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ONE TRUE KING by Soman Chainani


From the School for Good and Evil series, volume 6

by Soman Chainani ; illustrated by Iacopo Bruno

Pub Date: June 2nd, 2020
ISBN: 978-0-06-269521-5
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Three magical challenges will decide who will be Camelot’s king in this series wrap-up.

Being smarter, viler, and, except maybe for Merlin, more powerful a wizard than anyone else, it looks like Japeth, impersonating his dead good twin, Rhian, is destined to seize both crown and the Storian, the pen that writes—and can as easily rewrite—reality. Standing in his way is chiseled, golden-haired, relentlessly noble-hearted rival claimant Prince Tedros—who, for all that he can really fill out a wet shirt, has well proven in previous episodes that he would come out second best in a battle of wits with a fence post. Unfortunately (for Japeth), Team Tedros includes a lot of strong, savvy women, led by the prince’s angelic true love, Agatha, and her wickedly flamboyant BFF, Sophie. Pulling together a now-teeming cast, Chainani spins out a series of adventuresome quests that frequently grind to a halt for personal epiphanies, explicative backstory, and earnest conversations on the nature of true love (particularly in contrast to Japeth’s unrequited same-sex love for the dead, equally evil Aric). There are also heroic sacrifices and exploits aplenty on the way to (what else?) a literal storybook ending. Exceptions to the default-white lineup are cued by occasional references to “brown” or “cinnamon” skin and non-European names; likewise, some of the small figures in Bruno’s exuberantly detailed chapter-head vignettes are people of color.

A top-heavy close that gives fans a fitting happily-ever-after.

(Fantasy. 11-13)