This is the fifth book in the School for Good and Evil Series. If you haven’t read the others, I don’t suggest you start here. If you have read the others and found the plot to be messy and the story unnecessarily prolonged, you won’t find much different in this book.
I have tried to like this series. My daughter is thirteen years old, and she has read them all. We read a lot of older kid and YA series together. She is very much like me- once started on a series, we have to see it through. That trait, and the fact that I had read every other book in our house at least once, led me to pick this one up after putting it off for a long time. I had enough time away from the first four (and the plot is so messy) that I had forgotten what happened in the last few. I found myself both thinking I should re-read the previous books to figure out who was who and what was going on, and also completely uninterested in those details.
The series starts with Agatha and Sophie as they enroll the School For Good and Evil. The following three books involve their years as students. Over the course of four years they have a lot of adventures involving shirtless boys and murders and quests from storybooks. Agatha is an unattractive, clumsy, poorly dressed girl with no friends at the beginning; by book five she is still clumsy and poorly dressed but now is less ugly. She is engaged to Tedros, the son of King Arthur. She and Tedros have a deep love for each other despite being approximately fifteen years old, spending very little time together and Tedros’ penchant for trying to kiss Sophie. Sophie is blonde, beautiful and Evil. She evolves very little through the book series as far as I can recall. She becomes engaged to two different boys and also becomes the Dean for the School of Evil by about age fifteen.
Crystal of Time has a plot involving winning back Tedros’s kingdom from a usurper. There is a convoluted plot that I am struggling to recall. The book could have been cut by half and still have covered the entirety of the plot points. My most vivid recollection about this book is frequency with which the female characters are described or recognized only by their relationship to a male character. The women are the main protagonists but are only important in how they affect the secondary (male) characters.
There’s another book coming in this series.