Series: The Lunar Chronicles 0.1
Author: Marissa Meyer
Release Date: January 27, 2015
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Age Group: Young Adult
Add it: Goodreads
Page Count: 220 pages
Rating: 5/5 stars
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.
I can't the words to express how much I love Marissa Meyer. Every time I finish one of her books, I'm overwhelmed with her brilliance. All of her stories, you can tell they are perfectly mapped out. The storyline just flows effortlessly and I can't help but sit back in awe. I'm absolutely in love with The Lunar Chronicles series and everything about it!
In Fairest, we travel back in time to when Queen Levana was fifteen year old. We get her back story, her family dynamic and how she came to be who she is today. I was kind of meh about the release of this book, but after devouring it in less than 24 hours, let me tell you: It. Did. Not. Disappoint. We also get to meet her sister, Channary and a lot of other mentionable characters that show up throughout the series, like Winter, Jacin, Sybil, Selene. (Do you hear that weird squealing sound? Yeah that's me).
Levana is desperate for love, to be loved. Her parents didn't love her (they certainly didn't love each other), and the countless years of abuse she received from her older sister is appalling. So when we find out that she is crazy in love with one of her father's guards, Evret Hayle, I wasn't surprised in the least. And foolishly, I went to google something about The Lunar Chronicles series (I thought I was safe!) and I ended up spoiling myself *grumbles intensely* but it didn't stop be from enjoying the story.
When I was reading, I couldn't stop comparing young Levana to Cress. I couldn't figure out why, until I realized: Cress and Levana both want to be loved. But that's where the similarity ends. While they both want a passionate, undying love, Cress doesn't go through the same means as Levana to get it.
Levana has a warped view of love. She only understands the concept of love and wants desperately to have that love. Can you blame her? She grew up with (excuse my french, but) such a fucked up family that she doesn't know how love even works. What compassion and empathy even is. Levana manipulates Evret into falling in love with her, only a few short weeks after his wife dies and she doesn't see how wrong that is. He is barely given tim to mourn, and she expects him to already be in love with her, thinking Yes, the fates have brought us together, they are finally giving us a chance but she doesn't understand how deep his love for his dead wife is. By the end, I felt really bad for Levana.
Do you learn to empathize with Levana throughout the story? Absolutely, but does that still make her likable? Absolutely not, and I really liked that.
I really, really, really liked getting to meet her older sister, Channery. I didn't expect her to be the spoiled royal she turned out to be, but she did surprise me. And all the other characters! Baby Winter, Selene (squeals!!!!), and Jacin! Seeing them in baby/toddler form made me even more excited for Winter, the last book in The Lunar Chronicles series coming out at the end of the year. (I cry every day we get closer closer to the release date. I'm not the only one, right?)