{A Twist in the Tail Review} A WORLD WITHOUT PRINCES by Soman Chainani

Love fairy tales and mythology?
Fans of mermaids, dragons, unicorns, and other mythical creatures?
Enjoy when a beloved classic tale is retold?
A Twist in the Tail Thursdays features all this and more!

In Case You Missed It: 
I previously reviewed THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL!

Soman Chainani has also stopped by A Backwards Story twice to talk about both books:

Here's his first interview
His second interview includes an exclusive deleted scene!
He's also done a guest post talking about how his fans helped shape AWWP!

B O O K   T R A I L E R:

This series seriously has some of the best book trailers I've ever seen, don't you agree?
I love that Soman Chainani has a hand in it! (Details!)

O P E N I N G   L I N E:
    THERE IS AN UNEASINESS after your best friend tries to kill you.
    But as Agatha gazed out at her and Sophie's golden statues, towering over the sun-speckled square, she swallowed it away.
(pg. 1, US hardcover edition)

I'm so excited to finally share today's post with you. I read this over the summer, and then it seemed like every Thursday was booked, and I really wanted to feature this for A Twist in the Tail. So...here we go!

If you haven't previously read THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL, I'd highly suggest reading my review for the first book instead, because it's impossible not to reveal spoilers from the finale!

Soman Chainani's books are so much deeper than many give him credit for. On the surface, they look like they're fun and frivolous, whimsical  fairy tales. But no. They're not. There's so much depth and heart, and Chainani strikes the heart of the emotions that get us through life.

Sophie and Agatha have achieved their Happily Ever After and returned home to the "real" world. But what IS Happily Ever After? Can you truly be happy in the Ever After if things didn't end the way you thought they would? If you have lingering doubt? If your choices can tear your friendship apart in a single breath? When Agatha wishes for a different ending to her tale, she never imagines that her wish will come true...or destroy everything she and Sophie have achieved. Her wish distorts the world, and rather than a School for Good and a School for Evil, the schools are now divided between Boys and Girls. Who needs a prince when you can have a friend? Princesses and witches work side-by-side, and all manners of boy are kicked out, leading to them bent on revenge. Nothing is as it seems, but once again, only Sophie and Agatha can bring their tale to the end. But what is the right answer? And how can they trust one another after the ultimate betrayal?

There is so much at stake in these books. It questions the lengths we go for friendship. It shows the way friends evolve and change as they grow up and begin embracing adulthood. Friendship is always important, but eventually, it isn't always enough. How can friendship and love co-exist healthily, without resentment? I love that this series takes a hard look at the theme, when so many other books don't.

There are so many shades of gray in A WORLD WITHOUT PRINCES. Nothing is black and white. Sophie is trying so hard to be Good, to not let her inner Witch out. But resentment builds as she loses trust in the people she loves most. In many ways, this novel is more hers than Agatha's. Agatha doesn't grow and evolve as much as Sophie. Even in the first book, so much of the story was Sophie's journey. To me, one of the most incredible things about this series is watching a villain rise. Villains are humans, too. No one is completely good or evil, but villains and heroes are always seen as completely one or the other. Sophie has always dreamed of being a princess and finding her prince. She sees herself as good. She doesn't understand how selfish her actions are, or why she was placed in the School for Evil. Even in A WORLD WITHOUT PRINCES, she struggles with her wishes and her reality. How will the world change again after the spoilery climax? I am beyond excited to see where Sophie's--and Agatha's--final path lies in THE LAST EVER AFTER next year.

(And if you haven't already done so, you MUST take a peek at this Behind-the-Scenes looks at the making of the opening chart!)


C O V E R   D E S I G N:

I was a fan of this series from the first moment I saw the covers! Then again, they were designed by Iacopo Bruno, a favorite children's cover illustrator of mine. 

The coloring on the first cover is still my favorite, likely because it appeals to so many more of my favorite colors, but I like the way the red in the new cover whispers at the upheaval lying within. Everything seems darker now, not as friendly. More dangerous. I like that feel to the cover!

Each chapter starts off with an illustration by Iacopo Bruno, continuing my love of him:

How can you not love the gorgeous illustrations?

I'm also a huge fan of the weathered edging on the feeling. This always gives books an old-fashioned feel for me. This is one book I want a physical copy of, not an e-book!

O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Author: Soman Chainani
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins
Received: For Review

In the epic sequel to the New York Times bestselling novel, 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. As Agatha and Sophie battle to restore peace, an unexpected threat could destroy everything, and everyone, they love—and this time, it comes from within. 

Soman Chainani has created a spectacular world that Newbery Medal-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.”


  1. I love this series too! It's really deep and it explores a lot of themes that you don't see in MG or even YA very much. I like what you said about the rise of the villain. I totally agree!


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