The School of Good and Evil: Quests for Glory by Soman Chainani
HarperCollins, 2017. ISBN 9780008224479
We all know that life isn't just a fairy-tale and there aren't handsome princes and beautiful princesses waiting around every corner. But that's real life, not the Woods where the School for Good and Evil holds more sway than almost anything else. Agatha and Tedros might have gotten their Ever After but for how long? With the Woods under threat and Tedros' position as successor to King Arthur in question, the fourth-year Questers must band together to overcome an enemy even greater than the evil School Master.
After everything goes wrong at Tedros' coronation he does all he can to secure the trust of his kingdom, persisting with his efforts for Excalibur, the most powerful sword in the woods which is now lodged in stone and trying to put Camelot's problems above his neighbouring kingdoms. But is this a mistake in the making? Before long it becomes apparent that something very wrong is happening in the Woods and it might be time that the fourth-year quests find a new direction. Chaddick is missing and while Tedros cannot afford to leave the castle, his bride-to-be can. Agatha sets off on a new quest - a quest to secure Tedros' kingdom and recover his lost night. But is it too late? With witches, pirates, and robbers to contend with, can the Evers and Nevers save themselves and Tedros? Or will they be out-smarted by a children's story? And what role does Sophie have to play this time?
Reminiscent of Pratchett and Carroll, Chainani presents a story seeped in wonder which draws together a variety of fairy-tales and folk law to present a world where not only are these fairy-tales real, they are continuing to be written by the Storian. Like Cornelia Funke's Inkheart, Quests for Glory blurs the lines between story and reality. The fourth in the series, I came to the novel with no prior knowledge and quickly became immersed in Sophie and Agatha's world.
Kayla Gaskell, 22