In the start of an all-new trilogy, the bestselling author of Uprooted and Spinning Silver introduces you to a dangerous school for the magically gifted where failure means certain death – until one girl begins to rewrite its rules.
Enter a school of magic unlike any you have ever encountered. There are no teachers, no holidays, friendships are purely strategic, and the odds of survival are never equal.
Once you're inside, there are only two ways out: you graduate or you die. El Higgins is uniquely prepared for the school's many dangers. She may be without allies, but she possesses a dark power strong enough to level mountains and wipe out untold millions – never mind easily destroy the countless monsters that prowl the school.
Except, she might accidentally kill all the other students, too. So El is trying her hardest not to use it. . . that is, unless she has no other choice.
With flawless mastery, Naomi Novik creates a heroine for the ages – a character so sharply realized and so richly nuanced that she will live on in hearts and minds for generations to come.