Winter is the fourth and biggest book in The Lunar Chronicles, which is an amazing series written by Marissa Meyer. It was released in 2015. Each book introduces new characters based on classical fairytales. The first one, Cinder takes a turn on Cinderella. The second one, Scarlet, takes a twist on Little Red Riding Hood. The third one, Cress, retells the story of Rapunzel (and is my favourite). The fourth one, Winter, is based on Snow White. The series also contains two other books, Fairest, which centers on the Evil Queen, and Stars Above, a series of short stories. I haven’r read those yet, but I most definitely will as soon as I can!
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Retelling
My rating: ★★★★★
In this fourth installment of The Lunar Chronicles, Scarlet is a prisoner, Kai is about to marry Levana, and Cinder is about to start a revolution along with Cress, Thorne who is still blind, and Wolf. Meanwhile, Levana is getting more and more jealous of her step-daughter Winter, and asks Jacin to kill her. But Jacin can’t kill the one he loves (though he won’t admit it) and a revolution is now in movement…
Holy crap, this series was awesome, really. This one was huge, but it wasn’t a problem at all. I could read about these characters forever.
What can I say about it, I find it harder to review with every book. By now, all the characters have been introduced to the story, so there’s nothing really new on this aspect. In this particular volume the story retelling was about Snow White, and I found it extremely well made. More than in the other books, I found it very striking and appropriate. It really did fit the universe Meyer created, and I loved it. Winter and Jacin are amazing characters. All the characters in this series are unique and different, and it’s absolutely brilliant.
As usual, I love the universe Meyer created in The Lunar Chronicles. I really cannot get enough of it, and I don’t know if I have already mentioned it on here so I’m just gonna put that here: I can proudly tell you that Cinder is one of the books I’m going to include in my Master’s thesis, which is about retellings of Cinderella.
Now back to business. Winter is the final installment in the series, and brings a much-anticipated ending to the story of Cinder, Kai and their friends. I thought this particular book contained more violence than the previous ones (with what of Levana’s executions and all the deaths at the beginning of the revolution) and also much manipulations in way that I find disgusting, but it’s part of the story and the reason why those people needed a revolution so that was a pretty good exuse though I’m not a huge fan of such displays.
Something else I definitely wanted to mention is Levana’s character. Every time I start to pity her, and feel bas for her, and understand why she is such an awful person (because of her sister etc.) And every time I start liking her a bit, she does something awful like order her stepdaughter to be killed, or execute someone for no reason. And I’m left with broken feels and hatred towards her. She is really and incredible and complex villain (and I know, I really need to read Fairest).
Another thing I found disturbing obviously is the mind manipulations. It was really interesting to see Cinder’s internal debates because she doesn’t like it but has to use it to protect herself and is scared of her limits and what she might do in the end with her Lunar gift. She is definitely a complex and interesting, and it was amazing to follow her through this series.
I know this is a completely random order of thoughts, but I wanted to mention how much I love Cress and Thorne together. They’re both amazing, interesting, original and complex characters, and are just so adorable together. It was really a pleasure to read about them, and see their story have a happy ending.
Cress and Thorne are my favourite couple in the series, but the ones that really broke my heart are probably Scarlet and Wolf, because of all the things they had to go through. Their story was just pain, and pain, and more manipulation. Every time you think they have reach the worst, and they have more shit awaiting. PROTECT WOLF AND SCARLET FOR ALL THAT IS HOLY THEY DESERVE PEACE.
I also really liked the fact that through Jacin and Kai we got to see different aspects of the situation and the revolution. Finally, one thing that I really appreciated is that all 9 characters (because Iko too, she is amazing) work together. It’s not Cinder/Kai and Scarlet/Wolf and Cress/Thorne and Winter/Jacin. We get to see an amazing friendship between Cinder and Thorne, and between Scarlet and Winter. We see Cress working with Jacin and Wolf. They work as a group and not as separate paris, and that is absolutely great.
Overall, I can’t recommend this series enough. It is original, and full of complex and diverse characters. And thank god it has a happy ending (even though it did sound too good to be true!)