The School for Good and Evil: a great fantasy pick

The+six+books+of+the+School+for+Good+and+Evil+series+with+cover+design+by+Iacopo+Bruno.

Mia Bolyard

The six books of the School for Good and Evil series with cover design by Iacopo Bruno.

“IN THE FOREST PRIMEVAL
A SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL
TWO TOWERS LIKE TWIN HEADS
ONE FOR THE PURE
ONE FOR THE WICKED
TRY TO ESCAPE YOU’LL ALWAYS FAIL
THE ONLY WAY OUT IS
THROUGH A FAIRYTALE”

The School for Good and Evil follows two best friends, Sophie and Agatha. Sophie is the most beautiful girl in town and she knows it, where Agatha is suspected to be a witch purley from her thin almost bug like features.

Taken to a world where fairy tales are real, and a school that houses well known heroes’ children lies. One school is for the good and beautiful, the other for the evil and ugly. Looking on the outside the choice of which school the girl goes seems obvious…but is it?

With six books in a series, and all six being New York Times Bestselling books, Soman Chainani has created a fantastic world that changes the way we look at fairy tales.

Characters are all very well written. Heroes are given flaws, and villains good qualities, highlighting the message in Chainani’s series that humans are complex with gray areas in behavior.

My favorite character development is with the main couple of the series. Sometimes they work very well with one another, and sometimes they butt heads. Both grow so much from the first book to the last.

One member of the beloved couple grows from an ignorant brat who had a shallow look on what it meant to be good, to a mature and ferocious leader to their kingdom who realizes what good actually is. And that’s only one example of great character growth in these books.

There is one character added in the fourth book who I felt was kind of a diversity addition. Nicola is a strong character and is very admirable, but for the last two books her presence became minimal and almost seemingly added little to the story than originally implied in the fourth book. But despite this, the rest of the characters are fairly well written.

When looking at the overall storyline of all six books, I honestly believe that Chainani could have stopped writing at the third. The story arc of the first three books are compelling with some well executed drama and makes your blood pump with the fight scenes.

But then you get to the last three books. Starting only a few months after the end of the third, Soman creates a new storyline for the characters and completely unties previously fixed loose ends. He changes writing style and gets a little power hungry in his world.

In the first three books combined Chainani killed 9-10 named characters, which isn’t a lot considering the battle in the third book. By the end of the sixth book, I had a list of roughly 28 characters he killed off. Some of the deaths were well written and added to the plot, where others seemed out of bad taste and could’ve been avoided in my opinion.

Although, as the author he can do as he pleases, I do believe Chainani took it too far.

There were also small little plot mistakes here and there that didn’t entirely take away from the story but were a noticeable nuisance. It would have been nice for those to have been fixed, otherwise the writing is gorgeous and really transports you to the multiple layers of this world.

I recommend that avid fantasy readers take a look. With that, I give this series four books out of five.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email