The School for Good and Evil facts for kids
Cover for the first book in the series
|Cover artist||Iacopo Bruno|
|Genre||Fantasy, young adult fiction, fairytale, Bildungsroman|
|Published||2013 – 2020|
|Media type||Print, e-book, audiobook|
|No. of books||6|
The School for Good and Evil is a fantasy fairytale hexalogy of books by Soman Chainani. The first novel in the series was published on May 12, 2013. The series is set in a fictional widespread location known as the Endless Woods. The original trilogy (known as The School Years) follows the adventures of best friends Sophie and Agatha at the School for Good and Evil, an enchanted institution where children are trained to become fairytale heroes or villains, respectively. The second trilogy (The Camelot Years) follows Agatha and her true love King Tedros ascending to the role of Queen and King of the legendary kingdom, Camelot, and Sophie re-forming Evil into a new image. The final book in the series was released on June 2, 2020.
The School for Good and Evil
In the village of Gavaldon, every 4 years, on the eleventh night of the eleventh month, two children at the age of 12 and older are kidnapped by an unknown force into the surrounding Endless Woods. At a random point in once a year a box of storybooks would appear outside the village bookshop. From the stamps on the book boxes and the familiar faces in those fairy tales every 4 years, it is deduced that the kidnapped children are spirited away to the "School for Good and Evil," where they train to be fairy tale heroes and heroines or villains. While most children fear the unknown force, nicknamed "the School Master," pink-loving, beautiful Sophie dreams of being kidnapped to go to the School for Good to become a princess, and live out a Happily Ever After with a charming prince. Meanwhile, her best friend, Agatha, is the complete opposite of her, with her clumps (shoes), sulky attitude, bulging bug eyes, and ugly face, as well as the fact that she lives in a graveyard, so, therefore, is deemed by the villagers to be a perfect candidate for the School for Evil. As the feared day every 4 years arrives again, Agatha attempts to drag Sophie back to Gavaldon upon witnessing her capture but instead gets dragged along with Sophie, and both of them are transported to the schools.
Much to Sophie and Agatha's horror, both of them are sent to what seems to be the "wrong" schools: Sophie ends up as a "Never", a student in the School for Evil, and Agatha an "Ever", a student in the School for Good. Sophie attempts to switch schools with Agatha to no avail, while her best friend just wants both of them to go home together. This proves difficult, as Sophie is determined that she is Good and is smitten soon after by the most popular prince in school, Tedros, who is also the son of King Arthur and the main male protagonist. He also takes notice of her. Sophie and Agatha have trouble when all of their escape attempts are thwarted with the schools' tight security system. Sophie is desperate to be Good but Agatha doesn't want to be at either school and just wants to go back to their original life. Sophie has always been determined to be good, so it's hard to face that she's in the school for Evil. She thinks that it is a mistake, but soon learns more about herself and Agatha.
Being forced to attend classes in the meantime, Agatha flunks most of her classes, but discovers a powerful ability in her—she can hear and grant wishes, something that can only come from a pure Good heart. After a visit to the School Master's tower, which was achieved by the riding of a stymph(a skeletal bird), Sophie and Agatha find themselves trapped in a fairy tale. At the end of their visit to the School Master, he give them a riddle to prove they were in the wrong places. After causing a riot at a school assembly, Agatha is punished to solitary confinement in her room, and Sophie being set to the Doom Room, where the Beast chops off her hair with an axe. In rage, Sophie drowns the Beast as a revenge of hurting her. The girls eventually get to the conclusion the answer was an action - True Love's Kiss. Agatha sets out with a plan to help the girls get home. She turns, a.k.a morgrifs, herself into a cockroach and accompanies Sophie to her classes, whispering answers to the questions and tests. With Agatha's help, Sophie inadvertently starts ranking well in her classes despite desperately wanting to fail to prove her place in Good, putting her against Hester, her roommate, and daughter of Hansel and Gretel's witch.
Agatha tries to help her friend get Tedros' kiss with her strengths but soon finds out that Sophie is only using Agatha to make Tedros fall for her. That way, she would never have to leave, as she believes Tedros is her true love. Finally, Tedros promises to kiss Sophie after they both win the Trial by Tale, a test in which the top ten Good and Evil students enter a simulation of the Woods, aiming to survive from sunset until sunrise by avoiding teachers' traps and the opposite side. In letting an Ever and a Never come out together alive, this will prove that both sides can unite as one --- a big upset to the laws that have always governed to a fairy tale world. However, their relationship ultimately ends during the Trial when Tedros discovers Agatha's illegal participation to help Sophie to win, and when Sophie refuses to protect him out of selfishness. Hoodwinking Good's greatest prince then wins Sophie popularity at the School for Evil and the title of "#1 Villain". At the same time, Sophie begins to show deepening resentment and anger towards Agatha, as she now believes Agatha ruined her chances for her Happily Ever After and stole her place.
