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The Scholomance

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  603 ratings  ·  93 reviews
For centuries, there has been a legend of a hidden school where magic is taught by the demons who dwell there to anyone who seeks them out, but they ask a terrible price: Anyone who reaches the door of the Scholomance may enter, but the Devil takes every tenth student who tries to leave.

A hidden school. Demonic masters. An inescapable fate for one out of every ten graduate
Kindle Edition, 563 pages
Published January 8th 2012 by A Red Hot Romance Book
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3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  603 ratings  ·  93 reviews

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Sophia Triad
You may call me naïve, but I thought that this would be a magical book about a magic school that resembles Hogwards but for grown up readers. A dark, doomed, not innocent school near Bucharest, located inside a mountain, with demons as teachers, with talented cruel adults as students.
Thus, I was really excited before I started this story.
But not for long.

I suppose my main issue (which I suppose it was an issue for the most people who read this book) is the main female character aka Mara: A you
Paige  Bookdragon

Don’t read this.

Please please please, for the love of all things holy, don’t read this book if you’re an innocent child who thinks that unicorn poop would be the answer to global warming and world peace.

I have read a lot of kinky books (some I’m proud as hell to admit that I read it and some made me wonder why am I so gullible) but never in my whole life has I been scandalized with a book
Orgy?Sex in public?Menage? BDSM? I wouldn’t bat an eyelash reading those things.

Beheading? Amputation and
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
Bye bye, book. Doom and oblivion are you. Because Shelly, Choko and Kira thought you was crap. Nenia loved you and stuff, but I won't risk it. I'm brave like that.

Nov 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Sh3lly by: Samantha and Nenia
This is my second R. Lee Smith book, the first being The Last Hour of Gann. I think it's safe to say her books are polarizing. They provoke you and make you think and sometimes it's great and sometimes it's (view spoiler) annoying. Weighing the pros and cons, this falls more into the annoying category. I wanted to like this. I really did. Really and truly. It started SO strong. I thought I was going to love it.

But I hated the main character.

What a bitch. I read a couple r
Pam Godwin
Jul 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star-horror
Welcome to the Scholomance. This isn't a nursery school. It attracts the most depraved humans. Shoving fellow applicants off a Romanian cliff increases the odds of admittance. Tuition is affordable too. That is, if your life has little value.

This is a trippy but effective shock-suspense horror about a psychic girl on the hunt for her "missing friend, her best, her only friend." The sick sympathy this book extends to its heartless anti-hero, Mara, separates it millions of worlds away from the tr
Nov 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wishlist
R. Lee Smith's books are always are revelation for me. She messes with your head, makes you question your own sanity and moral compass, and wraps it all up in a delicious plot so you aren't able to stop reading until you reach the last sentence.

If you read and loved Heat, The Scholomance is for you. In a way it reminded me of Anne Bishop's UF series as "the otherness" of R. Lee Smith's monsters is pure perfection.

I found out about Miss Smith through rave reviews of Heat and Last Hour of Gann on
Nov 27, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror, fantasy-grim
*** 2.45 ***

This is a very hard book to review. The main reason is the fact that I actually hated the story and strongly disliked the main female protagonist, if such she can be called. However, I try never to rate on personal emotions alone, so I have to admit that the author is actually a brilliant wordsmith! I would probably appreciate anything written by her, but this story made me feel ... not-human... It was cold, cruel, and so disconcertingly disconnected from all that is humanity, that
Here we go, fair warning first.
It's dark. It's nasty. It makes you cringe sometimes (I didn't but I'm wired differently so the basic rules don't apply to me). My mother would probably drag me to the priest just for reading this book and liking it so damn much, even my kindle is tired of how many times it was read.
Sorry, I stand corrected, better make that a monastery, to become a nun or perhaps a mental hospital for cases without cure, rather than just to a priest.
As a side note, have always w
Nov 27, 2013 rated it liked it
This is much like the other Smith books an incredibly elaborate, tall tale with wonderful worldbuilding. There was a decidedly strong heroine, and two rather engaging heroes both vying for her in what wasn't really a love triangle.

