Fairest is an additional novel to the Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer. I finally read it, and I have to say I am a bit confused as to what to make of this book and its main character. I want to feel bad for her, but at the same time, it’s really messed up, because she is clearly completely mad…
MIGHT CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR THE REST OF THE SERIES
The Lunar Chronicles 3.5
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Retelling
Released in 2015
My rating: ★★★★✩
Levana is the evil Lunar queen, the one who unleashed a terrible desease on Earth to have the planet at her mercy, the one who unleashed an army of genetically modified soldiers on Earth, the one who had her nephew burnt to keep the Lunar throne. But she was also a disregarded young princess, who was mistreated by her older sister, the future queen Channary, and who thought she could built her life with a handsome guard. Between hopeless dreams and murders, Fairest will tell you more about Levana, and how she grew up to become who she was.
I have to say, this book was not entirely what I expected. I absolutely loved The Lunar Chronicles, I gave all four books five out of five stars. So of course, I had to read Fairest because really, I would read anything about those characters. I always want more. But this time, this was about the villain. This was about Levana, the crazy one, the evil queen. This was supposed to show how she had become such a merciless, self-centered queen. And sure it did.
At moments, I did feel bad for her. She was clearly neglected by her parents, and mistreated by her sister, who by the way, was as crazy as her. She was not exactly a lucky girl either, falling in love with a married man.
But seriously, something is wrong with her. I wanted to feel bad for her. Because she was ugly, because no one liked her. But as people say, Levana is bat shit crazy, and nothing can make me understand what she did. Like, seriously. She created a master plan to get rid off her niece, so that she could keep the throne. Her excuse was that the Lunars loved her. And yet she would not let them see her without her glamour because she didn’t like being pitied (which is something I can understand, though it has its limits). And all she could come up with was to have the young princess burn? Bat shit crazy, I’m telling you.
But just because I couldn’t feel any empathy toward Levana doesn’t mean I didn’t like this book. Any piece of book related to the Lunar Chronicles is something I would enjoy. And even more so, pieces of how we arrived to the stories of Cinder, Scarlet and the others. It was really great to see how Levana became who she was as we know her in the rest of the series, and I really enjoyed that we also got to see some background on other characters like Sybil Mira, and even Cinder, Winter and Jacin even though they were just kids in Fairest. It was also great to learn more about Channary, who is nothing like her daughter Selene. And finally, I really enjoyed the fact that we got to see more of the Lunar Court, through the eyes of someone else. It was a really interesting addition to the rest of the series.
Overall, I would say Fairest was thoroughly enjoyable. It was a really interesting book, in that it showed a really complex character, whom we can’t help but feel bad for at least at one point in the story, though in the end, her actions are unforgivable. I really liked this book, though probably not as much as the rest of the series, which is why I only gave it four and not five stars…
Definitely recommended to fans of the Lunar Chronicles, to read in publishing order (between Cress and Winter) or after them all if you prefer! Don’t read it as a prequel, though, because it would most likely spoil you for the other books!