Thursday, September 3, 2015
Review: Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles #3.5) by Marissa Meyer
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. ~ Goodreads
Source: Finished copy provided by the publisher via BEA15
Review: I enjoy Meyer’s Lunar Chronicle series, but I’m not a huge fan of it, as so many others are. It’s wildly hit or miss for me so I wasn’t super excited to read this. I believe it came out not too long after the movie Maleficent, and while I loved that movie, I didn’t want to see Queen Levana humanized to the point of pity or sympathy, as Maleficent was. Sometimes I like my villains to stay - villains. Reviews started to trickle in that it wasn’t that kind of story so I decided to give it a try.
This is considered a novella (I think – it’s shorter – 220 pages - but feels like a full length story) and a companion novel to the Lunar Chronicle series and while I suppose you don’t need to read it, you really should. It explains SO much. About Levana, Cinder and it’s a crazy good introduction to Winter’s story (the next and final book of the series).
So did Fairest soften Levana? God no! If anything I like her even less. That woman is diabolical. Sure you see how different things shaped her, but it’s clear that she was never going to be a nice person, no matter what.
I felt empathy for how alone she must have felt in the palace, for things that happened to her at the hands of her (beautiful) sister, for being raised by neglectful parents, but she hits a level of cruelty that can’t be explained away.
She does a lot of horrible things – both physically and psychologically - but when she crossed the line of taking away a certain characters free will, I felt ill. I wonder how much of this would have even made it to print if there was a man doing some of the things she does. I mean, I was just horrified by her. She is straight up delusional.
As a character study, it was both fascinating and horrifying. Levana garnered no sympathy from me but it was an excellent addition to the series and leaves you breathless with anticipation for Winter – which I wasn’t even looking forward to before.