Wednesday, October 28, 2015
The Last Ever After
As a huge fan of The School for Good and Evil and The School for Good and Evil: A World Without Princes, I pre-ordered this last book.
If you have not read the prior two books, I would strongly suggest avoiding this review for any potential spoilers – the books are too good to spoil!!
I am trusting that you are not continuing to read unless you are already a fan…
Back in Gavaldon, Agatha is happy that her prince, Tedros, is not really a prince in her hometown – and neither is she a future queen. Yet, very quickly, she begins to doubt their Ever After.
Part of the problem is that Tedros and Agatha’s story has not truly finished yet – it is still being written. Their tale is still connected with Agatha’s old best friend, Sophie.
Now enemies with Agatha, Sophie has embraced the now young School Master, whom has convinced her of their love and that love on the side of Evil changes everything. Evil has taken over both schools and villains of the past are reawaken to change their fates.
Only Tedros and Agatha stand a chance against their prior best friend – only they can try to stem the tide of Evil taking over the entire realm…
Chainani is excellent at writing a story that is unpredictable. Primarily soaked in platonic friendship, rather than romance, The Last Ever After yet again has us questioning things. How far gone must someone be to no longer fight for them? When can you decide that someone you once loved dearly is beyond your help?
It also provides some other great questions about the reasons someone may turn to the Evil side – or even why they turned to Good. There’s a great chunk of the novels that are, subtly, quite philosophical.
On top of that, this finale is just as creative as the others – essentially rewriting and representing classic fairy tales while keeping its new one fresh. I personally love Agatha – she is very good hearted but struggles with self-doubt, meanwhile always keeping her snarky, smart humor. It’s a combo not seen often in female characters. Sophie is also complex and Tedros is given more dimension that you might initially expect.
All in all, this was a clever, rich, luxe conclusion to a wild ride of a fantasy trilogy. The ending was satisfying, even if I felt like I could use more. Personally, I could have used a little glimpse in the future or just… MORE. But leaving me wanting more, in this case, wasn’t such a terrible thing.
Really a great end to a great series. I look forward to more from Chainani in the future!