I loved this book! I think it was a lot younger and tropish than here usual writing but there was still a lot of dangerous and deadly magic as you would expect from a Naomi Novik novel.
So my favourite part might have been the relationship between El and Orian. El is pragmatic and you could call her a realist but pessimist works. Orian is a happy go-lucky enclave kid who is set apart from his peers. He is the brave hero constantly jumping into danger. Do you see where this is going because I did and it was beautiful.
El thought her biggest worry would be surviving school and not fulfilling a dark prophecy about her powers but honestly now shes more worried about Orian doing something stupid in the name of saving everyone else and getting herself killed... and surviving school.
The dark world of magic has a very gothic feel as they look out for monsters at every turn... literally. The alliances formed were interesting to watch as they learned to rely on each other in a world where betrayal could kill you.
The use of languages was amazing as they used different languages for different spells and there were students from all over. However I have heard issues with the use of language from BIPOC that white people may not think of. There was also no mention of racism which is impossible to escape as it would infiltrate from the mundane world.
I loved this book and am impatiently waiting for the next one!