The School for Good and Evil series is set in a world where every year two children are chosen to attend a prestigious school where fairy tale heroes and villains are made. As the title implies, students are placed on the path of Good or Evil. The series stars Agatha, who is Good, and Sophie, who wants to be Good but is Evil at heart. The plot is fueled by the competition between Agatha and Sophie for the affection of young Prince Tedros. The story is a complex web of intense rivalries between friends, young loves and the adults in their lives. The book ends with what readers are led to think is a resolution that keeps Agatha and Sophie's friendship intact.
Enter the second book, A World Without Princes. The conflict between Agatha and Sophie resumes when Agatha wishes her fairy tale ending from the first book was different. They return to school and quickly realize that the lines between Good and Evil have been blurred. They don't know who to trust or even if they can even trust each other.
Since Harry Potter broke onto the scene, fantasy series have been a huge trend in middle grade literature and this is one of the latest entries into the category. In a very short time, the series has become tremendously popular with girls around the world. Both books are long, fast-paced, have many complex characters with popular themes of love and betrayal, as well as plenty of teen angst.
Publisher Harper Collins recommends the series for ages 8 to 12, but 11 seems to be the more appropriate entry point because of the story's complexity and length.
While the setting is a fairy tale world, it is far from a sugary sweet Disney tale. The third book in the trilogy is due out in 2015 and a movie is in the works.
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