The Golden Enclaves

- Naomi Novik


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.



The last thing Orion said to me, the absolute bastard, was El, I love you so much.


solid, good read:
While The Golden Enclaves is good, it’s not an easy read.

The first two books in the Scholomance series have been captivating and exciting due to the combination of a high level of emotional maturity and neverending, intensely dangerous situations. El has had to make difficult decisions to survive, has been incredibly lonely and could only depend on herself, fighting against becoming the horrific monster prophesied. But then she miraculously forms a small circle of friends and learns to depend on others. And even more surprisingly, she falls in love and starts to make a plan for her future. But, of course, nothing can ever go according to plan.

The Golden Enclaves is difficult. El is dealing with grief and loss, and the world is falling apart around her, so she doesn’t get any real time to deal with anything. And the hits keep coming. So much more bad news keeps coming, no one wants to trust her, and even when she’s trying to do the right thing, it only makes things worse. She’s pulled in multiple directions, keeps discovering new, horrifying secrets, and even when there seems potential for something good to happen, it turns out to be more negative than positive.

Despite how uncomfortable this book could be at times, it was the right kind of uncomfortable. It was working together to make the world a better place despite the enormous odds against you and choosing to do the right thing even if it hurts. The Golden Enclaves was nothing like I expected, though it was exactly the complex and surprising ending this incredible world and series deserved.



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