Fairest Review

Synopsis: 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.

Review: 2.5/5 stars

In its synopsis, Fairest goes so far as to describe itself as a “bridge book”–but I feel as though I could have gone my whole Lunar-obsessed existence without ever once needing to pick it up. And in fact, I kind of wish I had.

This was by far my least-favorite story in the Lunar universe (although I suppose that isn’t saying too much, as I rated all the books except Cinder five stars–this is my fvaorite series, after all).

I was sort of excited to read about Queen Levana’s past, but not extremely so. Even in the snippets of her backstory the reader learned in Cinder, Scarlet, Cress and Winter, she was a fairly round and impressive villain. But never, really, did I want to read her as a character. In a fictional landscape so rich with characters I loved, she was the last one I wanted to read more about. Still, I adore this series, so six months after concluding it I picked up this loose end. And I wish I didn’t.

I was never really entertained by this story, and I didn’t feel like Levana was more humanized at all. In fact, I feel less understanding of her than when I was left to fill in the blanks on my own. It was always obvious to the reader that Levana had experienced an unbelievably difficult childhood, adolescence, and even early adulthood. It was clear why she would go to such lengths to find some control, and then become addicted to that feeling. Reading this again was just tedious.

But the main event of this story was her relationship and marriage, and this is where I feel like she became less round to me. I had the impression from the main series that Levana had been in a loving marriage, and lost it heartbreakingly, leading her to concentrate solely on her power and to become bitter. But that is not the case, and I’ll simply say (so as not to spoil anything) that much of her pain was self-inflicted.

Bottom line: I can’t recommend this book exactly, since I wish I hadn’t read it myself. But the majority of people think this adds to the experience. So I’ll say if you’re reading the series, you may as well give it a try. All that being said, I adore Marissa Meyer, she’s one of my favorite authors, and I can’t wait to read her take on my favorite literary world in Heartless!

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