A Crystal of Time by Soman Chainani
Book review by Christina
Rhian, a false king, has seized Camelot’s throne—sentencing Tedros, the true king, to
death. Rhian, a false king claiming to be the Lion who’d driven out the villainous Snake,
had only been plotting with the Snake to win the Woods’ allegiance. While Agatha
narrowly escapes from the traitor they believed to be Good’s most loyal knight, Sophie is
caught in King Rhian’s trap—forced to marry Rhian to seal his sovereignty over Good
and Evil. With her wedding to Rhian fast approaching, she’s forced to play a dangerous
game as her friends’ lives hang in the balance.
All the while, King Rhian’s dark plans for Camelot are taking shape. Now the students of
the School for Good and Evil must find a way to restore Tedros to the throne before their
stories—and the future of the Endless Woods—are rewritten… forever.
As the fifth installment to the best-selling The School for Good and Evil series, A Crystal
of Time explores how much stories affect our world. There are two sides to a story just
as there are two sides to a coin. Depending on the tale’s perspective, the hero could
become the villain and the villain a hero: Instead of three little pigs getting blown away
from their houses by a murderous wolf, the pigs burnt a sick Wolf who’d simply asked
for a cup of sugar. In the battle of the Storian against Lionsmane, a pen of truth against
a false pen of the people, Tedros, Agatha, and Sophie must reveal the Snake’s lies to the
Woods. However, does the truth matter when people wish to believe in lies? What even
is true, and what is false?
I cannot express how much I love this book. I fell in love with Rhian, the villain of the
story. There were points when I believed in Rhian and wished he would become the One
True King for his motives were pure and his heart was Good. Though Rhian wanted to
rid Tedros of the throne, it was because he believed he was the true heir. Rhian had
wanted to do good with his power and to become a Good King. No matter what actions
he took to sway the Woods to his side, he’d wanted to be a King for the people.
Another character I loved in this book was Sophie. She must play a double agent
between Tedros and Rhian, carefully masking her defiance with firm loyalty as she plots
the false king’s demise. Meanwhile, she must suffer from her friends’ accusations.
Traitor… they called her. However, as she spends time around Rhian, Sophie begins to
doubt what’s right and wrong. Sophie plays a delicate game. One wrong move… then
I would rate this book a 10/10. At no point did the plot dull or lull to a stop. The plot
only thickened page by page, forcing me to doubt everything I had believed to be true to
puzzle out the mystery behind the false king. I highly recommend The School for Good
and Evil series to fantasy lovers, because in this series, not only will you resonate with
the heroes, you will also fall in love with the villains.