Tedros decides not to tell on Agatha as he starts to develop feelings for her after she risked dying in the Trial to save him, unlike Sophie. Both girls begin to undergo subtle but sure changes: Agatha finds her own inner beauty and belief in Good and true love after consultation with the Dean of Good Professor Clarissa Dovey; while Sophie begins to suffer from Nemesis Dreams, dreams that the best villains have that expose who they must kill as their Nemesis to survive their fairy tale and be welcomed to Nevermore-Evil paradise. Sophie believes that the person in her dreams is Tedros, but however, another rule to Nemesis Dreams is that as time progresses, while the first Nemesis will grow weaker, the other Nemesis will grow stronger. Tedros did not show obvious strengthening, but on the other hand, Agatha was progressively becoming a better princess, Sophie learns that it is not Tedros who is her true Nemesis, but Agatha, concluded by her henchmen, a rogue cupid named Grimm. In the Circus of Talents where Nevers and Evers compete for their own unique talents, Tedros confesses his love for Agatha and requests that she be his date for the Evers' Snow Ball, to which she accepts. Sophie overhears this and ultimately transforms into what she has become internally: a bald, jealous, toothless, shriveled witch with no remorse nor mercy. She proceeds to destroy both schools and attempt to eliminate her Nemesis, Agatha.
Determined for her happy ending, Sophie finds the School Master's true identity to be Evil as the Storian is atoning for the Evil School Master's murder of the Good one, and as he tells her about his wish for his one true love, Sophie. She believes that she can find Happily Ever After with him instead of Tedros and that she was Evil all along, but upon kissing him, she heartrendingly remembers Nevers are incapable of love. As Agatha catches up with her best friend, the School Master prepares to kill her so that he can take Sophie for himself. Just when the Storian was about to spear Agatha's heart, Sophie did something that shocked the School Master—she stepped in front of her best friend, sacrificing her own life for her. The ghost of the deceased Good brother returns to save his students, and since only seers can hold dead souls, seer and history teacher, Professor August Sader sacrificed his own body to help the Good brother to destroy the Evil School Master and dies in the process. Sophie dies shortly after, losing too much blood to the cut at her heart, and Agatha, distraught, kisses her. Not long after this, however, Sophie revives as Agatha's kiss had proved that Evil could love, and she and Agatha are teleported back to Gavaldon, implying that they realized they don't need a prince after all. Tedros was left in disappointment as his one true love had disappeared from him, just before the Evers’ Snow Ball. This leaves the students of the schools in surprise as they realize the teachings about Good and Evil being incapable of friendship were untrue.
A World Without Princes
Agatha and Sophie have returned home and they are accepted as heroes. Unfortunately for Agatha, Sophie is taking advantage of this opening. Whereas Agatha wants nothing to do with fame, Sophie puts on many shows claiming that nobody else will celebrate Agatha and Sophie's escaping SGE. At Sophie's father's wedding, Agatha suddenly wishes for another ending to her story: with Tedros. This wish causes magical arrows to come and messages saying to give Sophie to them. Angry, the town turns into a mob demanding Sophie be given to whoever wants her. The Elders say that they are protecting Sophie, but in reality, they are planning to give in to the mob. They tell Sophie to stay in the church alone; and Agatha, thinking that Sophie would be safe, leaves. Sophie is taken into the forest with a message on her chest made from her own blood. She is hung on a tree with the message Take Me and left to die. Agatha finds Sophie and runs away with her trying not to be attacked by the mob. They soon arrive at a flower ground line and notice butterflies trying to help them. They get on a train unknowingly bound for the School of Good and Evil.
Arriving at the doors of the School for Good, now the School for Girls, they are swamped by a herd of girls from both schools robed in blue. As the girls are introduced to their classmates (including a silent girl named Yara) and taken around by the new Dean, Evelyn Sader, they notice that the school has been changed and the fairy tales on the walls have changed as a result, with the damsels in distress now becoming warrior women. Agatha mentions the absence of boys, and it is discovered that after they left, all the girls from the School for Evil were repelled and had to come to the School for Good seeking refuge. The boys from the School for Good were then expelled by an unseen force and had to go to the School for Evil.
