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.
Author: Marissa Meyer
Part of a Series: Yes. The Lunar Chronicles #3.5
Release Date: January 27, 2015
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
No. of Pages: 220 pages
Genre: Dystopian, Fantasy, Retelling, Romance, Fiction, Science Fiction, Fairytale, Fairytale Retelling, Young Adult
The Cover: A majestic and regal looking mirror is displayed right on the center of this book’s cover with the reflection of Queen Levana Blackburn. The mirror symbolized the Queen’s hatred for the mere object and it’s absolutely related with the story. I have to say, this cover’s my favorite out of all the books in the series! (4.5 out of 5 stars)
The Story: This novella focused on the life of the evil Queen Levana way before she crossed paths with the story’s protagonists: Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress. In this prequel, we discover the past that the evil queen fought so hard to work hard for, but ended up unsatisfied.
Levana’s backstory is utterly impressive. Twisted, yes. But it was impressive all the same. I actually thought that after reading this novella, I would have some compassion towards Levana. I wanted for her to have a backstory which could explain why she’s so hell-bent in conquering New Beijing. I have to give credit! The novella did just that. But it did not sway my opinions about the evil queen in any way. She might have a very rough childhood, but she’s just as cruel as her sister if not more. That’s what made her a great villain, and I love it!
I never knew and imagined Queen Channary to be as cruel as she was in Fairest. Being Cinder’s Mom, I actually thought that she would have a mother who had the same lovely personality as hers. I am so shocked to be proven wrong. Even as a child, she was a demon in the flesh. I don’t know what values she were taught but oh my god.
One thing I can’t seem to fathom is the fact that the author who introduced us to Cress in book 3 is the same one who made sure that Queen Levana turned out to be the psychotic antagonist she really is in Fairest. Cress was, in every way, an innocent child when we first met her. She was sweet, and utterly endearing. Now, what I can’t seem to comprehend is how Marissa Meyer was able to introduce us to Cress, when all along, she was able to write a character so twisted that it almost made me want to not read her story. Ever since the start of this series, I knew that Marissa’s a very talented writer. I just didn’t know that she’s as versatile with her writing as shown in how she was able to portray Levana.
I loved the backstory behind Queen Levana. I was left speechless, seeing how twisted she can be if she wants to, and I could’ve went on with the series without reading this novella, but I’m glad I did. I’m happy I saw how Levana really is, and now, I really can’t wait for the resistance to overthrow her reign! (4.5 out of 5 stars)
The Ending: Well, seeing that the ending of this novella isn’t, in any way, in sync with the series, it’s okay that there wasn’t enough closure, in my opinion. Somehow, I craved for more. I wanted more, and that’s a good thing. I kinda wanted to know more as to what happened to the other characters, but hey, I know all my questions will be answered in Winter. (4.5 out of 5 stars)
The Verdict: Marissa did a wonderful job in making me hate some of her characters. It’s evidence enough that she is a very skillful author. I’m just sad that the series is about to come to a close with Winter. Surprisingly, I don’t want to read it anytime soon. I don’t want for things to end, you know? (4.5 out of 5 stars)
“She cried for the girl who had never belonged. A girl who tried so hard, harder than anyone else, and still never had anything to show for it.”
“Ideally, a lady will have three toys at once. One to romance her, one to bed her, and one to adorn her with very expensive jewelry.”
“Then, on the twenty-first day of December in the 109th year of the third era, Queen Channary gave birth to a baby girl. She was officially named Princess Selene Channary Jannali Blackburn of Luna,”
“Love is a conquest! Love is war!”
“A good queen was a well-informed queen.”
“She was suddenly angry. Angry that this woman was so effortlessly pretty. Angry that tonight she would sleep beside her doting husband. That soon she would hold a wrinkled, wailing baby in her arms and that child would never question whether it was loved, or whether its parents loved each other. Nothing Levana wanted had ever come that easily.”
About The Author:
Marissa lives in Tacoma, Washington, with her fiancé and their two cats. In addition to her slight obsession with books and writing, she’s big on road-tripping, wine-tasting, and hunting for antiques. She is represented by Jill Grinberg.