A review by bookliz_fr
A Lesson in Vengeance, by Victoria Lee

dark emotional mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


I had a great time reading this book. However, there is something that bothers me a little, but I don't what. That's why this book is a low four stars for me.

We are following two students, Felicity and Ellis, at Dalloway School. A school that has witchcraft woven in its history with the famous Dalloway Five, and Felicity and Ellis decided to research about them and unravel the mystery surrounding those five girls. 

Like most story sets in a boarding school, we have this spooky and dark atmosphere. The ambiance is also created by the explanations of the history of the school, various descriptions of the school and its surrounding. Moreover, the different characters help a lot with this atmosphere as you don't trust them a hundred percent. It's a lot of details and how they are interlinked that create this beautiful dark academia ambiance. I didn't want to stop reading the book and stay in this mood.

Another important thing is that the story is character-driven. We are following one point of view, Felicity's one, which makes the story a lot more interesting to read. She has a psychotic depression double up with anxiety and triples up with grief, making her a complex character. Sometimes you don't know if she imagines things or if it's the reality; the difference is hard to make. Also, she makes some characters real even if they aren't here. 
Ellis, on her side, is a character that I didn't trust from the beginning. She has something that helps her have many followers who don't question anything, but there is something off with her like she has an idea and will do anything to achieve it, even if it means doing a bad thing. 

However, as it's a character-driven story, the plot isn't at the forefront, so sometimes I was a little lost as I sometimes forgot it. That makes the ending a little complex to understand for me. In the beginning, I didn't catch it, but then I understood, and I liked it a lot. So for me, the ending was surprising but, at the same time, a good conclusion for those characters.

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