Review: Fairest by Marissa Meyer (Lunar Chronicles #3.5)


Fairest by Marissa Meyer // VBC ReviewFairest (Lunar Chronicles #3.5)
Marissa Meyer
Published: Jan. 27, 2015 (Feiwel & Friends)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review Source: purchased

Reviewed by: Amy

Rating (out of 5): 3 stars

Note: While review will be spoiler free, it may make reference to previous books in the series. If you haven’t started this series yet, check out VBC’s review of Cinder.

Queen Levana has been quite the nemesis for Cinder and crew throughout the first three books of the Lunar Chronicles series. In Fairest we get a little more of an in-depth look at the constantly shrouded and feared Lunar, who would be Queen of the universe no matter the cost.

I wanted to start out by saying that not much in Fairest is a revelation and the events that readers didn’t know about but learned while reading Fairest weren’t too surprising. When I learned that Marissa Meyer was going to give us a book telling Levana’s story, I was worried that she would try to make Levana out to be a sympathetic character. Kind of try to change readers’ perception of her. For me, I still find Levana a conniving and ruthless character and reading Fairest only solidified my thoughts on the matter.

To say that Levana experienced tragedy in her life is an understatement to the nth degree. Coping with this tragedy at a young age, Levana relies more on the fantasy and glamour of what her life could be. She’s naïve, but unfortunately instead of growing out of the naïveté as she matures, the fantasies only become more pronounced. She’s hidden herself with glamour for so long she doesn’t know what is real and what is not anymore. I wanted to be sympathetic for what she endured, but at some point she had to choose, however, misguided, to go down certain paths, and I quickly lost any sympathy for her.

Once you read Fairest, the parallels between Levana and Cinders stories are unmistakable. Fairest clearly shows how different circumstances can have an effect on the outcome. Had Cinder not been taken away, she may have ended up exactly like Levana. On the other hand, had Levana just made one choice different in her life (and she had plenty of opportunities), she may have not ended up the callous and manipulative regent she turns out to be.

After reading Fairest, I’m not sure that it’s essential to read it before Winter comes out this fall. It does a good job of introducing readers to Ms. Winter and where she began. In that regard it’s almost as much Winter’s story as it is Levana’s, but until I read Winter I can’t say for sure whether what we learn about her will affect how she’s viewed/portrayed in her own book.

I would say if you plan on reading it, Fairest should be read in the order in which it was published. I think it makes more sense rather than being read as a prequel even though events in Fairest take place before Cinder begins.

Sexual content: references to sex

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