possible though, step on me Galadriel). There is so much heart in this book that even its most irreverent jokes from Galadriel’s point of view fail to hide the true grit and heroism she holds within her. I love her and I love this book.
Please preorder it and read it when it’s out on September 29th.