The Last Graduate

The Last Graduate (The Scholomance, #2)

By Naomi Novik

Senior year is finally here, and the Scholomance is out to get El. Not only is she placed in seminar, making her a target for the school’s worse resident maleficaria (wizard-eating magical creatures), but her classmates and only support are helpless freshman. Orion isn’t having an easy final year either. Low on mana and finding few mals to hunt, his schoolwork is suffering and he might not make it to fight in the deadly ritual that is graduation. As El’s concern for both Orion and her classmates grows, she must choose her allies wisely as she and Orion prepare for the most important battle of their lives.

This book picked me up and swallowed me as fast as maleficaria devour young wizards. I’ve clamored for the second book in the Scholomance series since I closed A Deadly Education last year. The Scholomance is an original and thrilling addition to the magical boarding school trope. I didn’t want to leave the sarcastic, deadpan characters; the endlessly imaginative deadly creatures; and the breadth of magical spells and incantations in this rich magical world.

The stakes are higher in The Last Graduate and the solution to graduation was more awesome than I anticipated. The action-packed conclusion elicited some strong emotional reactions from me. I exclaimed, sobbed, and cheered along with the characters at their triumphs. Even the audible gasp that escaped my lips at the cliff-hanging last line isn’t strong enough to convince me to recommend any delay in reading this book until book three is available. If you couldn’t already tell, I can’t recommend this fantasy series enough. I’m an overenthusiastic Naomi Novik fangirl for life.

Book Review by Holly Grierson, Associate Librarian