The last graduate by Naomi Novik

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Following A deadly education the first in The Scholomance series, Novik ups the suspense and action as El fights against the maleficaria that seems to be targeting her. She has a group of allies around her and is determined that she will ensure that the students in the Scholomance make it out alive.

The constant thrills kept me on the edge of my seat as El recounts everything that is happening to her and her friends. Graduation is the goal and it was fascinating to follow El’s efforts to get everyone to work together, no mean feat considering the power of the enclaves and the needs of individuals who will do anything to find allies.

The story is told in the voice of El, who is often sarcastic, and this provides a welcome touch of humour against the breath-taking action and suspense. El matures along the way, gradually accepting that she does have friends, and accepting their strengths in her plan to get everyone out of the Scholomance. Her relationship with Orion also develops slowly and leads to the final mind-blowing cliff-hanger. There just has to be a third book in the series!

Novik is a clever author; her world is unique; her characters are relatable and the action is wonderful. Readers who love action and character driven fantasy are sure to like this series.

Themes: Magic, School.

Pat Pledger