Published by Feiwel & Friends on January 27th 2015
Source: Purchased e-book
In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.
Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?
Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.
Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.
Thoughts: Fairest by Marissa Meyer is a villain origin story, which I usually love, but I’m not sure exactly how I feel about it. I have a lot of different thoughts, but I’m not sure how to organize them, so that means bullet-points (Kim-Style):
- Levana grows from an unloved and abused child into an abusive and controlling ruler. The whole time she thinks she is good and putting her country before herself. It was… unsettling. It’s hard to describe it as anything else.
- I am torn between having new compassion for Levana and hating her in very specific ways. In some ways, she is a product of her environment–life perfectly aligned to create the monster she became. In other ways, she ignored opportunities to overcome her struggles, and she herself caused much of the resentment and emptiness that drives her. Instead of hating her as the villain of previous books, I understand her enough to feel disgust and pity–things that would make her far angrier than simple hatred.
- The story is framed around Levana’s love for a palace guard, who does not love her back. He was kind, and the things that happened to him made me very sad. I want a story about him and the ways he found joy during a few terrible years of his life.
- I think I said before that Winter, even though we have only caught glimpses of her, will be my favorite character of them all. I still think that, but I’m too afraid to read her sample chapters, knowing that I have to wait until November to read the rest.
- We also get a glimpse of Jacin, the guard with questionable motives in Cress–I’m really looking forward to more of him in Winter!!
- As for plot, things just kind of happen. Sure, Levana takes action when necessary, but it all felt too easy for her. As, I said, things perfectly aligned to create the vicious queen we saw in Cinder. I was a little surprised that there were no real twists–the story simply fleshes out with details the things that we already know to have happened. Maybe that was the point? Levana wasn’t actively seeking out this fate, but she made enough horrible choices that I’m not sure it matters.
- This book is FAR shorter than the other books in the series. (I heard Winter is over 800 pages!)
Overall: Probably not for new readers, but I think it will satisfy those who already love the series.