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Good and Evil is a 2013 novel written by Soman Chainani.Sophie and Agatha both grew up in the small town of Gavaldon, where, once every four years, two children over the age of twelve are kidnapped by the Head Master of the School of Good and Evil. These kidnapped children never return home, but are seen again as the main figures of fairy tales that arrive in the town after the abductions.Sophie, who adores pink dresses and beautifying herself, has dreamed of being kidnapped all her life and ending up as a Princess trained by the School for Good. To further that end, she made it a point to befriend Agatha, the friendless girl who lived in the cemetery, as her good deed. To Sophie's delight, she and Agatha are each kidnapped by the agents of the Head Master. Only for Sophie's dream to turn to a nightmare, with Agatha sharing that sentiment, as Sophie is deposited in the School for Evil, and Agatha, much to her own horror, finds herself dropped off in the overly pink School for Good.Book two, A World Without Princes takes place nine months after Sophie and Agatha chose each other instead of a traditional fairy tale ending and returned home. A new curse befalls Gavaldon and forces the two girls to return to the School for Good and Evil. There they learn that their new form of happily ever after has forced all girls to become Good and all boys to be pushed to Evil, with Tedros now leading the boys as the new Evil schoolmaster.This work contains examples of the following tropes:
Fairly zig-zagged all over the place. While Never students (Evil-aligned) are rather ugly, and most Ever students (Good-aligned) are very good-looking, some of the Ever girls are classic Alpha Bitches. Zig-zagged even more when Sophie embraces being Evil and manages to turn her fellow Nevers beautiful, while making the Evers horrifically ugly.
Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Quickly averted when's Sophie, who every Evil student complains looks like a Good, is dumped unceremoniously in the moat. It only gets worse from there.
Belligerent Sexual Tension: Between Tedros and Agatha. Also, given the book's ending, quite possibly the whole dynamic between Agatha and Sophie.
Big Bad: The Head Master, who was the Evil Brother of the legend, and only maintained the balance between Good and Evil so that he could find himself an Evil Love
Dean Sader for book two.
Back from the Dead: The Dean's entire plot in book two is a gambit to resurrect the former headmaster.
Bitch Alert: Beatrix reveals herself to be a nasty piece of work on her introduction.
Book Dumb: Sophie does well on her classes up until the lessons actually turn to studying. Agatha has to tutor her once her grades drop down dramatically.
Break the Cutie: Sophie wasn't really any more or less evil than some of the other Libbies in the Good school when she started out. But then she started getting subjected to indignity after indignity, constantly being told she's Evil, winning at Evil challenges while trying to prove she's good, having her beautiful hair axed off by The Beast, trying to win Tedros over, only to have him constantly pick Agatha during their exercises to suss out good from evil in disguise, being threatened with death by her roommates, overhearing teachers callously dismissing the very real danger she was in, and finally irredeemably losing the love of the boy she adored. It's no wonder she cracked.
Break the Haughty: Tedros in book two, full stop. He initially accepted Agatha's decision to choose Sophie, but after feeling her wish for him and seeing the misery caused by their wish, he bets half his fortune on someone being able to kill Sophie for him. When he's about to realize that he went too far and forget his grudge in order to be with Agatha, Sophie's selfishness convinces Agatha that he'd been planning on killing her anyway and that Agatha had been plotting against him. He then tries to bet the freedom of the princes on the chance to get back at them, and is promptly dethroned, betrayed by the other princes, and spends a horrible amount of time in the Doom Room. He gets a friend whom he can confide in, but it's really Sophie in disguise the entire time. When he finally realizes that Agatha had never meant him any harm from the start, the Headmaster winds up resurrected.
Cats Are Mean: Agatha's cat, Reaper, enjoys hissing and spitting at Sophie, and delights in stalking the cemetery birds and biting their heads off, leaving their decapitated corpses behind.
The Chessmaster: Sophie, of all people, deftly maneuvers events towards the end that trick the Evers into breaking their rules, leading them to launch a preemptive Attack on the Evil Ball. Since the rules state that Good Defends and Evil Attacks, she is able to use this to return herself to her former beauty, as well as bestowing physical beauty on her Never classmates, all while transforming the Evers into hideous appearances. She is then free to claim justifiable Defense against the Evers for Attacking first.
Sophie: We're not finished, Teddy. You and your army invaded a Ball. You and your army attacked a defenseless school. You and your army tried to kill a room full of poor students, trying to enjoy the happiest night of our lives. Which leaves another question. What happens when Good becomes Evil?
Dance of Romance: Sophie stages a Dark version of this between her and Agatha to convince Tedros that Agatha has betrayed him.
Disappeared Dad: Common for many of the fairy tale folk. Agatha's own father skipped town many years ago, although her mother implies in book two that he actually died saving her from a witch hunt. Hort's father was killed by Peter Pan.
Tedros' father, King Arthur, died broken hearted after his wife, Guenivere, left him for Lancelot.
Dreaming of Things to Come: Double subverted. Early in the book, Sophie dreams of going to the School for Good and being surrounded by handsome princes, but she winds up being dropped into the School for Evil instead. It gets double-subverted when the prince she chose in her dream turns out to be the Evil headmaster.
The most evil Villains are lucky (or unlucky) enough to receive Nemesis Dreams. These show them their Arch-Enemy who grow stronger as they grow weaker (and vice versa). Nemesis Dreams are accompanied by a number of symptoms that signify that they aren't ordinary dreams.
Dumb Blonde: Sophie, except when it comes to manipulation.
