Series: The Lunar Chronicles #3.5
Published by Feiwel & Friends on January 27, 2015
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.
Fairest was an intriguing read. I didn’t really know what to expect from it when I started reading, though I hoped for Levana’s backstory and answers to some burning questions – and that’s exactly what I got. Fairest didn’t make me like Levana any more or less than I already did; however, it definitely made me feel bad for her after learning all that she went through.
Young Levana was hard to grasp. She was still evil, but she had these odd moments of kindness mixed in with the evilness of the present-day Levana that we all love to hate (and hate to love). It was easy to see why she was so cruel – cruelty is all she ever knew. Channary was cruel and her parents didn’t love her, Channary or each other. So how could she be expected to express love and kindness when she never experienced it? Aside from loving Hayle, that is. And even that was more of an obsession than love.
Speaking of Channary.. Wow, considering how wonderful, kind and brave Cinder is, Channary was just cruel beyond words! I never expected Cinder’s mother to be so heartless. I can’t remember if this was hinted at in any of the books previously (though I’m fairly certain it was), but it still really threw me off my guard. It was so bad, Channary actually made Levana look like the nice sister! You know it’s bad when Levana is the sane, kind one…
I mentioned this in my Winter review, but it’s worth repeating: The scary thing about Levana is, she actually thinks her actions are justified. Her mind is so twisted, her sense of right and wrong so warped, she doesn’t even realize she’s doing bad things. And that makes her even more insane and dangerous. It also makes her an epic villain. While Channary was cruel just because she could be, Levana was cruel without even realizing she was being cruel. She completely convinced herself that her actions would lead to the betterment of Luna.
A lot of things made more sense after reading Fairest. Pieces of the puzzle slowly fell into place and I found myself saying, “Ah, so that’s how that happened!” a lot. Things that were mentioned in Cinder, Scarlet, Cress and Winter – whether they were hinted at or fully discussed – were finally put into context. That was probably my favorite part of this book – as was seeing Cinder as a young Princess Selene, playing with little Princess Winter. Those things made Fairest a worth-while read!
Overall, if you’re a Lunar Chronicles fan, this is definitely a must-read. You might not end up liking Levana any more or less than you did by the end of Winter, but you’ll understand her and her actions more. Fairest really fills in the blanks. And again, seeing young Princess Selene, young Princess Winter and young Jacin (!!!) is really fun!