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The Golden Enclaves: A Novel (The…
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The Golden Enclaves: A Novel (The Scholomance) (edition 2022)

by Naomi Novik (Author)

Series: Scholomance (3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4401449,305 (4.09)29
Saving the world is a test no school of magic can prepare you for in the triumphant conclusion to the Sunday Times bestselling trilogy that began with A Deadly Education and The Last Graduate. 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 that impossible dream has somehow come true for El and her classmates. And what's more, she didn't even have to become the monstrous dark witch she's prophesised to become to make it happen. Instead of killing enclavers, she saved them, and now the world is safe for all wizards. Peace and harmony have enveloped all the enclaves of the world. Just kidding. Instead, someone else has picked up the project of destroying enclaves in El's stead, and everyone she saved is at risk again with a full-scale enclave war on the horizon. And so, the first thing El needs to do after miraculously escaping the Scholomance, is to turn straight around and find a way back in.… (more)
Member:misura
Title:The Golden Enclaves: A Novel (The Scholomance)
Authors:Naomi Novik (Author)
Info:Random House Worlds (2022), 240 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:None

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The Golden Enclaves by Naomi Novik

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» See also 29 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
After the cliffhanger of the second book, I expected to jump right in to see what happens next. But...I found the beginning a little slow, and while El is entitled to some whininess, I thought it went on a bit too long. Once the action picked up, it didn't slow down, but that came at a cost to character development. In some regards, I thought El reverted to her behavior during the first parts of the first book. She can also be impulsive and just a bit too self-righteous at times. While I didn't expect romance to be a main part of the story, I did think relationships have always been a substantial portion of the Scholomance books, not just El with Orion but with her various classmates too. Here she went a bit too far into "chosen one" territory for me.
I also found the ending "mushy" as if Ms. Novik couldn't make up her mind. She's one of my favorite authors and writes fantasy that is not YA but has younger characters with dark overtones. The ending to the Golden Enclaves was unsatisfactory to me, with the idea that everyone together can save the one. A core theme of the books is sacrificing one for the good of many and the struggles therein, but it seemed more like the sacrifice of one WHO IS NOT A MAIN CHARACTER is not viable for what is ultimately a dark fantasy series. I don't want to give spoilers, but the ending was very YA-ish.
It's still a great series, and the lore was interesting. The reader learns much about magic in this last book, not just the mechanics but the overarching systems at play here. I give it 3 1/2 stars rounded up. ( )
  N.W.Moors | Dec 1, 2022 |
Series Info/Source: This is the third (and final) book in The Scholomance series. I borrowed this on ebook from my library.

Thoughts: This was a well done conclusion to the series and I thought it was interesting how everything played out. This did feel very long to me when I read it and I had trouble staying interested in the story. El kind of runs back and forth from place to place and feels sorry for herself a lot. I expected her power to play out in a more epic way than it actually did.

This book starts out where the last left off. El and her classmates have escaped the Scholomance but Orion didn't make it out. El starts off on a mission to get back into the Scholomance to help him but then the enclaves start to fall. El is called upon to use her immense power to save them but, in the process of helping them, discovers the horror of what the enclaves are built upon and starts a mission to restructure magic society worldwide.

I enjoy the magic system and world here. Novik has put a lot of thought into this world and I love reading about unique magic systems. Unfortunately, I never really liked any of the characters in this series much and this book didn't change that for me. El makes some seriously questionable decisions that I just did not understand.

I also expected the plot to revolve a bit more around El's hugely immense power since that was such a focus for the series. I found the whole concept of Orion's birth confusing when you look at the rest of the magic system. I felt like there were some plot holes here for sure. I also wasn't a huge fan of how much of this book was El jetting from place to place across the world, I was exhausted just reading about it.

The book ends well and ties everything up with a nice, tidy bow while giving us an interesting vision of the characters' futures. This definitely wasn't my favorite Novik book, honestly she's been a bit hit or miss for me. I will be more careful and thoughtful about picking up books from her in the future.