Yet while I have to start out with a full 5* I quickly and irreparably had to deduct 2* for something I find loathsome and extremely unerotic to read: angry sex. And this book had practically nothing but angry sex--except for two instances of cheating sex.

I noticed th
Apr 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
I loved Heat and read on a blog that The Scholomance had the same feel to it... but it lacked the humanity factor needed to make me feel for the characters. This seems a pointless criticism since many of the characters aren't human, and their demon nature is explicitly depicted on purpose, but without any emotional pull I didn't find myself caring whether the main character died at the end or even on the next page. Mara is a sociopath and devoid of any feeling, even physical pain, and is so all- ...more
The Scholomance is a secret school where magic is taught by demons to those who enter. The students are at the mercy of the demons and must obey their rules. Mara’s only friend, after being out of touch for years, sent her a letter which said she needed to be saved from the school. Mara decided to save her, which really was quite OOC for her to do.

The demons were pathetic and spineless. I was expecting them to be badass and evil. They didn’t resemble humans, which was about the only thing that m
Jessie Morgan
Apr 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
OMG, what to say about this story. I think I have just been sold as an R. Lee Smith fan for life.

Mara is not your ordinary heroine. She is antisocial, reserved, hard as nails and a powerful psychic to boot. Her only real emotional weakness comes in her affection for her best friend since childhood, the only person in Mara's life who has ever really loved her, Connie. Then Connie disappears and one day Mara gets a letter. In its totality, it reads: 'South of Altenmunster. West of Lake Teufelsee.
Feb 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
I actually had to create a new genre shelf for this book! (Ero-guro.)

Books are like this one are the reason why self-publishing should exist as a viable venue, imo. These are the books that just too risky and too strange for a mainstream publisher (from the NYC Big 6 to the smallest e-pub) to take a chance on. It's also not easily categorized so marketing would be a nightmare. If I had to pick a genre for Scholomance though, I'd choose horror.

I would never say the writing here (on a technical, q
This is my least favorite book of Smith's and I believe I have now officially read all of them.
Don't get me wrong- not only did I enjoy this but I laughed many times reading this book which is typical when I read Smith, and Mara is definitely a very interesting heroine. One thing I enjoy about reading Smith is that her characters don't just talk the talk- they walk the walk. What I mean by this is there are a lot of PNR authors that want their heroine to be all "badassy" and they sashay around
Apr 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: dark-n-gritty
My least favorite R. Lee Smith book so far but I still enjoyed it. The author has said the book came to her from a nightmare and having read it I can totally see it. The book is twisted and gets more so throughout. I was on board with the plot for the first 25%. The middle 50% I got a bit worn down by all the angst. The book felt like it was dragging on. Things picked up by the end and I was blind sided by the twist ending. Maybe I should have- but I did not see what was coming. The final chapte ...more
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
No words. I just sat there devastated that it's over. Like I do with all of her books.
Feb 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Scholomance is a haunting novel. I just finished it and have the compulsion to read it again, right away. RL Smith is an astounding story teller. You can't label it as just a horror story. It's not just erotic. It's both and more, a love story, a story about friendships, a coming of age story; it's just plain spellbinding. I first read Heat and loved it. Then, I read Olivia and thought that it was my favorite. Then, I read her Lords of Arcadia Series and realized that those were my fav. Now, ...more
Samantha K
I love this author but it pains me to say that I didn't love this. Please understand that R. Lee Smith is an incredibly gifted storyteller but when the h (heroine) is so unlikable, the H so distant, the relationship so vague, the story so dark, I can't recommend it. If you're a reader who needs "safe" books, or you're squeemish about anything, you need to stay away. Scholomance has just about every trigger imaginable and there are even some unique new ones that I couldn't have conceived prior to ...more
Jul 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
For a person who loves dark stories, I surprised myself and didn't fully love this one. I can sympathize with dark, driven, don't-bullshit-you characters (hell I love them), and while R. Lee Smith will probably forever be among my favorite authors, I did not full stop worship this one. The reason I didn't love it actually speaks very well of the author, hence the high rating. Hear me out. (view spoiler) ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I loved this blend of horror/fantasy/erotica, an addictive read, a long read but a story that I fell into and didn't want to see end. oher reviewers have spoken of the synopsis so no point in rehashing.

