5 Fantasy Books Like A Deadly Education

Magical Fantasy

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik is filled with deadly magic. This book, however, was going to be very Harry Potter. While the “Harry Potter” series has a hidden magical world that exists alongside the non-magical world, “A Deadly Education” takes place in a school that is a sort of pocket universe, isolated from the outside world. The mechanics of magic, the rules, and the history are distinct in Novik’s world.

The story takes place within a school called the Solomon, and it exists outside of reality and has its place in space. There’s an evil force that’s guiding everything, changing the hallways. All students know that their lives are at risk by entering the school.

There are monsters here, and they could get eaten. They have to do their work, graduate, and become a wizard. El, our main character, keeps her head down, unlike the popular girl. Naomi Novik was trying to inject a lot of inclusivity into this book. There are a lot of different languages and cultures. Novels like “A Deadly Education” cover various magical traditions worldwide. This provides a richer tapestry of magical lore and can expand your knowledge and appreciation for global cultures and mythologies.

5 Books Like A Deadly Education (Fantasy & Magic)

A Deadly Education is told exclusively from the mind of one character. There’s a lot of internal dialogue, and a stream of consciousness often drags on for pages. The story is about unsupervised teenagers, so it’s not hard to imagine what you’ll find inside. There’s some romance. There’s plenty of creepy violence.

I will talk about 5 fantasy books similar to A Deadly Education. These books feature multifaceted characters with intricate backgrounds, motivations, and personal growth trajectories. This complexity makes for compelling reading as you explore each character’s journey. Let’s go!

1. A Wizard of Earthsea (The Earthsea Cycle Series)

This series is about a fantastical world where wizards, dragons, and mages exist. It is the story of Ged, who discovered from a young age that he has a talent for magic. We follow him on his journey as he ages and studies to become a wizard. But a mistake he made when he was young and foolish made him decide to dedicate the rest of his life to fixing it.

You will see how humanly flawed God is and the growth his character reaches by the end of it. At the beginning of the book, God is arrogant and impatient at first, but it’s normal because he’s a young man who discovered he could do magic. It’s his flaws that created a huge problem. Also, he has to face some very devastating consequences. This shapes his entire life and makes him who he is eventually.

Ged meets two characters in his school. One becomes his best friend, and the other becomes his nemesis. But this is because one of them happens to be a nice guy, and the other is very mean. There’s a lack of establishing their relationships. It was so much fun to read more books that are so deeply into the magical world, similar to A Deadly Education.

A Wizard of Earthsea

Author: Ursula K. Le Guin
Average Rating: 4.4/5
Category: Coming of Age Fantasy
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Mass Market Paperback

2. Annihilation

This is the first in the Southern Reach series by Jeff VanderMeer. It’s quite a hard book to describe in this world. There is a space called Area X, and we have no context for its relation to the real world. We don’t know anything about the real world. You must go through some strange process to cross the border between Area X and the real world. The main character in this book is called The Biologist.

The book begins with the biologist and three others, the surveyor, the anthropologist, and the psychologist, as they embark on expedition number 12 into Area X. We’re given the impression that it’s some natural landscape that is mysterious and needs to be studied. Then everybody dies of cancer.

On the return of the first expedition, they see Area X and some wondrous landscape with nothing wrong. They get to base camp, which previous expeditions have set up, and have a whole range of equipment. They discover a tunnel that isn’t on existing maps from previous expeditions. Like A Deadly Education, It’s very creepy and nonsensical. They experience things and see things that don’t seem possible because we get this from the biologist’s point of view.

The psychologist is there to lead the group and ensure everybody’s calm. Then, we discover she has hypnotic cues to evoke particular responses from other party members. Even though in Annihilation, so many horrible things happen, a lot of the imagery of like beings and morphing in nature in this biological aspect is creepy. Everybody in the book has so much more intrigue than they have fear, which is why it doesn’t feel like horror when you’re reading it.


Author: Jeff VanderMeer
Average Rating: 4.1/5
Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio CD

3. Gods of Jade and Shadow

This book is an adult fantasy standalone, and it takes place during the Jazz Age in Mexico. It follows the main character of Casiopea Tun and her mother, who are outcasts from their family. Her family is very wealthy in this part of Mexico. Moreover, she is looked down on, almost treated like a Cinderella-type character because her mom married someone indigenous. The family was very much not into that. So they treat her very poorly, particularly her cousin.

One day, Casiopea discovers a chest in her grandfather’s room. She opens it and releases a Mayan death God. Also, he tells her that she needs to help him on this quest to return to his underworld kingdom. Everything goes from there. They’re a lot of commentary on the history and everything going on politically and socially. There was also a lot of talk of Mayan and Aztec folklore and mythology. You can read it after A Deadly Education.

Gods of Jade and Shadow

Author: Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Average Rating: 4.5/5
Category: Fairy Tales, Folklore, Mythology
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle

4. Call Down the Hawk

This book follows Ronan Lynch and his brothers, Matthew and Declan. He is not the only character that we follow along with. We also follow along with two others. These characters are Jordan Hennessy, an art forger, and she’s also linked to another dreamer like Ronan. Then we’ve also got Carmen Farrukh Lane, a hunter who hunts dreams and dreamers. This can read as a contemporary with a bit of magical flavor stirred in, but it has urban fantasy because we see a lot about dreams and things pulled from dreams to be made a reality, visions, and magic.

Like A Deadly Education, the plot in the middle of the book felt slightly slow and meandering. Ronan has already developed significantly in the first quarter, so we don’t see much character development here. He goes through a story arc in this book, but his character is already well-maintained. The changes in the Raven Cycle that have gone on with his character come to a head in this book because he’s a different person, not entirely different. It will look very different depending on manipulating their dreams and how the fallout works.

Call Down the Hawk

Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Average Rating: 4.7/5
Category: Epic Fantasy
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio CD

5. Dark Lover: The Black Dagger Brotherhood

Dark Lover is about Beth Randall, who discovers she is half-vampire, the vampire who will help her transition. There are also beings called lessers that are hunting vampires. The Black Dagger Brotherhood, of which Wrath is the head, is the one that protects the vampire race.

Male characters are almost impossible to distinguish from each other because they’re all the same copy of a toxic. The main female protagonist is a self-insert of a strong female character. She’s beautiful and confident, and she can handle the men. She’s the cool girl that Gillian Flynn talks about. The other female main character is a doe-eyed, fragile virgin. Gender stereotyping is the extreme as A Deadly Education.

Dark Lover

Author: J. R. Ward
Average Rating: 4.5/5
Category: Urban Fantasy & Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Mass Market Paperback

If you’ve read a lot of fantasy, particularly magical school-themed ones, books like “A Deadly Education” provide a fresh, unique angle on a beloved subgenre. This can rekindle your love for fantasy by offering new stories and perspectives you haven’t encountered before.

More Magical Realism Books: 5 Books Like Piranesi

Pauline Jackson

I like to talk about popular books. My book review inspires you to read and save time. Also, I summarize the book and give you the best lessons or ideas that can change your life. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *