Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

I could have sworn that I've read this in the past few years but I have absolutely no reviews of it and that throws my memory into doubt. At any rate, I wanted to read this series and decided to start with the first book so that could (re?)familiarise myself with the characters.

The School for Good and Evil is a fairy-tale story with a twist. In a village called Gavaldon, children are being stolen, no matter the precautions taken. Only two are stolen at a time, and eventually, the village realises that these children end up as fairy tale characters. Sophie is the most beautiful girl in the village and unlike the others, actually wants to be taken away to live her life as a princess. But to outcast Agatha, Sophie is her only friend and she knows that they belong home.

Both girls get an unpleasant surprise when they're kidnapped and dropped at the schools - Sophie at the School for Evil and Agatha at the School for Good. Both are sure that a mistake has been made and Agatha is determined to get them home. Sophie, on the other hand, is determined to prove herself Good and get herself a prince.

I absolutely adored this story! Although Sophie and Agatha butt heads for a good part of the book because of their different personalities, I could really see their friendship and I loved that it took center stage. Yes, there was some romance but through it all (and especially in the ending), it was the love between friends that was the most important, not the love between a prince and a princess.

I also liked how complex these characters are. Take Tedros - Prince Arthur's son, for example. When I first saw him, I thought he was just another buffoon, kind of like Daring Charming from Ever After High (at least in the first season). But as I read further, I realised that Tedros had his own hurt that he was hiding and that motivated his actions, changing him into a more complex character in my eyes.

All in all, I would highly recommend this story to any fairy-tale fans. It's fun, charming, and has more depth to it than meets the eye.

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