Fairest by Marissa Meyer is the story of Queen Levana before the events of the Lunar Chronicles start up and wow is it twisted! I would definitely agree with the blurb’s label of Fairest as a “bridge book” instead of a novella since it is really a short novel that isn’t really all that optional to really appreciate what I think we’ll be reading about in Winter. That being said, you definitely want to read it in publication order, not chronological order since it can’t be appreciated fully until you’ve read Cress! I honestly tore through Fairest and am not normally an “in between” book reader so I can’t recommend enough that you pick it up to handle the wait until Winter ;-).
Fairest by Marissa Meyer (Lunar Chronicles #3.5)
Published by Feiwel & Friends on Jan. 27th, 2015
Genres: Fairytale Retelling, Sci-fi, YA
Page Length: 222 pages
How I got my copy: Borrowed
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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 absolutely love villains who don’t think they are villains because really what actual person thinks they are a villain in their own mind? No one as far as I know! They always justify their “tough” decisions in some way and Queen Levana is very realistic in Fairest. She is the heroine of her own story and transitions quite smoothly from a genuinely well-meaning princess to the Queen we love to hate!
- Another of Anya’s favoritest things?? Broken characters! I find it so easy to empathize with characters who have been damaged by what life has thrown at them and Levana is perhaps the most broken I’ve read. Even as a little girl she has been really messed up by her life and I really felt for her.
- We get a lot more information about how Luna came to be in its present state in Fairest and it was a great way to really build the setting for The Lunar Chronicles. The full-color art that the blurb mentions is a beautiful cityscape of Luna on the interior front cover and wow does it need to be a poster on my wall!
- Fairest is FILLED with subtle connections to the first three Lunar Chronicle books and clearly to Winter. I loved realizing that a character was someone I had already encountered previously without it being shoved in my face. We learn about the history of a lot more characters than just Levana ;-).
- Another subtle aspect of Fairest that I really enjoyed was the various was that the title could be interpreted. I of course first thought it was fairest as in most beautiful in reference to Snow White and the evil queen. However, Levana’s image comes in in a different way as well and then on top of that Levana is pretty obsessed with being a just and the most fair as in most just ruler of Luna. Again though, these different clever interpretations were never shoved in the reader’s face and I love that all the more!
- The final clever aspect of Fairest that I noticed was how skillfully Meyer worked in the passage of time into such a short novel. We easily jump through various times of Levana’s life while avoiding it feeling choppy or interrupting the flow of her story.
- Oh man is Fairest full of FEELS! There was some pretty ugly crying let me tell you. Like, relieved-the-boy-isn’t-home-to-see-this-and-freak-out crying!
- I must be blunt with you: Fairest is pretty darn brutal for YA. I’m not generally a fan of the grimdark trend in adult fantasy, so I don’t have a particularly strong tolerance of brutality to begin with, but there were times with Fairest that I had a bit of a hard time letting myself fully grasp the horror that was happening (though of course I still couldn’t put it down!). This almost lent to how quickly I read Fairest though since I tend to want to get to a happy part before I can set a book down for the day >.>. I didn’t put Fairest down much….
Fairest is an addition to the Lunar Chronicles that you really don’t want to miss. Fairest is a fabulous book on its own merit so fans definitely will love the pain it makes them feel, but it is also pretty essential to fully appreciating the story told so far in The Lunar Chronicles. I suspect that reading Fairest will also deepen our appreciation for Winter once it comes out, though it makes the wait perhaps even more painful!
Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
Fairest by Marissa Meyer
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