Literature · Novels and Novellas

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

world without princes

Agatha and Sophie’s story isn’t over after all and they return to the School for Good and Evil. Only now the school is separated by males and females while Good and Evil have joined forces.

First Thoughts: I loved the first Good and Evil book and yeah, I just now read the second book in 2016. This is a pretty strong followup. I can’t say one is better than the other, honestly – they are both good.

Reading Experience: The book is extremely engaging. A “couldn’t put down” type of book without a doubt. One flaw in the first book was it did have a tendency to drag on. A World Without Princes doesn’t have this problem, it is exciting all the way though.

Characters: Sophie, steals the spotlight in this book to me. Her struggle to keep her inner witch at bay made her characterization the most complex. Which is funny, since I found her annoying in the first book most of the time. But here her characterization is wonderful.

Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for Agatha. She was just plain dull in this book. And some of her thoughts and actions almost made me hate her.

Then there’s Tedros, the heartthrob of the series. I’ve never liked Tedros. But I did feel sympathy for him during one particularly dark moment in the book.

Dean Evelyn Sadar, is the villain of the book and the one egging on the gender war. She is a fantastic villain throughout most of the book, although I didn’t care for certain elements of her backstory.

Hester, also has a more prominent role in this book. She’s a great character, I suppose she would fall into the category of ‘neutral evil’.

Themes: Not surprisingly, gender is a prominent theme here. And at times, the way it was handled made me uncomfortable. But I wouldn’t say the book is offensive or anything.

Friendship, is a major element. Throughout the book, Agatha and Sophie’s friendship is on the line. They struggle to trust each other and understand what they truly want. I thought their relationship was handled well. At times, it was frustrating and I just wanted them to love each other. But relationships are never that simple and the book captures that complexity.

Other Thoughts: Sophie is the best thing about this book, she may end up being one of my favorite book characters.

This is a great sequel but the gender stuff may put some people off.


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