Sunday, July 27, 2014

The School for Good and Evil: A World Without Princes by Soman Chainani

"In the epic sequel to the New York Times bestselling novel, The School for Good and Evil, Sophie and Agatha are home, living out their Ever After. But life isn’t quite the fairy tale they expected. 

When Agatha secretly wishes she’d chosen a different happy ending, she reopens the gates to the School for Good and Evil. But the world she and Sophie once knew has changed.

Witches and princesses, warlocks and princes are no longer enemies. New bonds are forming; old bonds are being shattered. But underneath this uneasy arrangement, a war is brewing and a dangerous enemy rises. As Agatha and Sophie battle to restore peace, an unexpected threat could destroy everything, and everyone, they love—and this time, it comes from within."

Wow. Seriously, this was better than the first one. This went into topics that I've never seen handled in this setting, and it was brilliant. Just like how the first book poked fun at the idiotic fairy-tale "good/evil" tropes--animal conversation class for the Evers, uglification for the Nevers--the second one went even further, exploring the balance between the genders and all possible imbalances that have or could occur. It was fantastic, honestly. I felt like the plot was intricate and there weren't really any blah, flat plot devices. Everything fit in, everything made sense, and the plot twists were unexpected but fit perfectly in with everything. I loved the way the characters were handled, too: there were insane levels of complexity without really making me feel like anything was out-of-character. Each one was put through different circumstances and had to deal with them, some characters were pitted against one another by manipulation but still had their own struggles, and all of them were allowed to show more of their character than the first book. The ending made me start desperately needing to read the third one, which is a shame since it's not out yet. I think this series is highly enjoyable and well worth the read. I recommend it really highly. 4.5 to 5 stars. There's not a copy at the libraries yet, but you should try and find it if you can.

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