As the truth and impact of what they have done settle on the girls, Sophie is horrified to discover that they are back due to Agatha's wish for a different ending to their tale, mainly that she ends up with Tedros. Agatha denies this and insists that all she wants to do is return home. Agatha sneaks into the School for Boys with Sophie following her under an invisible cape to stop her from kissing Tedros. Agatha attempts to speak with Tedros, does, and almost kisses him, but at the moment before they do, Tedros becomes paranoid about Sophie still being alive and able to seek revenge and starts raving. As they argue, Sophie hidden underneath a table in the room seizes the opportunity and shoots a spell between them. Agatha thinks Tedros attacked her and Tedros thinks Agatha attacked him and they both start fighting. Agatha then flees, convinced that Tedros is evil. She returns to the School for Good where Sophie is waiting for her, pretending not to have known a thing. Eventually, it is decided that one of the girls must become a boy to integrate into the School for Boys and steal the Storian. Sophie is chosen (due to her surprisingly masculine sense of willpower and perseverance) and integrates into the boys' school. Soon Sophie's name as a boy is Filip(The name Sophie's father originally wanted to name Sophie before she was born, thinking she was a boy). Filip and Tedros have problems at first, but soon, Filip is protecting Tedros. Then they become the best of friends. Filip confesses to Tedros that he (Sophie) would do anything to see his (her) mother again. Tedros says he wouldn't want to see his because his dad (King Arthur) sent out a warrant for her head (she had cheated on King Arthur with Sir Lancelot), and when he turns 16, he'd have to honour that warrant.
Later on in the forest at the Trial by Tale, Agatha is in hiding when Fillip comes with Tedros. Soon, Agatha sees that Tedros leans in to kiss Filip, but Agatha only sees their lips almost touch. This causes a dispute between the three, and Filip turns back into Sophie as the spell wears off. Tedros is confused and angry, but then, the Dean of the new School for Girls, Evelyn Sader, half-sister of August Sader, has her butterflies fly off trees as they carry the Storian and Evelyn to the trio. The New Dean brings out Sophie and Agatha's fairy tale book and lets the Storian write. Agatha and Tedros kiss because Agatha told Sophie that she couldn't trust her anymore, and Sophie was turning into a witch again. The Storian is about to finish writing the end, but the Dean stops it. Evelyn reveals that it was not Agatha's wish that brought them back to the school, but rather Sophie's wish to see her mother, who had been abandoned by her husband when she fell sick and later died. Sophie, in grief, having lost her village, her family and now her best friend, accepts her wish, and Evelyn conjures the School Master's ghost, in the guise of Sophie's mother. Sophie kisses the ghost and as it becomes the School Master, who explains that a true love's kiss can even revive the dead, just as Agatha revived Sophie. The School Master kills Evelyn and sends Agatha home. The School Master tries to kill Tedros, but Agatha manages to grab Tedros and takes him with her. Sophie however, is left behind refusing to leave the School Master, stating that he was the only one who didn't abandon her. The two schools become a malevolent School for Evil together. As the two girls are separated, they both remain in the arms of the ones who love them, their wishes granted.
The Last Ever After
Three weeks following the events of 'A World Without Princes', both schools have fallen under the rule of the returned School Master, with the original School for Evil becoming the 'School for Old Evil' and the School for Good becoming the 'School for New Evil'. Still, the change is all but complete as the School Master, named Rafal, still has to 'marry' Sophie and ultimately start his campaign to destroy Good. Though hesitating, she is afraid she might end up alone forever, taking into account of Agatha and Tedros' supposed betrayals when ignoring her pleas for help. Sophie accepts the proposal and becomes a teacher for the School for New Evil, but the Storian still does not accept this as a rightful 'happy ending'. Sophie and Agatha's storybook has been open too long now. This starts a countdown in which the sun grows weaker each passing day, and when the final dusk settles, it will mean the end of all the fairytale world.
Meanwhile, Agatha and Tedros, back in Gavaldon, attempt to remain in hiding and reconcile but are forced to escape when the people of Gavaldon tries to execute them both for all the woes she and Sophie previously caused. Agatha's 'mother', Callis, sacrifices herself to buy time for them both to escape to the Endless Woods. Arriving there, they are rescued by Professor Uma, who explains that Rafal's return has allowed the return of old villains as undead and that the remaining original heroes (including Cinderella, Peter Pan, Hansel and Gretel, Briar Rose, Jack and Pinocchio) are formed in a League of Thirteen led by Merlin to combat against the Rafal's assaults. It becomes clear that he is seeking to alter the original fairytales, starting with the murder of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and following with Rapunzel and Tom Thumb.
