A Triumphant Return to the Endless Woods | Review of ‘Quests for Glory’ (The School for Good and Evil #4)


By Cynthia Ayala

Quests for Glory by Soman Chainani
HarperCollins
Image Credit: Goodreads

The students at the School for Good and Evil thought they had found their final Ever After when they vanquished the malevolent School Master. Now, on their required fourth-year quests, the students face obstacles both dangerous and unpredictable, and the stakes are high: success brings eternal adoration, and failure means obscurity forever. For their quests, Agatha and Tedros are trying to return Camelot to its former splendor as queen and king. For her quest, Dean Sophie seeks to mold Evil in her own image. But soon they all feel themselves growing more isolated and alone. When their classmates’ quests plunge into chaos, however, someone must lead the charge to save them…”

Published September 19, 2017, by HarperCollins Quests for Glory
by Soman Chainani is the fourth installment of his New York Times bestselling School for Good and Evil series bringing in new beginnings and new challenges for all.

It is incredible how good this series remains, and not the least bit surprising either. Quests for Glory takes readers back to the Endless Woods where Princess Agatha has gone to Camelot with her prince leaving the wicked witch, and her best friend, Sophie as the new dean of the School of Evil. Readers are thrust back into their adventurous lives as if they have not even left. However, time has passed, and for these heroes, their challenges are only beginning as new evil rises from the ashes of the dead.

Quests for Glory was such a riveting novel and what’s more is that now that everyone is traveling Chainani takes the opportunity to explore the voices of the other characters. This aspect of the novel allows the reader to get to know all the dynamics of the characters by giving them unique strong voices and dynamics. What works even more in the novel is that while the characters are on their quests to make their fairy tales, they are finding their voices to become the people they want to be. There’s tons of growth in the novel because of that making the story even more thoughtful because while the previous novel ended on such a high note, sending everyone off to their happy endings, unveiled here is that life is much harder than that, making it more realistic and grounded. Everyone is going through something, and the novel touches upon that to give each of the characters more depth than they previously had. They continue to be on this journey of self-discovery, figuring out who they are while also figuring out their relationships with everyone else.

Moreover, while the novel takes an overall light approach, as it is a fairy tale meant for young readers, there is a level of maturity in the storytelling that can reach older audiences. The characters are now around 15/16 years old, entering the world on their own, trying to find themselves which resounds past the pages and into the real world. Chainani has always had such incredible talent at making the story hold firm and extend past the tropes and the magic to tell a compelling story of good versus evil. His writing is so good because he offers a multilayered story, he offers the readers complex characters who, at first appear very two-dimensional, but then turn out to be these incredibly realistic and vibrant characters. Nothing is easy for these characters as they continue their journey to self-discovery. There are heartbreaks and hardships for these characters, giving the story a dark edge that is in perfect harmony with the joviality of the character dynamics.

Quests for Glory is a triumphant return offering up a fantastic new start two a new trilogy with phenomenal writing, heart-wrenching details, and all around captivating storytelling. (★★★★★ | A+)

Product Details:

Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2017

Page count: 496pp

Age Range: 8 & Over

ISBN: 978-0-0626-5847-0

Publisher: HarperCollins

List Price:  $17.99

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