The Golden Enclaves
Lesson Three of The Scholomance
by Naomi Novik
September 27, 2022
This book has been out for a week, but I was finally able to check it out from a local library and then read it over the course of maybe 27 hours (in the middle of a work week). And just wow! It’s so good and so satisfying and so tense.
This book starts immediately after the second book ends, and is very much a continuation of everything that has happened before in the previous two books and I probably need to go back and reread both in order to better enjoy some of the clues that had been casually dropped as world building before but abruptly become extremely plot significant here.
Each book centers around a conflict that’s slightly larger impact than the previous book. In the first book, the plot is focused on our protagonist’s personal survival; in the second book, it’s about the school’s survival; and in this the third book, it’s about the community’s survival. This is also the first book where the action is outside of the school and there are adults involved and hoo boy does that make things even more complicated. The kids in the school were just trying to survive: well the adults outside of the school are doing the same but have had even more time to make mistakes and make compromises and make hard decisions that have consequences down the years, decades, and centuries. And our protagonist El has to figure out how to live in the world where it’s the people rather than the mals who are the greatest danger.
This book also reminded me of Rainbow Rowell’s Anyway the Wind Blows, the third book in her Simon Snow series, in a variety of ways that I can’t write out without spoilers.
Anyway, I adore this book, but it’s definitely not a stand-alone. So if you haven’t already, go read the first one first.