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

dark mysterious tense slow-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 didn’t think I’d read anything else from Victoria Lee after DNFing The Fever King a couple of years ago, but this book’s synopsis intrigued me enough that I changed my mind. Though I haven’t read much dark academia, I definitely want to read more after this.

From the first page, I found Felicity and her story enthralling, and desperately wanted to know what happened to Alex and the Dalloway Five. Dalloway was such an interesting setting, with intense eerie vibes that drew me in each time I picked up the book. I rarely knew who to trust or what was real, and I love books that mess with my head that way. Kudos to Lee for that.

I will say, one of the biggest twists was fairly easy for me to guess, and that’s the main reason I didn’t give this book a higher rating. However, everything that came after that reveal threw me for a loop, which definitely makes up for that shred of predictability. I liked the epilogue because, even if it wasn’t a typical happy ending, it was unexpected.

Overall, A Lesson in Vengeance was much more enjoyable than I thought it would be. I look forward to seeing what Lee does in the future.

  • lesbian protagonist and love interest
  • sapphic romance (f/f)
  • side characters of color (includes Black and Indian rep)
  • nonbinary side character (uses they/them pronouns)

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