Thursday, April 30, 2015

Fairest - Marissa Meyer



For those of you who don't know, I have been following Marissa Meyers Lunar Chronicles series since 2012, which is when Cinder (the first book in the series) was published.  I started reading Cinder on the recommendation of a friend and absolutely fell in love!  The series is magical, and amazing, and fun.  There is intrigue, and fear, loathing, and anger.  The series is just so much more amazing than I could ever put down in words (and yet I always put it down in words.  I love writing reviews of these books because they are so good!)

So, Fairest, the fourth book in this series, was just published in February of this year.  It is the story of Queen Levana, the ruler of Luna.  It starts with a dream of Levana's childhood, with a fire.  Fire becomes an all to heavy theme in Levana's story - not just for Levana but for Cinder as well.

Levana and her sister Channary are princesses, and near the beginning of the novel their parents die.  So, Channary, being the oldest, is eventually crowned queen (after the appropriate mourning period.)  Levana knows that this is the proper order for things since Channary is the oldest, but Levana desperately wants to be queen.

Channary is, to put it kindly, friendly with the males.  She gets pregnant from some random guy that she's been with, and has Cinder.  Naturally, that means that after Channary dies, Cinder will be crowned queen.  Well, Channary dies sooner than expected - when Cinder is only a year old.  So, now when Cinder turns 13, she will be crowned queen of Luna.  Until that time, Levana serves as the queen regent.

Some other things of importance throughout the novel:
*People on Luna have the ability to use something called a glamour to make themselves look different or more beautiful.
*Levana is deformed because of a fire her sister pushed her into when they were kids, so she uses her glamour all the time to make herself look beautiful.
*When Channary is still alive, Levana admits that she is attracted to (and even thinks she is in love with) a man named Evret, who is part of the royal guard.  After Evret's wife dies giving birth to Winter, Levana starts making herself look like Solstice (Evret's wife) and manipulating Evret to make him think he is in love with Levana.  Then, she forces Evret to marry her because she is absolutely convinced that he really does love her.
*During her time as queen regent, Levana becomes more and more convinced that she should be the rightful queen of Luna, that she is the best queen they have ever or will ever have.  So she plans for something to happen to Cinder (which is what leads to the first book in the series.)

I don't want to give anything else away in case you decide to read this book, so let me tell you what I thought of it. I think Marissa Meyer is a wonderful author. She does a great job in describing the characters and making them distinct from one another with their own personalities.  The descriptions of locations and places throughout the palace and Luna are wonderful, and it was nice to get a bit more insight into Levana's history.

The only things I wondered about were: Since Levana is Winter's stepmom, I wonder how much of what we learned in Fairest will be talked about in Winter.  (After all, I assume that Winter having been raised by her stepmother will have some bearing on Winters story.)  Also, I wondered if the residents of Luna look like humans in their natural form or if they look like aliens.

Other than those two things, I really loved this book.  I like how the author made it seem so real, and brought out each characters personality so well.  Overall, this was an excellent read that I would wholeheartedly recommend to fans of The Lunar Chronicles!  Five stars all the way.

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