Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Review: Fairest: Levana's Story
Author: Marissa Meyer
Published: January 27th, 2015
Hardcover, 222 pages
5 Gold Stars
(summary from Goodreads)
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.
It takes a certain kind of author to make me feel sorry for a villain. Marissa has woven a tale that stands on its own in the wonderful series of hers. The Lunar Chronicles blew me away from the very start and Queen Levana has been a terribly evil villain from the beginning. It just got worse the more she discovered about Cinder, the more Scarlet hid from her and more Cress defied her. So we go back to the beginning, before Levana was queen, before Cinder or any of the others were even born, and started to learn about what made Levana tick.
Her life starts out horribly. Her older sister and future queen, Channery, is the most awful older sister. She uses Levana and destroys everything good about her. Levana hides her true face behind glamours, and hides her loving feelings for the one guard who always seems to pay attention to her. The closer Channery gets to the throne, the more Levana seethes beneath the surface. The fonder she grows for her guard, the more cruel Channery becomes. So when she dies and Levana takes over the throne until Princess Selena, Channery's daughter, is old enough, things change for the worse. Levana is a good ruler. She wants what's best for Luna and will do anything to protect her country. But she is not the queen, she is only holding the throne and it isn't long before thats not enough for her and she plans a way to get rid of the princess. Anyone who has read the rest of the series will see how this plays into it, and I loved seeing the back story come to life. Levana marries the guard and in so becomes the step-mother to baby Winter, someone we will soon learn more about in the final chapter of this series.
Levana's life is one of horror, deceit and unrequited love. Though she marries, she is never loved for who she is and continuously tries to be someone she is not. She takes her anger out on Luna, on Earth and on anyone who gets in her way. By the end, she is the cruel woman we know and hate, but the way she got there is heartbreaking. It's hard not to feel sorry for her and to understand why she is now the way she is, even though that person is an awful human being. Marissa created so much more drama, such a bigger world and dug me deeper into a story I'm already so far into. There wasn't anything happy about this book, not like the love stories we see in the rest of the novels. I wanted a better ending for Levana, I wanted her to get the love she wanted and to live happily ever after, but then we wouldn't have a villain or a story, so I know it will make Winter fantastic to read. I can't wait to see more of Levana, get to know Winter more, and see how this series plays out. An amazing addition to the this series and a book I won't soon forget. It was short, but boy did it pack a punch.
"The guilt and the horror and the memory of that awful smell might stay with her forever, but she was the queen."
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