Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Soman Chainani
Once best friends, Sophie and Agatha are now bitter enemies. Both of them, however, are questioning their happy endings with the School Master and Tedros. Tedros and Agatha decide to return to the world of the school to save Sophie, but Sophie is not sure that she wants to be saved if it means that she doesn’t get a true love and a happy ending of her own. Because she was able to love the School Master when love was always on good’s side, evil villains from classic tales are coming to life for another chance at their happy endings. Sophie embraces her evil and Agatha embraces her good, leading to a dramatic war between the ones who believe in keeping the balance between good and evil and those who want nothing but evil.
The last book of the series makes up for the confusing messages of the second book. This book deals a lot with the issue of age while still tackling issues of gender and good and evil like in the first two books. Secondary characters like Hort and Dot were given a chance to shine and be more important that they seemed in the first two books. The main characters can still be frustrating with Sophie’s total selfishness and Agatha’s unwillingness to do what needs to be done to keep herself and the people around her safe. In spite of being in a fantasy world that seems to have no connection to the real world, the characters occasionally reference pop culture things that take the reader out of the book’s universe. The book is a few hundred pages more than the previous book and the plot lags at some points, but curiosity about how it ends will keep a lot of readers pushing towards the end of this new fairy tale.
*Contains violence and mild language.