The Lunar Chronicles detail the story of Cinder, a half-cyborg, half-alien lost princess who is in a fight for her life and for the throne. Occupying the throne of Luna is Levana, the evil queen. In Fairest we learn about Levana’s rise to power. We learn how the younger sister of the true queen Channary rises to the throne, we learn about her love life and about her own tragedies.
This is by far my favorite book of The Lunar Chronicles and it is only 220 pages long. Writing side-stories and novellas has become a real trend in young adult literature, a trend I don’t always support. Often times these stories may be interesting but they don’t provide anything. There is no character development nor world enhancement in any of these stories. But, Fairest gives us everything.
Levana’s story is dark, brooding madness.This is a killer story. It’s really hard for me to express how awesome it is while limiting spoilers. So if you are super spoiler concerned you may want to look away, but I’ll do my best to limit them.
I left this book with a deep understanding of Levana. I understand why she is the way she is (slightly insane) and that this all began with the best interests of Luna in mind. She loves her home. She wants Luna to thrive and in order for that to happen 1) she needs to be queen and 2) she needs Earth. Thanks to her sister Channary, Levana is a sociopath. She has no true understanding of harm to others. Death is a tool. It is a means to a necessary end and she has no qualms about using it. She really channels George R.R. Martin over the course of her entire life.
Channary has given Levana both physical and mental scars, which define Levana’s view of the world. Not only does Levana have a warped sense of harm, the darkest thing about her is a warped sense of love. She tries to force the love of her life to love her. Her interaction with her husband makes you cringe and all the while you understand the people of Luna, and Winter (the title character of book four) even better because of Levana.
It’s really incredible how much I love this book seeing as there isn’t a set plot. The only quest is becoming queen and we never leave the lunar castle. But none of that matters thanks to the complex character development and raw emotions.
The rest of The Lunar Chronicles are very bright books, classic young adult fantasy, but this book is edgy and I LOVE it. By the end I understand the wicked queen, I feel sorry for the wicked queen and I grieve for the woman she could have been and the people she has lost.
I give it an intense 5/5.
World Development: 5/5
Main Character: 5/5
Side Characters: 5/5 Everyone from the palace guards to Channary are perfect.
Procrastination and Giggles,
The Red Queen
P.S. This is one of the most confusing and heartbreaking lines in young adult writing:
“Are you still waiting for me to fall in love with you?”