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A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee

“First, I was terrified for Felicity, then I became terrified of her, A Lesson in Vengeance is haunting. This lush, yet darkly imagined Sapphic boarding school thriller will have readers at the edge of their seats from start to finish.”

Cecelia Beckman, Sheaf & Ink

The Story

Felicity Morrow is back at Dalloway School.

Perched in the Catskill mountains, the centuries-old, ivy-covered campus was home until the tragic death of her girlfriend. Now, after a year away, she’s returned to graduate. She even has her old room in Godwin House, the exclusive dormitory rumored to be haunted by the spirits of five Dalloway students—girls some say were witches. The Dalloway Five all died mysteriously, one after another, right on Godwin grounds.

Witchcraft is woven into Dalloway’s history. The school doesn’t talk about it, but the students do. In secret rooms and shadowy corners, girls convene. And before her girlfriend died, Felicity was drawn to the dark. She’s determined to leave that behind her now; all Felicity wants is to focus on her senior thesis and graduate. But it’s hard when Dalloway’s occult history is everywhere. And when the new girl won’t let her forget.

It’s Ellis Haley’s first year at Dalloway, and she’s already amassed a loyal following. A prodigy novelist at seventeen, Ellis is a so-called “method writer.” She’s eccentric and brilliant, and Felicity can’t shake the pull she feels to her. So when Ellis asks Felicity for help researching the Dalloway Five for her second book, Felicity can’t say no. Given her history with the arcane, Felicity is the perfect resource.

And when history begins to repeat itself, Felicity will have to face the darkness in Dalloway–and in herself.

My Review: A Lesson in Vengeance

Victoria Lee’s writing is lyrical as it is atmospheric. With a plethora of lines I highlighted throughout that are beautifully written and the intricate detail Lee paints with sharp edges into the atmosphere, this felt like the perfect setting for a dark academia thriller.

At every turn of the page I felt a bit unsettled. Wondering, if we as the readers were going a bit mad. As we dig deeper and deeper into the earth, the soil coating our skin, under our nails, breathing it in, tasting the marrow of this story.

Even the centuries old stories of witches and death seem to reshape the current one, leaving no room for discourse or argument. We sink into the brilliant writing with its lulls of normalcy until we realize we’ve been spun into a cocoon of spider silk, held aloft as a savory delicacy.

Utterly captivating, Felicity and Ellis will haunt my mind for a good while longer.

Happy Reading ̴ Cece

RATING: ink blotink blotink blotink blot – Exceptionally Inked

Delacorte Press

Publication Details

  • Publication day: August 3, 2021
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press
  • ISBN: 978-0593305829
  • Pages: 384
  • Age Group: 14+
  • Hardcopy: $18.99
  • Buy Links: ⬇️

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