Review: Naomi Novik’s Magic Math Actually Makes Sense


One sign something is terribly wrong with a society is when students emerge from its elite education institutions damaged and confused—if they make it through at all.

In the third installment of her best-selling Scholomance trilogy, The Golden Enclaves, Naomi Novik sends Galadriel “El” Higgins, her protagonist from A Deadly Education and The Last Graduate, out into a messy adult wizarding community after having (mostly) beaten the rigged game of her deadly magical school. Novik’s particular strength is writing worlds where the mechanics make sense—the mathematics of power, the economics of magic, the politics of institutions—even as they offer dark echoes of our own dysfunctional reality.

We’ll see how much of her nuanced world building remains intact when the series, which is being adapted by Universal, makes its big screen debut.

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