My Summary (4/5): Overall this did an excellent job of wrapping up this series. I really loved the magic system here and enjoyed digging into the foundation of the enclaves. I am still not a huge fan of the characters, some of the plot points, and the way a lot of this is just El running back and forth. Novik has been a bit hit and miss for me. I loved "Uprooted" and the first couple "Temeraire" books but I am not a huge fan of other books she has written. I really loved the first book in this series but the second and third ones were just "good" not great. I would still recommend this series to those who enjoy YA fantasy with a heavy emphasis on creative magic systems. ( )
  krau0098 | Nov 29, 2022 |
El and her friends figured out a way to escape from the Scholomance and throw it into the void, but instead of coming with them, Orion Lake pushed her out and stayed behind with Patience the maw-mouth ready to eat him and leave him suspended in not-quite-death. Now she's determined to get him back, but along her way in navigating her life in the real world, a magical enclave needs help and El reluctantly answers their call, all the while trying to avoid her prophesied destiny of becoming a destroyer.

Part of why I really enjoyed the first two books was the setting of the Scholomance, so having it be in a totally new setting - and actually, quite a lot of traveling - was an adjustment for me. We also don't get quite as much of El's funny snark, or perhaps it was more my mood and the fact that it took me longer than usual to read that meant I didn't love it as much as I'd expected to. Events begin directly after the end of The Last Graduate and take you all over the world with El and her friends figuring stuff out. In fact, a lot of the things that were first mentioned in the first book - El's prophecy, how enclaves are made, "stay away from Orion Lake" - are all finally explained as El discovers more about how things actually work and the kind of person she wants to be. It was a bit sprawling, but was brought together in a satisfying way in the end. ( )
  bell7 | Nov 19, 2022 |
This was an excellent way to wrap up a very enjoyable trilogy! I had no idea where the story would go after the events of the previous book and was eager to see the fate of some of the characters. At the start of the book, El is in a bad place since she is so worried about Orion. El and some of her friends devise a plan to save their classmate and end up learning quite a few things that were quite surprising.

I feel like I have been on quite the journey with El, Orion, and the rest of the gang. The characters have all grown a lot over the course of the story. I thought that this installment had all of the action and excitement that I have come to expect from the series. I once again listened to the audiobook and thought that Anisha Dadia did a wonderful job with the narration. I think that her voice is perfect for this group of characters and am certain that her narration added to my enjoyment of the story.

I received a review copy of this audiobook from Penguin Random House Audio. ( )
  Carolesrandomlife | Nov 11, 2022 |
Satisfying conclusion to the Scholomance series, reflecting Novik’s interest in (1) very powerful people who (2) choose to exercise that power in ways that empower others despite the difficulty of that choice, which includes the desire of many people to be governed, along with (3) building things. El wants to rescue Orion, but needs to find the power to do so. Unfortunately, it turns out that Orion’s mother is not a worthwhile ally. Meanwhile, enclaves around the world are being attacked and destroyed, though not by El, and she’s the only one they can get to come kill maw-mouths. As one would expect, the plots converge. Also El is maybe poly, though that is a bit less clear. ( )
  rivkat | Nov 7, 2022 |
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The last thing Orion said to me, the absolute bastard, was El, I love you so much.
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If we were going to do an exhaustive search, we ought to have gone back up and started at the library, but we didn't, in the same way you know perfectly well you ought to stop reading and go to bed and you'll feel hideously groggy in the morning if you don't, and yet you keep going.
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Saving the world is a test no school of magic can prepare you for in the triumphant conclusion to the Sunday Times bestselling trilogy that began with A Deadly Education and The Last Graduate. 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 that impossible dream has somehow come true for El and her classmates. And what's more, she didn't even have to become the monstrous dark witch she's prophesised to become to make it happen. Instead of killing enclavers, she saved them, and now the world is safe for all wizards. Peace and harmony have enveloped all the enclaves of the world. Just kidding. Instead, someone else has picked up the project of destroying enclaves in El's stead, and everyone she saved is at risk again with a full-scale enclave war on the horizon. And so, the first thing El needs to do after miraculously escaping the Scholomance, is to turn straight around and find a way back in.

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Naomi Novik is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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