This dark academia book felt perfectly spooky and I’m glad my library hold came in and I was able to read this in October! It fit the mood of the month – but anytime you’re in the mood for a dark academia book is a good time to pick this one up!
Title: A Lesson in Vengeance
Author: Victoria Lee
Genres: Mystery, Triller, LGBTQ+
If you like boarding schools set in secluded locations – this is the book for you. Boarding school stories are hit or miss for me, but this one was pretty good. Felicity was away from school for the past year after the death of her best friend. Some people think she killed her friend – her secret girlfriend. Now she’s back in her old room in Godwin House with a new group of housemates and one new transfer student who Felicity can’t figure out – Ellis Haley.
A Lesson in Vengeance deals with the belief of witchcraft – or lack of belief. Felicity dabbles in tarot cards but she knows it isn’t real. She knows witchcraft isn’t real. But it’s hard to be certain when the house you live in is famous for past deaths occurring there, and the girls were accused of being witches. Felicity is an unreliable narrator and you can tell pretty early on she might not be completely mentally stable since the death of her best friend/girlfriend. She didn’t feel comfortable being out about being gay at school and only a few people knew about her past relationship. It’s mentioned she takes medication and sometimes doesn’t take it which is also a problem.
I love the discussion of mental health and how even in the past girls and women were accused of witchcraft because of being misunderstood and then killed for their thoughts. This book is pretty dark and you never know what is going to happen next. There isn’t much witchcraft happening in this book besides tarot readings but it still has an eerie feeling hanging over it.
I liked this book, but I didn’t love it. I’m giving it a solid 3 stars because I didn’t hate it but I could have also stopped and put it down at any time without caring how it would end. (The ending was pretty damn good though, so I am glad I finished!) I have a feeling Victoria Lee’s writing just might not be for me, as I wasn’t a fan of their previous novel “The Fever King” either.
I really enjoyed the narrator for this one, I thought she had a great voice and it was a pleasure to listen to. I don’t think you’re missing out though if you don’t listen.
If you want a dark academia boarding school book with witchcraft and murder, and the MC is lesbian – this is the book for you. I didn’t completely love it, but I would still recommend it if thats a genre you’re looking for!