El attends Scholomance, a school meant to prepare young magicians like her to live in a world where ferocious creatures called mals hunt and eat magic-users, and adolescents are a mal’s favorite meal. The school is supposed to train and protect the students, but what El and her classmates are mostly learning is how not to die. Although Scholomance is almost sentient and can reform based on the students’ thoughts, the mals always find a way in, so even walking to the bathroom alone can mean death. There is safety in numbers and alliances are what keep the students alive, which is bad news for El since she has no friends. Her whole life, for no reason she can see, others have disliked her, which means no friendships, no alliances, and that she has to be on constant guard against attacks. This has been her life for 3 long years, but when the school’s hero Orion decides to befriend her, El’s life will get a lot more interesting.
This book is lots of fun, not least because El is intelligent and snarky. A bit funny, a bit creepy, and world-building that is endlessly fascinating, give this book a try! Also, the audio book is excellent and can be downloaded from Overdrive or the Libby app!