Agatha and Tedros, despite a rocky beginning, are eventually assigned by Merlin to destroy Rafal's ring, which keeps so much his sustenance as his 'empire' alive, but under the strict condition that Sophie must be the one to deliver the killing blow. It can only be performed with the sword Excalibur that Tedros lost on the day of Rafal's return. They realize the Excalibur is being guarded in the School for Old Evil, and thus Agatha sets to recover the sword while Tedros sets out to rescue Sophie and attempt to convince her to give up her engagement with Rafal. Aided by Sophie's former friends Hester, Anadil, Dot, and Hort, they manage to infiltrate the School and perform both tasks as they then run away, with Rafal mysteriously allowing them to escape.
Merlin guides Agatha, Sophie and Tedros to Avalon, where Tedros discovers Guinevere and Lancelot still alive. Despite his initial grudges against both, he slowly and painfully comes to forgive them as he learns further of Arthur's previous paranoiac behaviour and domineering issues. Agatha, on her part, becomes willing to give up her love for Tedros so Sophie can have him instead, more driven by her reluctance in becoming the future Queen of Camelot than by her personal feelings. Despite their best efforts, however, the plan ultimately fails when Sophie and Tedros kiss and both realize they were never meant for each other. Believing she was used all along, she returns to Rafal, accepting her place by his side and becoming the Queen of Evil. Against her wills, Agatha is chosen as the Queen of Good as both parties prepare for war. The final battle is to take place in Gavaldon, still untouched because of an energy barrier fed by people's beliefs in fairytales, but weakening due to Rafal's altered stories, and is being targeted for reasons unknown. During training, Agatha also learns of Cinderella's true fairytale, where she claims that she did not want to be a princess at all. She believed her stepsisters, who were really kind to her, deserved it, and that she would simply tag along. Her marriage to the prince caused a permanent rift between her and the stepsisters, who were ultimately killed.
The battle takes place in the Stymph Woods close to Gavaldon, which Merlin manages to sway all the School's students against Rafal and Sophie with Lady Lesso's aid, having been revealed as the traitor trying to undermine Evil's efforts. Sophie, with Agatha in hot pursuit, tracks Lady Lesso down to the School for Old Evil, who discloses to her that Evil was never meant to destroy Good or vice versa but instead become a harmonic part of it. She and Agatha also discover the corpse of Sophie's mother Vanessa and the tale behind both her and Callis, in which Sophie and Agatha discover to be twin sisters, explaining the inseparable bond between them. Still, while Agatha sees this as a chance to heal wounds, Sophie remains still, determined to keep her union with Rafal by any means. She thinks if she deserts Rafal, she will be alone forever, and Agatha is determined to make her see that her fear is not true.
The battle ultimately shifts in Evil's favour as Cinderella dies and the barrier protecting Gavaldon fails, allowing Rafal to invade. However, instead of destroying the town, he takes Sophie's father's Stefan for execution by Sophie's own hands, as a 'final sacrifice for love' and Evil's ultimate victory. In a last, desperate effort, Agatha reminds Sophie of her friendship, making her realize she already had a happy ending of her own and was risking destroying it. Sophie has a change of heart at the last second and deceives Rafal, destroying his ring and ultimately killing him, saving everyone in the nick of time. Full of regret, Sophie, Agatha and Stefan make amends, with Sophie finally letting Stefan have a family of his own as she and Agatha pull back to the Endless Woods. (Now being fairytale characters, Sophie and Agatha cannot exist anymore in the reader world.) There, they also give their farewell to Lady Lesso, who was fatally stabbed in battle by her son, Aric.
Lady Lesso and Cinderella are promptly buried and everything is seemingly returning to its normal state, with Tedros, Agatha and Sophie meaning to head together to Camelot, when Sophie discovers she was chosen by Lady Lesso to be her successor as Dean for the School of Evil. Agatha and Tedros depart alone to Camelot and Sophie comes to fully embrace her new role and purpose and is content with herself, remarking "I am me".
Shortly after the first book's release date, Universal Pictures acquired rights to make the series into live-action feature films. In 2020, Netflix announced it would take over and release a film adaptation of the novel, directed by Paul Feig. Sophia Anne Caruso and Sofia Wylie were cast in the lead roles in December 2020. In addition, Charlize Theron, Kerry Washington, Laurence Fishburne and Michelle Yeoh all have supporting roles in the film. On March 19, 2021, it was announced that Jamie Flatters will play Tedros and Kit Young will play Rafal. On March 24, 2021 it was revealed that Earl Cave will play Hort. Filming is taking place at The Belfast Harbour Studios in Northern Ireland. The adaptation is set to be released in 2022.
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