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Dark Academia Book Recs

Dark Academia Book Recs

So you received our January box, Ex Libris, and are new to the Dark Academia genre - unsure where to start? 

Don't worry, the Locked Librarians have a list of six amazing Dark Academia books that you can sink your teeth into. 


1. Babel by R.F. Kuang

Traduttore, traditore: An act of translation is always an act of betrayal.

For Robin, Oxford is a utopia dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge. But knowledge obeys power, and as a Chinese boy raised in Britain, Robin realizes serving Babel means betraying China.

As his studies progress, Robin finds himself caught between Babel and the Hermes Society, an organization dedicated to stopping imperial expansion. When Britain pursues an unjust war with China over silver and opium, Robin must decide. . .

Can powerful institutions be changed from within, or does revolution always require violence?

 A Deadly Education: the Sunday Times bestseller: Novik ...

2. A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

Lesson One of the Scholomance: Learning has never been this deadly.

There are no teachers, no holidays, and no friendships, save strategic ones. Survival is more important than any letter grade, for the school won’t allow its students to leave until they graduate… or die! The rules are deceptively simple: Don’t walk the halls alone. And beware of the monsters who lurk everywhere.

El is uniquely prepared for the school’s dangers. She possesses a dark power strong enough to level mountains and wipe out millions. It would be easy enough for El to defeat the monsters that prowl the school. The problem? Her powerful dark magic might also kill all the other students.


 The Atlas Six - Olivie Blake – Phantasia Books

3. The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake

Five, they are told, will be initiated. One will be eliminated.

The Alexandrian Society are the foremost secret society of magical academicians in the world. Those who earn a place among will secure a life of wealth, power, and prestige beyond their wildest dreams. Each decade, only the six most uniquely talented magicians are considered for initiation. 

When the candidates are recruited they are told they will have one year to qualify for initiation. They will be judged based on their contributions to various subjects of impossibility.

The six potential initiates will fight to survive the year, and prove themselves to be the best.

Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé – Get it Today from LitVox

4. Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

They say love and hate are the same, just at different ends of the blade.

Welcome to Niveus Private Academy, where money paves the hallways, and the students are perfect. Until now. Because anonymous texter, Aces, is bringing two students' dark secrets to light.

Talented musician Devon buries himself in rehearsals, but he can't escape the spotlight when his private photos go public. Head girl Chiamaka isn't afraid to get what she wants, but soon everyone will know the price she paid for power.

Someone is out to get them both. Someone who holds all the aces. And they're planning much more than a high-school game...

Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M Danforth review: A messy, enjoyable play ...

5. Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth

Don’t find yourself regretting this. You’re much too young to haunt your own life.

1902, Brookhants School for Girls: students Flo and Clara are madly in love with each other, as well as completely obsessed with The Story of Mary MacLane. They are found dead in the woods, after a horrific wasp attack, the book lying next to their intertwined bodies. Within five years the school is closed. But not before three more people die on the property, each in a troubling way.

Over a 100 years later, Brookhants opens its doors once more, when a crew arrive to film a movie about the curse. As past and present become grimly entangled, it’s soon impossible to tell quite where the curse leaves off and Hollywood begins…


The Four by Ellie Keel | Goodreads

6. The Four by Ellie Keel

I don’t regret what we did. And I would do it all again.

Powerful. Sinister. Heart-wrenching. Unmissable. We were always The Four. From our very first day.

The four scholarship pupils. Outsiders in a world of power and privilege. It would have made our lives a lot easier if Marta had simply pushed Genevieve out of our bedroom window that day. Certainly, it would have been tragic. She would have died instantly. But Marta didn’t push her then, or – if you choose to believe me – at any other time. If she had, all of what we went through would not have happened. I’ve told this story as clearly as I could – as rationally as I’ve been able, in the circumstances, to achieve.

Make sure to order our March box, Her Heavenly Heretic, before 3rd March 2024.