About The 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.
I completely love the Lunar Chronicles series and when I heard that there would be a book dedicated to the antagonist, Queen Levana herself, I was over the moon! After finishing Fairest, I’ve decided that the Lunar Chronicles has achieved a well-deserved spot on my all-time favorites list.
Wait…who is this about?
The story is told from the perspective of Queen Levana when she was a teenager. One of the only things I was disappointed about in the Lunar Chronicles was how little character development Queen Levana had. I knew she was evil and hated Earth, but the reasons behind that opinion weren’t really explained. I loved how Fairest allowed me to get a peek into Levana’s life and the causes of why she was wicked.
Evil Queen…or not?
At the start of the story, Levana’s parents have just died and her older sister, Channary has just ascended to the throne. Channary would rather flirt than govern, and is completely awful to her younger sister.
Nevertheless, I loved Levana’s character. I knew that her backstory was going to be dark in order for her to end up as evil as she is in the Lunar Chronicles series, but I wasn’t expecting it to be so…sad. Levana herself was constantly bullied, and was also falling in love with Evret, one of her guards who is also 10 years her senior and married (a sentiment that is not really returned). Levana was so desperate for affection that she acted completely immaturely, and made some horrible decisions, but I still felt for her. Some characters just need a hug, and Levana is one of them. *hugs*
I love Marissa Meyer’s writing.
One of the things that I’ve always appreciated about Marissa Meyer’s writing is that it brings you right into the story. In each book that she has written, I could feel the personality of the characters through the pages. In some books, the author always uses the same writing style and all the characters start to blur together, but that was not the case here! I felt like I was in Levana’s mind, experiencing the things that she is going through. After spending three previous books detesting Levana, I thought it would be difficult to sympathize with her. Au contraire! I was hooked on every word.
I also understand why this is book 3.5
Although Fairest is set years before Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress take place, I would read those books first. It doesn’t necessarily spoil the events of future books outright, but the information given here makes it easy to guess several of the plot twists. The plot twists were certainly one of the best parts of the whole reading experience, so I recommend reading this one after Cress.
Since Levana is the antagonist of the Lunar Chronicles (and this book was intended as a peek into her history), I don’t think the reading experience that Fairest provides would be nearly as interesting if you didn’t know more about her future from Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress. It also gives several clues as to what could happen in book 4 (Winter–coming Fall 2015) which is certainly exciting!
In conclusion: I’m officially a Lunartic!
I think that the previous books should be read first, but Fairest was still amazing and obviously, I highly recommend it! If you enjoy sci-fi, fairytale retellings, and memorable characters, then run (don’t walk!) to your nearest bookstore and purchase this series!