A Book That Reminds Us A Great Villain Could Have Been Anyone Of Us Growing Up | Fairest | Review

Friday, December 18, 2015

Paper Bindings - Fairest by Marissa Meyer - 4.5/5 Stars - Young Adult - Science Fiction - Retelling
TITLE: Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles #3.5)
AUTHOR: Marissa Meyer
RELEASE DATE: January 27th, 2015
PUBLISHER: Feiwel & Friends - Macmillan
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“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. ”

and 1/2

RELATED: The Queen's Army (The Lunar Chronicles #1.5) | Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) | Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4) | Stars Above (The Lunar Chronicles Novellas)

When they first announced Fairest, I was extremely worried. I mean, I didn't want a book about Levana, I wanted Winter. I wanted to know what was happening with the characters I loved. I didn't want a story about the villain I already hated.

"They could all be anyone. Why couldn't she be anyone? Why couldn't she be the one person she wanted to be? Perhaps the trouble was that she could never quite figure out who that person was."

Turns out, I not only wanted this story, I needed it.

Levana was one of those bad guys that no matter what they did or didn't do, you were always going to be opposed to them. But as it turns out, it is entirely possible to pity her at the same time. Because she could have been any one of us, if we slipped down the drain of insanity.

While Fairest may be a prequel novella/book, I think it is perfectly at home being read after Cress. It may only be 220 pages long, but we learn so much. We learn why she wears her glamour, when she hates mirrors, and how she became as deranged as she was.

"She cried for the girl who had never belonged. A girl who tried hard, harder than anyone else, and still never had anything to show for it."

Poor young Levana was just doomed from the beginning. 

Distant parents, a witch of an older sister, and an entire city preoccupied with beauty. With her scars, a permanent reminder of her physical imperfections, Levana retreated into her glamours. Into her world of illusions. I think anyone could identify with this young girl.

"It was a very complex fantasy, which frequently left her even more depressed than she'd been before."

But that's where the story really gets twisted.

There was no doubt in my mind that Marissa Meyer can create fabulous characters. All you need to do was look at Levana. She created this pitiful creature that didn't understand concepts like love, and then lets her inner psycho out.

All Levana wanted was the love of a certain palace guard, and to help her people that were suffering. What's the saying, the greatest evil was evil that wanted to be good? Levana truly believed she was capable of being the greatest queen the moon has ever seen. There were just a little things standing in her way, and because Levana was completely mental, there were no lines she wasn't prepared to cross if she could justify it.

"Love is conquest. Love is war."

Fairest was the core of this interconnected Lunar Chronicles web.

The thing I loved the most about Fairest was how it tied back to all the other books, and yet somehow declared it was its own story. I honestly could believe this was the moment that started it all. 

There were so many names dropped and future plot lines hinted at, that it was like finding tiny Lunar Chronicles Easter Eggs scattered about.


I'm really glad Levana got to be the focus over her own story. (No, she's not controlling my mind and forcing me to say that.) Fairest added a whole lot of necessary information to The Lunar Chronicles series, all while giving us a more in depth look at one of this year's greatest villains. (Okay, maybe my mind is not my own.)

But there were several times while I was reading Winter where I began to fully appreciate this novella. I don't think I would have viewed Levana the same way as I did, more like Cinder does, if I never read this book.


  1. Alright Carrie, this is sitting in my tbr pile. I devoured Winter but let this sit..it looks like I need to pick it up post haste!

    1. It was pretty good. Nothing like coming home to Winter. But I definitely think it was worth the read. Hope you enjoy Fairest!

      Thank you for stopping by.


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