REVIEW – The School for Good and Evil Book 3 – The Last Ever After

Posted: August 31, 2015 in book, book review, fairy tale, Review
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One of the first couple of reviews I started doing back when I started doing reviews on my blog (as opposed to just random nonsense that nobody bothered reading) I did the first two books in this series of fairy tale based adventure books by Soman Chainani, The School for Good and Evil and A World Without Princes. Well, the final part of the trilogy is out now and I figured, why not complete the set by reading the books and telling you I liked it. So here we go.

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Ooh, and we have a trailer for the new book too. I know you lot like trailers.

So, plot-wise, what you’ve got are Agatha (started off in the first book looking like a witch, turned out to be a princess) and Sophie (princess good looks, evil attitude) coming together one last time to defeat the evil Schoolmaster. As with the previous book, the two school format has been changed, this time to reflect themes of ‘old’ and ‘new’.

Following directly on from the previous book, we find Agatha and her prince, Tedros (basically an arrogant, sexist arse) in the seemingly normal village of Galvadon, facing execution from the vicious village elders, aided by Sophie’s father, seeking revenge for Agatha failing to maintain her promise of bringing his daughter home. When they manage to escape and find themselves back in the grounds of the School for Good and Evil, they find the Sun (and the magical world around it) dying, classic fairy tale villains returning as zombies, heroes being killed and the Schoolmaster leading a triumphant Evil as Good is suppressed.

As Agatha tries to once again fix things, faces tough decisions as she has to figure out how to fit both friendships and her romantic interests into her life. She has to come to terms with her destiny as Tedros’ queen, and she has to find a way to save Sophie, finding herself drawn closer to the Schoolmaster as he lavishes her with promises and gifts.

As with all good trilogies, you’ve got an ending full of sacrifice and bitter-sweet feelings, and we find more out about their parents, adding depth and a deeper sense of history into the saga. All in all, it’s a satisfying final episode, full of plot twists and strong character work.

My one complaint about the previous book was that the male/female stereotypes and symbolism came across a little heavy, this time around the sense of old and new was handled perfectly. Obviously, I wouldn’t suggest just picking this book up as your first book, as it throws you into the story without so much as a breath. Even having read the first two books, I found it difficult to catch up at first, but y’know, I’m old and I forget stuff. Maybe it’s fine for the intended audience of 10-12 year olds. I’d recommend it for anyone over 10 who is a fan of fantasy books of any kind, these books are certainly an improvement on the earlier Harry Potter books, by way of themes and writing style. At no point do you feel like you’re reading a book marketed purely for kids. (That said, I think this may be the reason my daughter Jess (10) hasn’t picked the books up yet, despite my nagging)

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So, yeah, it’s a cracking finale to a delightful trilogy, and I highly recommend you go across to Amazon to pick up a copy. It’s available on Kindle and Audio Download as well as paperback, if you live in the future.

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