Books Fantasy Magic

The School of Hard knocks – Another really good book in the Schooled in Magic series

The School of Hard knocksThe School of Hard Knocks (Schooled in Magic #5) by Christopher Nuttall
My rating: 9 out of 10 stars

A plot is being hatched at Mountaintop Academy, a plot that threatens the lives of Emily and her friends… and the integrity of the Allied Lands. In a desperate bid to uncover the secrets of Mountaintop, and recover her stolen notes, Emily goes undercover into Mountaintop, a mission that may cost her everything…

The books in the Schooled in Magic series continues to be very enjoyable reading, at least for me. In this instalment Emily makes another trip outside of Whitehall but unlike the other such trips she is actually continuing her schooling, as an undercover student to Mountaintop, another school in the Allied Lands.

In one sense this book gives a bit of an alternate view of magic schooling in the Allied Lands in the sense that the way Mountaintop goes about it is rather different from Whitehall. especially perhaps in terms of the social and authoritarian structures and ways at the two schools.

It was quite fun to read about Emily’s new experiences and how she struggled, adapted and made mistakes. As usual the book is full of interesting characters not to mention a mystery or two. As usual Emily’s curiosity, stubbornness and ignorance about a fair amount of things causes her to wander into quite some adventure and make a few mistakes along the way.

I have to say that I was somewhat split at the end since none of the bad guys were really that bad after all. There was a reason they where doing what they were doing and they seemed to rather firmly believe that it was for the best of the Allied Lands. Several of the characters that one would have expected to be some really bad individuals actually came across as rather reasonable a lot of the time. There are really no simple, stereotypic, bad guys (or god guys) in this book.

The ending was not really what I expected I have to say. The secret of Mountaintop was quite nasty indeed. However, at the very end of the book Mr. Nuttall performs some equally nasty cruelty towards the readers by dropping a last minute huge loose thread in the readers lap. Arrrgggghhhhhh !!!!!

Dammit, I would have bought the next one anyway. You just made the wait a lot more painful Mr. Nuttall 🙂

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