The story begins with two friends in a small village of Gavaldon - the pretty princess-like Sophie who dreams of meeting her prince and the lonely self-conscious Agatha. In their village, there is a curse that every four years, the most Good and the most Evil child older than 12 years would be taken by the School Master to the School for Good and Evil - where they are trained to be characters in fairy tales. Think it seems juvenile? Uh no, the students don't have it easy. They have four years of studies and training and learning spells and fighting and what not - and if they fail, a very grim future awaits them.
The School is full of mystery - and everything is not what it seems. Not everything is Good and Evil - Pink or Black, Ever or Never. The students don't all get to be the prince or the princess. Many of them become side characters and in some cases, are relegated to being flora. They do have rules to live by - like the Good always defend while the Evil always attack, the Good is always beautiful while the Evil is always ugly. But just because they are sorted into Ever or Never doesn't define who they are - they are as they do. Agatha and Sophie, when plopped into this School, realize that they are the only Readers in a school fool of students descended from characters in other fairytales. There is Tedros, who is the son of King Arthur and the object of Sophie's crush. Only problem? Sophie has been dumped into the School for Evil, to train to become a witch while Agatha has been dropped into the School for Good, which is a pink hell for her. Both of them are unhappy with their situation - Sophie wants to be among the Evers while Agatha just wants to go back home to Gavaldon.
They try to find out how they had been erroneously dropped into the School of not their choosing. During their escapades, they learn shocking truths about the School and the mysterious School Master who guards the Storian - a magical pen that writes their fairy tales. The School Master tells them that they will be free to go home if they prove that they don't belong where they are. So begins Sophie's mad scheming to be a princess - for which she has to prove she is on the side of Good. Numerous hilarious and disastrous occurrences challenge their friendship and their convictions. Sophie becomes determined to win Tedros' love in order to be a princess and Agatha aids her in this mission, with many funny mishaps. Tedros is confused as to who is the witch and who is the Princess.
Ultimately, it comes down to Sophie's choices that begins a war between the two schools - a convoluted plot schemed by someone working behind the scenes.
Among the characters, I of course loved Agatha - she was a feminist - who didn't believe in boys or love - but helps her friend nevertheless. She is so loyal to her that she goes along with so many of Sophie's hare-brained schemes! Her humorous musings (Agatha wondered what these girls' souls would wish for. Depth, perhaps.), her courage and her i-am-not-a-delicate-princess attitude really endeared me to her. Sophie, on the other hand, I found her quite confusing. She is stupid, vain, and selfish but cunning when needed too. I agree, all she wants was to be a princess, but towards the end, her mood swings - ugh! Tedros was not the swoon-worthy Prince I expected but hey, who needs Princes? (I loved this quote) I loved how Tedros and Agatha's romance developed though - it was perfect Tsundere! I also feel most of the side characters totally justified their presence - except the School faculty - they didn't seem to be doing much of anything.
The plot moves quite quickly - with the major events being them being dropped into the School, their meeting with the School Master, Sophie's attempt to win over Tedros, the Trial by Tale, the Circus Crown and the final battle between Good and Evil. Agatha and Sophie's friendship took many twists and turns - mostly because of Sophie's selfishness and her rising Evil. The end was left on a cliffhanger, which pretty much makes you like check again and again whether it really ended. Man, I love these sudden endings!
Recommended for fans of Harry Potter series or Percy Jackson series.