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Anya of the Woods Beyond is a minor, unseen character mentioned in The School for Good and Evil book series.

After graduating from the School for Good, she became the Little Mermaid.


School Days

Anya was a Reader, someone who only knows about the Endless Woods by reading fairy tales rather than experiencing the fairy tale world. Anya lived in Gavaldon, the one unenchanted kingdom in all the Endless Woods. Around the age of twelve or fourteen, Anya was kidnapped by the School Master as the soul of Good while Estra was taken as the soul of Evil.

Anya was taken to the School for Good. Despite being a Reader, Anya graduated as a leader. Somehow, she became a mermaid.

Her Fairy Tale

Anya's tale was set in motion when she saved a prince from drowning after his ship sank in a storm. Anya fell in love with him and wished to be with him. To grant her wish, Anya visited cruel Estra, a fellow Reader who had become the devious Sea Witch. Unknown to Anya, she was Estra's nemesis; Estra got weaker as Anya got stronger. Estra granted Anya's wish but took her beautiful voice as payment. Unlike Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale, Anya did not die but succeeded in winning the prince's heart and Estra died.

Sadly, nearly fifty years later, during The Tale of Sophie and Agatha, Estra came back to life as a zombie, along with the other fairy tale villains. Estra killed an elderly Anya which rewrote her fairy tale, erased the Happily Ever After and weakened the barrier between Gavaldon and the Endless Woods.


Estra and the other villains were destroyed and Anya's tale restored. Before she died, Anya started a foundation for the education of young merpeople and it will continue in her memory.

According to her obituary, Anya's tale remains as one of the most beloved throughout the Woods and under the sea. Young girls saw her as a trailblazer for her courageous decision to leave home in search of true love.


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Anya is depicted in the Ever Never Handbook as a beautiful young woman with pale skin, a slim figure and dark auburn hair.

A World Without Princes has a picture of her before and after graduating. As a young girl, she had short hair. After graduation, she became a mermaid with long, wavy hair, a seashell top and a long, fish-like tail covered in shimmering scales.

For her Snow Ball, she wore a mermaid gown of sea green with a pattern reminiscent of fish scales. The hem is dark blue and decorated with ocean waves with gold details. Her gloves were dark sea green with dangling strands of pearls hanging from them. Her left arm and shoulder were covered by a translucent cloth with fin-like frills on the left shoulder. Her hair was held in a bun with a crown of white coral. She wears pink spiral shells as earrings and a pearl and scallop shell necklace.


Anya was described as sweet. Her soul was good and pure enough for her to earn a place at the School for Good. She was a hard worker as she graduated as a leader, despite being new to the world of fairy tales. She grew into a kind woman who cared about others and tried to help them.

Powers and Abilities

When she was a mermaid, Anya could live and breathe underwater. Her mermaid tail allowed her to swim swiftly though the waves. She was able to communicate with sea creatures and had numerous aquatic friends.


  • Anya's tale more closely resembles the Disney version rather than Hans Christian Andersen's original tragic fairy tale.
  • Her Snow Ball jewelry was hand-crafted by some of her underwater friends.
  • Her favorite reef is a historical landmark in the Endless Woods.