Wednesday, 28 January 2015
Review: Fairest by Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: January 27th, 2015
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #0.5
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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.
I went into Fairest expecting to increase my hatred of Levana ten fold. And I sure did. She's a cruel women. But something I wasn't expecting to feel for her was heart break. In the first three books of The Lunar Chronicles we see how terrible and what a tyrant of a ruler Levana is. She's manipulative
and obviously cares nothing for human life. Nobody even knows what she looks like. Levana glamours herself into what she feels like looking like at that specific time. Beauty is everything to her. Which reading through Fairest you come to really understand why.
The one thing that Levana is very lacking in is love. She never had anybody care for her growing up. Her parents, although we don't meet them, were into anything but their children. Her older sister is a whole different piece of work. Channary has no care for the political side of being Queen. She wants to be seen as fun. So she giggles and flirts her way through her people. Channary is flawlessly beautiful. That is something that Levana continually faults her for. Beauty is everything to Levana. It is the first thing she notices and begins to deconstruct when she meets somebody. It's a pretty terrible way to live, but from watching Channary constantly undermining her and calling her an ugly duckling, you understand why beauty is everything to Levana.
There are times when Levana shows some sort of compassion and possibly heart. But it's never the right sort of compassion. It's always heavily sedated in her own backwards plan and reasoning. Which can come back to her lack of understanding in what love really means. Levana feels that she loves one of the palace guards so deeply. She knows they are meant to be together. But he's married with a very pregnant wife(you might guess where this is going). When the devastating happens to him Levana is there to comfort him. Well in her own way. She thinks that she's offering consoling words. But they're not. Her words are all wrong. Levana just doesn't get it. Like I mentioned earlier, it is a bit heart breaking to see her not understand the difference between right and wrong. But her actions quickly take away any of those feelings I had for her. It's another reason why I love a great villain. They can be the most complex and intriguing characters. Levana definitely encompasses both those traits. It's fantastic to read about.
As is the case with a lot of evil rulers, they weren't necessarily evil to the core. Seeing Levana in her earlier teen years it was easy to notice that her surroundings and family had everything to do with her becoming the evil Queen she is throughout The Lunar Chronicles. She watched her parents put on a show for their people. A total loveless marriage with mistresses and "boy toys". Levana sees that as a normal marriage. Channary bullied her. Levana was a lonely child who grew into an even lonelier adult. It's one of those situations where just one true friend could have made the difference in the world for her. But there wasn't that person for her. Levana cared about nothing expect being an exceptional Queen. It took a lot for her to get there. And none of it pretty. As we see by the people that got in her way. Levana is an evil, cruelly manipulative women and ruler.
I know a lot of us were disappointed when we heard the release of Winter was being pushed back and its place we would receive a novella about Levana instead. Sure, it sucked, I was(and still am) beyond antsy to get my hands on Winter. But Fairest adds a lot to the story. It's not some silly fill-in novella. Levana plays a huge part in our heroines journey. She is the villain. Fairest gives readers the insight into how Levana came to be the way she is. Which has already changed some of my understanding and views from the earlier books in the series. I also think this insight will come to the forefront when we really meet Winter in Winter. Fairest shows just how much Levana destroyed Winter's life and I can't wait to see how Winter will get her revenge. Winter will be a thrilling conclusion and Fairest did an excellent job of increasing my excitement for its release.