Review: A Lesson In Vengeance by Victoria Lee

A Lesson In Vengeance Review
A Lesson In Vegeance book cover is dark blue with various objects on. A skull, a statue bust, a Ouija board, scrolls, gems, and quills.

A Lesson In Vengeance is a slow-paced, dark academia for people who love goth vibes and unhinged sapphic nerds.

Dalloway School stands isolated in the Catskill mountains, a centuries-old, ivy-covered school for the elite. Godwin House is the most selective dormitory, rumoured to be haunted by five witches who died on campus in terrible, strange ways. Felicity Morrow returns to Dalloway after a tragic event the year before where her best friend, and girlfriend, died. She’s determined to leave her past behind her, but when she meets Ellis Haley, an eccentric writer she’s immediately drawn to, she’s pulled back into the occult school history.

The writing style is so gorgeously gothic and broody, filled with rich descriptions and atmospheric moodiness. If you love books with strong vibes, this is a fantastic pick. A Lesson In Vengeance features an unreliable narrator struggling with psychotic depression, something the author has lived experience with. This gave the book a level of authenticity often missing from stories featuring characters with mental health problems. The main criticism of this book lies with the side characters. They should have been better developed, especially the characters of colour who feel very flat. One discusses with Felicity the history of racism at Dalloway School, but this is an offhanded mention making it seem performative. Felicity and Ellis are fantastic morally grey characters, so it would have been good to see the side characters get the depth Victoria Lee is capable of. The sapphic relationship in this book is messy, obsessive, and toxic, and yet, so compelling. Sapphics deserve an unhinged, tragic, gothic romance, and Victoria Lee is here to deliver. A Lesson In Vengeance is an entertaining read that people who love slow-paced, gothic books should pick up.

Thanks to Titan Publishing and Netgalley for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

Author Information

Victoria Lee grew up in Durham, North Carolina, where she spent her childhood writing ghost stories and fantasizing about attending boarding school. She has a Ph.D. in psychology, which she uses to overanalyze fictional characters and also herself. Lee is the author of A Lesson in Vengeance as well as The Fever King and its sequel, The Electric Heir. She lives in New York City with her partner, cat, and malevolent dog.

Get this book

If you want to remember to check out this book you should Add to Goodreads!

You can pre/order the book from major retail sites such as Waterstones & Blackwells!

I’d recommend checking out your local indie bookshop!

see you next time! Luminosity Library

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