Monday, December 7, 2015

Mini Book Review: Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Title: Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles #3.5)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publication Date: January 27, 2015
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 220
Add to Goodreads
Reviews for book 1, book 2book 3, & book 4

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. 

Although I purchased Fairest way back when it was first released, I put off reading it because I just wasn't in a Lunar Chronicles mood. After finishing Winter, however, I was in dire need of more of this world! And although I hated Levana with a passion, I was really curious to discover what made her so very evil. I'd heard around from several people that I might come to sympathize with Levana. I'm not sure I feel sympathy for her, but it's definitely complicated.

Having read Winter before Fairest, I already knew some of Levana's backstory, but getting the full story was a much more emotional experience. I did feel for her, my heart breaking a tiny bit while reading about her need and constant search for love. At the same time, I found myself extremely uncomfortable on multiple occasions, which I suspect is what Marissa Meyer was going for with this story. The romance between Levana and one of the palace guards was downright creepy.

I mean, okay. I haven't seen this in any other review for Fairest and I'm wondering if no one else really put it together or it's just that no one wants to say it. Levana was essentially raping Evret, her one true love. She was forcing him to be intimate with her against his will. I felt pretty gross just reading about it. I understand that Levana had some insane desire to feel loved to the point where she forced a marriage with a recently widowed man, but ugh. *shudder*

The conflicting emotions that I felt for Levana are similar to what I experienced with Winter's character. Meyer definitely has a lot of skill when it comes to developing complex characters.

I loved getting to dive back into the world of The Lunar Chronicles for a couple hundred more pages, although I'm really sad it's really (almost) over this time. I also really enjoyed the little tidbits about Cress, Jacin, and their families. In this regard, I feel like reading Winter first actually helped me because I was able to pick up on adorable clues that I might not have noticed otherwise. It was interesting to read about all of the truly terrible women in Cinder's family. How lucky that she ended up on earth...

Levana is a difficult character to read about, but I definitely recommend Fairest for every single fan of this series! I think it goes a long way toward explaining her often disturbing actions.