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.