Book Review,  Reviews

A World Without Princes – Soman Chainani (The School For Good & Evil #2)

“There is an uneasiness that remains after your best friend tries to kill you.

But as Agatha gazed out at her and Sophie’s golden Statues, towering over the sun-speckled square, she swallowed it away.

‘I don’t know why it has to be a musical,’ she said, sneezing from the carnations on her pink dress.

‘No sweating in your costumes!’ Sophie barked at a boy struggling in a ferocious plaster dog head, while the girl roped to him stumbled around in her own cuddly dog head.”

Agatha and Sophie are back in Gavaldon, living out their happy ever after together. But Agatha is missing her prince. A brief moment brings about a longing wish which sees Agatha and Sophie transported back to the School for Good and Evil but everything has changed. There’s a price on Sophie’s head and the schools have been transformed into a school for girls and a school for boys. The result of Agatha and Sophie’s Ever After no longer seems so happy.


The second school for good and evil book was a bit mixed for me. I really loved the first one and how it seemed to challenge everything that traditional fairytales teach but this seemed to really go against that premise in places and the consequences of going against the stereotype seem to be ridiculously drastic in A World Without Princes.

The story takes place not long after the first books story ended. Agatha and Sophie have been home a few months and they are struggling. Sophie to stay good and not hate the fact her father is remarrying and Agatha to be happy with the life she chose. The day of Sophie’s fathers wedding things go drastically wrong and the pair find themselves on the path back to the schools. The characters were really interesting as they were in the first but I found that the story was a little predictable in places. The twists and turns were highly visible to me before they happened and on the odd occasion they weren’t I found that the big reveals fell flat and then led to an obvious conclusion.

The book was obviously very readable and something really made me want to carry on. I think I was hoping that it would be like the first in as that made me feel uneasy about the stereotyping of good and evil and then portrayed a great conclusion to twist those stereotypes. Unfortunately this one didn’t and I may be missing something but I really didn’t like the way it came across as very anti-feminist in places. I know that’s probably quite a harsh way of describing it and that’s probably not what the author really wanted to put across but that is unfortunately something that struck me about the book.

As with the first the pictures in this book really helped me imagine the world Chainani created and I loved them. I loved the way that the more magical of creatures are made more real by the pictures and really love the inclusion of the map at the beginning.

I wanted to love A World Without Princes as much as I love School for Good and Evil but things got in the way and I found myself counting down the pages, especially earlier on in the book, it had a slow start for me. Thankfully the last 80 or so pages turned the book into a fast paced adventure like the first and I think it pushed the book up in my opinion.

A World Without Princes was published in May 2014 by Harper Collins. My copy was sent from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 
To buy the book or for more info please visit:
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