The School for Good and Evil Series by Soman Chainani
“The first kidnappings happened two hundred years before. Some years it was two boys taken, some years two girls, sometimes one of each. But if at first, the choices seemed random, soon the pattern became clear. One was always beautiful and good, the child every parent wanted as their own. The other was homely and odd, an outcast from birth. An opposing pair plucked from youth and spirited away.” – Soman Chainani
Fair and flawless.
A beauty inside a small town.
A dark heart under a pink dress.
Certainly, a princess in the making.
Goth and pale
A ghost by the woods beyond.
A raven in silent white.
Plainly, of grim black and gloom.
One fated Good. One destined Evil.
Best friends certain about where they belong.
Or so they thought.
Sophie in Evil.
Agatha in Good.
The school never makes a mistake.
If you think this book is targeted for younger audiences, you’re mistaken. There is something dark and haunting about the story, on top of the classic fairy tale setting. The settings in the school grounds, the magical elements and the vibe of other characters creates a feeling of being in a fairytale, a raw an extreme version of one.
The Good side seemed too innocently bright, you realize it blinds the dark. Even in the marble white hall, you visualize a hidden sense of foulness. The Evil side is grim and gruesome, it gets more so when pitted against Good. Wickedness can be created, in indescribable ways.
As Sophie and Agatha get placed in the school, things start to change. The line between Good and Evil begins to blur.
In the beginning, Good and Evil are clearly stereotyped as emphasized by the distinction by the setting and the systems in each school that dictates what Good and Evil should look like, what they should do, what role they would play in a story. In each school, the authority presses repeatedly that one must remain Good or Evil, not a choice the student can make.
Which leads to what is another step scarier, what happens when you stray from your path? The punishments and forbidden parts of the school are a bit sinister, monsters, blood and flying gargoyle skeletons on chandeliers.
The story is a little slow paced, yet suspenseful. It has the perfect balance between the cartoonish story image and the dark and real fairytale element. The settings are beautiful, haunting, in a fairytale way, which fits the characters well with some characters more human, with conflicting identity and some, deemed good or evil, no in between. How those contrasting characters are pitted against each other is therefore fascinating to read about.
Almost all of the situations where Good and Evil are pitted against each other are in a hostile setting, with a high level of magic and fantasy involved. It is thrillingly captivating to see the students take a role in respect to their side and then squeezed by the competition and pressure of the rules of Good and Evil, to make a move, to hide or fight.
Check out all book trailers (so far) of the series HERE.
Images from https://schoolforgoodandevil.com/the-series/