Sophie gets hers on her introduction. She is vain, silly and shallow. But she cares about Agatha and feels unloved by her father. She also misses her mother something dreadful.
Agatha gets hers when she tries to save Sophie from the School Master regardless of her own safety.
Tedros gets his when he easily outshines all of the Ever boys and judges Sophie and Agatha based on their looks.
Dot is the only one to be friendly to Sophie and her loyalty to a friend (via eating double the amount of meerworms) impresses even Tedros.
Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Despite many statements that Evil cannot Love, many of the Nevers refer affectionately to their parents. Hort's most beloved possession is the pajamas his father hand made for him. And Dot sounds quite doting about her father letting her have first swing at Robin Hood.
Even Evil Has Standards: The Never students are informed in school that they should not kill unless it is absolutely necessary, lest one cease to be a proper villain and instead become a common thug. They are also told to use bullying of their henchmen only as a last resort, because a villain who cannot get a servant to do their bidding without bullying may fall victim to the henchmen bullying back. On a more direct level, many members of the Nevers feel that Sophie is taking things way too far after she begins her Sanity Slippage.
Sophie herself is appalled at the concept, seemingly casual to most of her Never classmates, of eating children.
Evil All Along: The Head Master, whom most assumed was good because Evil had been losing under his tenure of the last 200 years. But it turns out that he was just playing a long game to turn the tables on Good once and for all.
Evil Former Friend: According to the school's Blind Seer, this is the true hallmark of many fairy tales, that Good was betrayed by someone close to them, and treated as a prophetic view of how Sophie and Agatha's friendship will fall.
Evil Makes You Ugly: Played horrifyingly straight as Sophie discovers that she's grown a real wart on her chin. As her descent into Evil goes into overdrive, her final appearance is barely recognizable as human anymore.
Face-Heel Turn / Heel-Face Turn: Pollux and Castor caution at the beginning of the novel that this is not possible. Good cannot, they claim, become Evil, nor Evil Good. They turn out to be, thankfully, mistaken in the end.
The Schoolmaster comes back from the dead by tricking Sophie into kissing him in the guise of her beloved mother.
Ironic Echo: The book opens with Sophie's father barricading her in her room so that the Head Master can't get her. Later in the book, it's her Never classmates barricading her room, so she can't get out and get them.
Ironic Name: Sophie means "wisdom", which she lacks seriously.
Love Triangle: Sophie Loves Tedros, who loves Sophie, but he finds he truly loves Agatha, who loves Tedros, but loves Sophie too much to betray her, while Sophie truly loves Agatha....It's complicated.
In book two, it's changed. Sophie and Tedros are both pining for Agatha and are willing to start an entire war between Good and Evil to determine who gets to live happily ever after with her.
Loving a Shadow: Any feelings Sophie believed she had for Tedros in book one were shallow at most. What she was truly in love with is the glamorous Happily Ever After she would gain as his princess.
Men Can't Keep House: After the School for Evil becomes boys-only, it deteriorates from dark and grimy to nigh uninhabitable.
Missing Mom: A fairy tale staple. Sophie's mother had died five years prior to the story's opening. Hester's Mom was shoved into her own oven by Hansel and Gretel.
Tedros' mother, Guenivere, ran off with Lancelot, leaving Tedros with serious issues.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In book two, Sophie's selfishness once again sets of a catastrophic chain of events. This time it culminates in the death of a student, nearly getting Tedros to kill her and Agatha, and Evelyn ultimately takes advantage of her resulting vulnerability to trick her into resurrecting the Headmaster.
Pet the Dog: A few key moments. Sophie gets one for telling Agatha, early in the story, that while she may have befriended Aggie as part of her shallow "good deed", she had come to value their friendship far more than that. She gets another later when, hearing Hort say that if he could love, he'd love her, she refrains from kicking him out of his room.
The Wolves get one later on. After Hester gracefully acknowledges that her talent is no match for Agatha's, she steels herself for the punishment that the Head Master doles out to the losers. In her case, it was boiling oil. Three wolves, moved by Agatha reminding them of who they'd once been (see Baleful Polymorph) shield her from this brutal fate.
Prince Charming: What the Good boys are being trained to be. Unfortunately they act more..
Prince Charmless: The majority of the boys are fairly awful to Agatha before her makeover.
Protagonist Journey to Villain: Sophie was merely vain and shallow, until The Beast lopped off her golden locks with an axe. Shoving him to his death was her first truly evil action.
Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Agatha defiantly tells the Head Master that she'll only give him Sophie, "Over her dead body." The Head Master responds, "So it is written.", throwing the Storian at her like a dagger.
Rousing Speech: Agatha reminds the Ever girls that Good is about Honor and Valor rather than Beauty. The Evers immediately begin to fight.
Royal School: The school for Good teaches every girl how to be a princess, but only a few graduate into this in fairy tales afterwards. Most are children of former heroines, and already have the title. Not to mention the pink uniforms, Bright Castle-like building, or nymphs and fairies to serve everyone.
Unholy Matrimony: The Head Master's ultimate plan was to lure someone with evil to match his own and gain Evil Love, allowing Evil to win over Good forever.
The Unsmile: Agatha's attempts at smiling in Beautification Class leave her teacher and classmates very concerned.
Vague Age: We're never told how old the characters are. We know the Head Master never takes anyone under the age of 12, and are told that four years ago, Sophie (and by extension, Agatha) was too young to be taken. That means that our heroines could be anywhere between the ages of twelve and fifteen.