I loved the concept, the story of Mara who had never fit in, hard, unfeeling, pretty well a sociopath but unrelenting in her quest to find the one friend of her childhood, Connie.
Mara travels to the sinister, mythical Scholomance, the school run by Demons in her bid to free Connie and finds the re
I still really like this book--regardless of some of the things I pick at at in it. The things I have issue with are generally things I have issue with when reading her other books. The biggest one being ... shoes. I just can't see not wearing shoes at least at some point. This coming from a person who doesn't wear shoes out of her house unless she absolutely has too. I miss flip-flop season right now.
I see what most other people have issue with when it comes to this book and I can say I can agr
Ruthie Knox
Apr 17, 2012 rated it liked it
What an odd book. It's not particularly satisfying, and I think it could've used some trimming, but it's certainly interesting. The story reminded me of Greek mythology -- demons behaving badly, using humans cruelly and with lust in the same way many of the Gods of Olympus are said to have done. There's no real heart to the story, not enough to admire in anyone, and the ending is neither happy nor unhappy . . . it just sort of glides to a neutral close. Still, the writing was impressive, and I e ...more
Coyora Dokusho
Nov 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I stayed up all night reading this. (Caffeine was also a factor.) Horrible, terrible things happened, but as usual with R. Lee Smith, you felt for the people perpetrating the acts (usually!). Everything was excellent. TRIGGER WARNING!
Jul 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I was fascinated. Horror. Tenderness. Brutality. Love. The writer writes with so much heart.
Down side, story didn't make too much sense. But neither did some of the Harry Potter books.
Overall though I was amazed.
Wow. Just wow.

It was too long at certain point but it ended smoothly. I'm seriously impressed by Smith's work. It's almost terrifying how this woman can WRITE.

Just WOW.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Warning- you’re going to feel like you’re tripping on acid when you read this book. You’re going to feel all icky, uncomfortable and dirty for it, too. I personally think that’s what’s so great about R Lee Smiths writing. This is the kinda book that will make your spouse or friend turn to you and say “what the FUCK are you reading?!” and give you a strange look if you were to read a chapter out loud. I can’t decide if the author is a psycho, genius or both…actually, I’ll go with a little bit of ...more
Mew Ling
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
I understand that a lot of people won't like this book because of it's darker themes but I feel we've been fed fluffy diluted demons by shows like Buffy, Grimm or Supernatural.

It's gritty, it's graphic in some places in its descriptions of violence but it serves its purpose - it paints creatures that are not human and don't share our morality and cannot be measured by the same means as we'd use for others of our kind.

Not every hero is a martyr here to save the whole world and sacrifice themselv
Oct 25, 2015 rated it did not like it
I need to preface this by stating I am not a special snowflake in need of trigger warnings. I mentally defended this author when her use of sexual violence was called into question in many of the reviews and comments on The Last Hour of Gann, where I did not find it overdone or creepily celebratory. But The Scholomance pushed and normalized rape to such a staggering degree that R. Lee is quickly becoming a "do not buy" author for me.

This pains me to write, because The Scholomance really could ha
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Buddy Read Zone: The Scholomance 2 31 Sep 03, 2013 06:26AM  
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“This book is dedicated to my grandfather and to his habit of keeping books with such marvelously terrifying illustrations down on the bottom shelf where any little kid could read it.” 1 likes
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