Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Golden Enclaves by Naomi Novik
Narrator: Anisha Dadia
Series: Scholomance #3
Published by Penguin Audio on September 27, 2022
Genres: Science Fiction Fantasy, Young Adult
Length: 14 hours, 49 minutes
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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.
I enjoy the Scholomance series with our point of view from El. It’s surprising since this has been a young adult setting in a high school of horrors. But that’s ok; El is more horrible. lol The thing is she’s not, no matter that she has huge ability. I would definitely start at the beginning or little will make sense. I almost missed this release of The Golden Enclaves, just finding it as it was released. I can’t believe I didn’t notice it sooner as I have loved the previous books. A recap I did:
In A Deadly Education, we met El. She has always been a bit of an outcast because of her type of magic. He mother is a famous healer but she doesn’t tell anyone as she wants to make it on her own. Somehow she ends up friends? with Orion Lake who is from the huge New York enclave and everyone wants to be his friend. The enclaves are groups who come to the school together and plan to help each other survive. Eventually, she manages to make a small group of friends.
The Last Graduate moves on to their senior year which is typically a run through a hall of monsters to get back out to the real world again. Students spend their entire 4 years learning magic to help them survive. But El and Orion are able to fight any monsters together, even the worst ones. El tries not to become more attached to Orion as she doesn’t want him to give up his dreams and place in an enclave for her.
As I hoped, The Golden Enclaves shows the students now in the real world. El’s plan was to go and build these small enclaves for people who can’t get into the big ones with her special talents. But she is wracked with worries about Orion getting eaten by a malmouth. Then enclaves start having collapses and attacks. She reluctantly goes to help and learns the truth about how enclaves are created. No wonder her mother won’t live in one. Also it turns out there is a tie between her parents and the golden enclaves spells.
El also learns about the truth about her own powers and Orion’s abilities with killing the monsters. It all ties in to the creation of enclaves, malmouths and the Scholomance. But El is unwilling to let the old ways, including the old power brokers continue to have their way which includes trampling and using those less wealthy and connected. She also needs to take care with how she uses her own powers.
El’s journey to understanding was such personal growth and not an easy one for her. She handles the problems of the world to the best of her ability with everything falling apart. It happens as she has just left school, when she is exhausted and trying to make choices for her future, and the shocking revelations just keep hitting. Her integrity and compassion were inspiring, as well as how much of herself she gave for others. I was thrilled to see others help her as she helped the magic world.
This narrator was new to me with this series but it was a delight to start this audiobook and listen again. The point of view is El and we get much of her stream of thoughts, she is El to me. I was comfortable with all her voices, male and female and the voices and accents felt right. I enjoyed the performance. I listened at my usual 1.5x speed.
Listen to a clip: HERE
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