Synopsis

After saving themselves and their fellow students from a life pitched against one another, Sophie and Agatha are back home again, living happily ever after. But life isn’t exactly a fairytale. When Agatha secretly wishes she’d chosen a different happy ending with Prince Tedros, the gates to the School for Good and Evil open once again. But Good and Evil are no longer enemies and Princes and Princesses may not be what they seem, as new bonds form and old ones shatter.

Review

I’d like to start off by saying that this book didn’t completely live up to my expectations and I didn’t like it as much as the first book. I still enjoyed it, just not as much as I hoped I would.

Characters:
I’ll start with the negative: by far my biggest problem with this book is how dumb Agatha and (especially) Sophie were. Yes, they were naive in the first book, but now they are actually just unbelievably dumb. Of course there were times when I could completely understand their obliviousness, but at other times it just seemed way too unbelievable that they didn’t understand something- imagine a super exaggerated “dumb blonde” impersonation – that’s what it felt like. It was really just too much silliness. I don’t want to be any more specific for the risk of spoilers…
On to the positives: it was still really fun to watch Agatha and Sophie’s relationship morph and evolve and I especially liked how close they became with other students and teachers. These extended relationships gave so much more background and depth to students, teachers and Gavaldon citizens/family which made the world building expand seamlessly. We learn just enough to be interested in side characters yet there is still so much wonderful mystery surrounding everyone that will no doubt play into the final book!

Plot/Themes/Motifs:
I am so torn with the plot of this book!! On one hand it is really impossible to guess the bigger picture, but on the other hand there were so many predictable parts. Let me explain. I absolutely did not see see the end coming (until about a page before it happened), all of the characters and mystery tied together beautifully and made total sense by the end. BUT there were lots of predictable parts. It seemed like the author tried to create trails of breadcrumbs for us to follow, but failed by making the hints and clues wayyy too obvious – which, again, the main characters were oblivious to.
I also really felt that although this story has a much different plot than the first book, it was very repetitive of the first book. There was lots of “can I truly trust her?”, “she’s hiding something”, “i just don’t want to be alone”, “i’m good!”….. and it just felt repetitive from the first book and repetitive within it’s own right.
Of course I still loved the overarching story of this book. It was a cool depiction of extremist “feminist” terrorism. Where as the first book often abided by traditional fairytale sexism, this book did a complete 180 and showed “feminism” gone wrong which was really fun to watch! I can only imagine that this is setting up a nice middle ground for the final book – like Goldilocks: the first book is too male dominated, the second book is too female dominated, the final book is just right!
This story ends on a wicked cliff-hanger which basically ensures that I’ll start the third book right away!

Overall it was pretty good! It’s not something that completely hooked me, but it was still good enough to keep me invested in the characters and the world – I’ll start the third book ASAP!

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Rating: 3/5 Stars

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