An Education in Malice, by S.T. Gibson

28 Feb 2024

The Book

An Education in Malice
Pages: 352
Age Group: Adult
Published on 15 Feb 2024
Publisher: Orbit Books
Dark AcademiaRomance
Available on:


Deep in the forgotten hills of Massachusetts stands Saint Perpetua's College. Isolated and ancient, it is not a place for timid girls. Here, secrets are currency, ambition is lifeblood, and strange ceremonies welcome students into the fold.

On her first day of class, Laura Sheridan is thrust into an intense academic rivalry with the beautiful and enigmatic Carmilla. Together, they are drawn into the confidence of their demanding poetry professor, De Lafontaine, who holds her own dark obsession with Carmilla.

But as their rivalry blossoms into something far more delicious, Laura must confront her own strange hungers. Tangled in a sinister game of politics, bloodthirsty professors and dark magic, Laura and Carmilla must decide how much they are willing to sacrifice in their ruthless pursuit of knowledge.  

My Review

An Education in Malice is a gothic romantasy novel, written by S.T. Gibson, who reimagines the classic Carmilla, taking its sapphic premise and elevating it to a lush and intoxicating enemies to lovers romance, which has been published by Orbit Books. Laura Sheridan just arrived at Saint Perpetua's College, an isolated and ancient institution for girls, where she will start an intense rivalry with the enigmatic Carmilla for the attention of their poetry professor, Ms De La Fontaine.

Spurred by Ms De La Fontaine, and fighting for her attention, Laura and Carmilla end finding themselves growing closer and closer, getting entangled in a toxic and somehow sinister game of hunger and politics, putting their lives in risk and learning about how far obsession and love can be mixed.
A story which weaves together a vampires subplot with an enemies to lovers romance; in particular, I found the romance parts to be the ones that worked better for me, especially in combination with the mesmerising prose of Gibson. I devoured those sections, as Gibson has a talent depicting the toxic passion and the emotions felt by our characters.

However, I found myself not sure of how to feel about some parts of the plot, which at some points was too hasty and fast; while it adds a layer of tension to the narration, it felt rather secondary in comparison with the romance that takes most of our attention. 

The atmosphere is sublime, the gothic setting is excellent, and Gibson makes an excellent work immersing you in Saint Perpetua. You can recognise the original elements from Carmilla, but putting the focus on the sapphic nature of the story, exploring the lust that is often overlooked in those stories.

While An Education in Malice has some rough edges, it's a delicious dark romance in a gothic setting; I enjoyed reading it, and honestly, it is worth just for how well the emotions are transmitted by S.T. Gibson's prose.

The Author/s

S.T. Gibson

S.T. Gibson

  S.T. Gibson is a poet, author, and village wise woman in training.

She holds a Bachelors degree in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Asheville, and a Masters of Theological Studies from Princeton Theological Seminary.