Book Review: Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles)

Posted February 15, 2015 by @Angelized_1st in 2015 Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge, Books, Entertainment, Reading Challenges / 0 Comments

Book Review: Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles)Fairest by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles,
Published by Macmillan on January 27th 2015
Genres: Fairy Tales & Folklore, General, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 272
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
ISBN: 9781250068743
Buy on: AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooks

Mirror, mirror, on the wall.Who is the Fairest of them all? Pure evil has a name, hides behind a mask of deceit, and uses her "glamour" to gain power. But who is Queen Levana? Long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress in The Lunar Chronicles, Levana lived a very different story--a story that has never been told . . . until now. New York Times -bestselling author Marissa Meyer reveals the story behind her fascinating villain in Fairest, an unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes a special full-color image of Levana's castle and an excerpt from Winter, the exciting conclusion to The Lunar Chronicles.

The Good…:

Author Marissa Meyer gives fans of The Lunar Chronicles a behind-the-scenes look at the evil Queen Levana. Despite showing what made Levana who she’s become, Meyer still manages to keep Levana an unsympathetic character. Whether or not this was her intent, I appreciated this. Too many times authors try to rehabilitate villains to make the them more relatable to readers. This can go over well, or it can declaw a perfectly good villain and turn them into a joke. Instead of becoming relatable, Levana is shown to be an even bigger villain than I ever thought possible in Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress. 

Another thing I liked about this book was seeing Cinder (Selene), Winter, and Jacin when they were younger. Even though their connection was talked about in Cress, seeing them interact in Fairest managed to point out how life could have turned out differently for all of them if Levana hadn’t committed her heinous crimes. Aside from them, I loved reading about Channery, Levana’s much talked about sister and Cinder’s mother. She was just as horrible as Levana, but at least owned her evil. Somehow, this made her more likable to me. However, my favorite character in the novella was Evret, Winter’s father. Aside from the children, he was the only decent character in the story.

The Bad…:

I’ve always had difficulty reading novels when I detested the main character, and this novella was no exception. Levana, a character I loved to hate in the other novels, became so horrendous in this story that reading it was like a chore. The funny thing is: everything she does in this story had been mentioned in previous books. Her crimes against Cinder, and others previously mentioned in the other books, were not as horrible as how she treated one of the other characters.

Spoiler (Highlight to reveal):

Her repeated rape of Evret put a bad taste in my mouth, that even the knowledge of what Channery did to Levana could not rid me of it. How he managed to keep offering her friendship and partnership for ten years after everything she had done to him, made Evret noble beyond measure. Levana claimed to love him, but her love was an obsession. She was just a spoiled brat that took a simple kindness and turned it into something more. A prisoner whose prison was of her own making.

Do I Recommend?

Yes, and no. If you are interested in Channery, why Levana hates mirrors, and why she wears a wedding band, then you may be interested in her story. Fairest reveals these things, as well as provides Levana’s reasoning for attempting to murder Selene, and spreading Letumosis on Earth. If you are interested in Cinder, Winter, and Jacin’s early years, then you can skip this one. The three children who will play pivotal roles in Winter, are background characters at best.

Fairest is strictly Levana’s story. If you already detest her, this novella will not change your mind or make her more sympathetic. Now that I’ve read it, I wished I had given this one a pass. Still, Meyer wrote a great story, and gave insight into many of the characters. My rating below is based on Meyer’s writing, the story, and how it will undoubtedly connect to the final book. Not my feelings towards it.


Rating Report
Overall: 4

About Marissa Meyer

Marissa Meyer is the New York Times-bestselling author of The Lunar Chronicles. She lives in Tacoma, Washington, with her husband and three demanding cats. She’s a fan of most things geeky (Sailor Moon, Firefly, any occasion that requires a costume), and has been in love with fairy tales since she was a child. She may or may not be a cyborg.


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0 responses to “Book Review: Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles)

    • So was I! I would have been so mad if Levana became an misunderstood villain. So glad she remained despicable. However, some of her actions were difficult for me to read.

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