Title: A World Without Princes (The School for Good and Evil #2)
Author: Soman Chainani
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Release Date: April 15, 2014
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.
Agatha and Sophie finished their fairy tale and returned to their home of Gavaldon from The School for Good and Evil. One day, Agatha wishes that she had kissed her prince, Tedros, at the end of their fairy tale. That wish causes their happily ever after at the end of their fairy tale to be erased, sending them back to The School for Good and Evil to find their ending. However, this time the school has changed. Since they didn’t end their fairy tale with a prince kissing a princess, the people at the school have realized that fairy tales don’t need princes to be complete. The school now separates the girls and the boys. The return of Agatha and Sophie makes everything spin out of control, leading to an epic battle between the girls and boys.
This story looked at the gendered stereotypes in fairy tales. In a typical fairy tale, the prince and princess end up together at the end. In Sophie and Agatha’s fairy tale, neither of them needed a prince, because they ended up together. This would be fine, but it shows that the boys aren’t needed. That left all the princes wondering what they were supposed to do. I loved that this flipped the gender stereotype and explored a new type of fairy tale.
This story also explored appearances. Appearances play an important part in fairy tales too. The characters in fairy tales assume that an outward appearance is true, though it often isn’t. A woman may trust an old lady, who turns out to be a witch who poisons her. A girl may trust the woman she thinks is her grandmother, who turns out to be a wolf. Some of the characters in this story appeared to be one gender, but they were another gender. The characters blindly trusted each other’s appearances, even though it really didn’t make sense. This was a clever way to play with the gender stereotypes by changing appearances.
I loved this story even more than the first one! It finished on a cliffhanger, so I can’t wait to read the next one.
What to read next:
The Last Ever After (The School for Good and Evil #3) by Soman Chainani
The Wishing Spell (The Land of Stories #1) by Chris Colfer
Other books in the series:
- The School for Good and Evil
- The Last Ever After
- Quests for Glory
- A Crystal of Time
- One True King
Have you read A World Without Princes? What did you think of it?