The Austere Academy is a rather important book in the Series of Unfortunate Events. It introduces us to 3 important new players in our story. The First and unfortunately the most horrid, is Carmelita Spats. There is no getting around it. You will hate this character. She is obnoxious and rude and cruel. She is the opposite of everything the Baudelaire children are and stand for I almost can't imagine a most unlikeable child and I have to give Daniel Handler kudos for creating her. The next two characters are much more welcome additions to the series. Duncan and Isodora are the Quagmire triplets. Duncan and Isadora share a history similar to the Baudelaires in that their parents also perished in a fire along with their brother, the third triplet, Quigley. The Austere Academy sees our heroes not going into the care of yet another guardian but instead finds them attempting to start out fresh in a boarding school. This might seem like a change for the better for the Baudelaires until we learn that the schools motto is "Remember you will die." cheerful, no? Things basically go downhill from there. Count Olaf of course makes his customary appearance, once again scheming for the children's fortune.The Austere Academy may be one of my favourite volumes in the series mainly because of the introduction to the Quagmires. It's also the first book where parts of the riddle that is their parents death begins to unravel, with the inclusion of the acronym VFD. I feel like this book really marks the turning point for the series making it less about the Baudelaires trying to find a place where they belong and more about this mystery of which they were previously unaware.