A World without Princes (The School for Good and Evil Series, Book 2)

Soman Chainani

Published by HarperCollins Publishers and Blackstone Audio, 2014
ISBN 10: 1483003264 / ISBN 13: 9781483003269
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Synopsis: [ Children's Fiction (Ages 10-12) ]
[Read by Polly Lee]

In the epic sequel to The School for Good and Evil, Sophie and Agatha are home, living out their Ever After. But life isn't quite the fairy tale they expected. When Agatha secretly wishes she'd chosen a different happy ending, she reopens the gates to the School for Good and Evil. But the world she and Sophie once knew has changed. Witches and princesses, warlocks and princes are no longer enemies. New bonds are forming; old bonds are being shattered. But underneath this uneasy arrangement, a war is brewing and a dangerous enemy rises. --Soman Chainani has created a spectacular world that Newbery Honor-winning author Ann M. Martin calls ''a fairy tale like no other, complete with romance, magic, and humor that will keep you turning pages until the end.''

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Behind the Scenes of The School for Good and Evil with Soman Chainani: What inspired you to write The School for Good and Evil?

We didn’t have cable when I was young, so all we had was our rickety TV set and VHS tapes of every single Disney animated movie. Until age eight or so, that was all I pretty much watched. Everything I learned about storytelling, I learned from Disney. When I went to college, though, I became fascinated by the gap between the original tales and these Disney revisions. As a relentless student of the Grimms’ stories, what I loved about them was how unsafe the characters were. You could very well end up with wedding bells and an Ever After—or you could lose your tongue or be baked into a pie. There was no “warmth” built into the narrator, no expectations of a happy ending. The thrill came from vicariously trying to survive the gingerbread house, the hook-handed captain, or the apple-carrying crone at the door—and relief upon survival. Somewhere in that gap between the Disney stories and the retellings, The School for Good and Evil was born. In recent years, fairy-tale mash-ups, retellings, and revisions have become popular—and for good reason, given how enduring and inspiring the source material is. That said, I had my sights set on something more primal: a new fairy tale, just as unleashed and unhinged as the old, that found the anxieties of today’s children. To acknowledge the past—the alumni of the genre, so to speak—and move on to a new class. As soon as I started thinking in those terms, I knew I wanted to do a school-based novel. I was walking in Regents Park in London before a meeting when I had the first image . . . a girl in pink and a girl in black falling into the wrong schools. . . . I got so caught up thinking that I missed my appointment entirely.

Which school do you think you would belong to? Why?

I can be comically high maintenance (my friends joke that Sophie is the real me), so I’d surely be an overachieving Ever and the most regular user of the Groom Room (the medieval spa, which only the top-ranked students are allowed to use). That said, Evil’s classes have no boundaries—for sheer entertainment value alone, I can see the allure. That’s if I had a choice. In the process of writing the book, I realized I wasn’t quite sure which school I would actually end up in—so I created an online assessment to answer that question. I wrote all the questions myself and there’s a bank of over 100, so the questions change every time. I’ve taken it a number of times, trying to be as honest as I can, and I always end up 75% Evil and 25% Good. Those who read the novel will agree that this isn’t a surprising result in the least.

Which class would you most like to take?

Henchmen Training, for sure. I just think the challenge of trying to wrangle these rabid, nasty creatures who hate the idea of being subservient henchmen sounds like a recipe for complete disaster and drama . . . two things I adore.


Describe The School for Good and Evil in three words.

  • Intense
  • Mischievous
  • Effervescent

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Bibliographic Details

Title: A World without Princes (The School for Good...
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers and Blackstone Audio
Publication Date: 2014
Book Condition: very good

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Soman Chainani
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ISBN 10: 1483003264 ISBN 13: 9781483003269
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Soman Chainani
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