A World Without Princes

448p. (The School for Good and Evil Series: Bk. 2). HarperCollins. Apr. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062104922; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9780062104946.
Gr 6 & Up—Sophie and Agatha have returned home from the School of Good and Evil, figuring their troubles were over. Friendship won the day, and the girls gained their happy endings. Or have they? There are wishes left ungranted and it seems their unusual victory has changed the very nature of the School itself—and not in a good way. The girls find themselves drawn back to the School once more, destined to face malevolent magic, danger, and treachery. Can Agatha find a way to put right what's gone wrong, and still save her best friend? Can Sophie keep the Witch at bay? Happily ever after never seemed so far away. This second title in the dramatic fantasy series will be eagerly read by fans of the first title, The School For Good and Evil (HarperCollins, 2013), but will likely prove confusing for newcomers. The writing has gained some polish moving into this second installment, but an about-face plot twist creates a disconcerting set of messages regarding the girls and boys of the School and may put off some readers. The conclusion remains mostly open-ended and there are several cliff-hangers that will presumably be resolved in a third title. This will appeal most readily to readers with a taste for fairy tales and drama similar to Shannon Hale's "Ever After High" series (Little, Brown).—Stephanie Whelan, New York Public Library
After saving their school, best friends Sophie and Agatha attempt to get back to normal life in their home village but are ushered back to save the fairy-tale world when all men (princes or not) are pitted as enemies against girls. Twisting tropes and analyzing gender roles, Chainani offers readers a second fast-paced adventure fantasy with plenty of food for thought.

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