Fairest: The Lunar Chronicles: Levana's Story by Marissa Meyer

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Fairest: The Lunar Chronicles: Levana's Story by Marissa Meyer

Category: Teens
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Tanja Jennings
Reviewed by Tanja Jennings
Summary: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall. Who is the Fairest of Them All? Meyer makes Levana, the nightmarish Queen of The Lunar Chronicles flesh and bone instead of an evil construct. Is she without redemption? If so what made her that way? Is it possible to feel sympathy for a villain? This serves as a strong prelude to the popular dystopian reimagined fairy tale sci fi series. This edition includes the first three chapters of Winter as a tempting taster to impatient readers.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 272 Date: March 2015
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781250069665

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Meyer’s dedication in this prequel to The Lunar Chronicles is to her fans, The Lunartics. This book is especially for voracious readers who have devoured Cinder, Scarlet and Cress and are desperately awaiting Winter, though it works as a standalone too. According to the publisher’s note Queen Levana is 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.

What makes Fairest different is that, instead of merely providing an interesting back story for a typical cookie cutter evil character, it raises deep, philosophical questions pondering on whether a person is inherently evil. Is it nature or nurture? Does ambition and political chicanery play a part? What about the ideal of beauty? What is Levana’s glamour and why does she crave it? Does an incident in Levana’s early childhood hold the key to her character? Does the behaviour of her sister Channary affect her personality too? Above all Meyer explores the role of love in Levana’s journey. Why are Evret, Solstice and Winter important? Who is Selene? What is love? Who perceives it as lust, passion and power play and who views it as mutual respect, friendship and trust? Can these elements be separated so that love is twisted out of all proportion? What does Levana truly see when she looks in the mirror? Can she be saved from herself? Why does she feel the need to behave the way she does? What seeds does she sow in Fairest which become a cruel reality in The Lunar Chronicles? Why are genetics significant?

Reading this prequel will answer all those questions which neatly segue into the sparkling quartet to follow. Meyer blends elements of fantasy science fiction, fairy tale tropes and political intrigue sprinkled with a dash of romance to create a marvellously imagined world that the reader believes in. Whether you will feel any sympathy for Levana is another matter!

If the idea of a reinvented fairy-tale appeals, mixed with action, romantic attraction and heart stopping moments of tension, start with the wonderful, endlessly inventive and dazzlingly imaginative Cinderfollowed by the equally compelling Scarlet, which ingeniously reinvents another well-known fairy tale. For a taste of inversion try Wolf Won't Bite by Emily Gravett, enter the world of a cryogenic sleeping beauty with A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan, revel in wolf myths in Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce and experience a quirky Western-style steampunk twist in the witty Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon Hale, Dean Hale and Nathan Halerounding off with Arabian fantasy in The Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale. And for the pièce de résistance lose yourself in the beautiful, exquisitely detailed art of the delectable and cleverly subversive The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman.

Buy Fairest: The Lunar Chronicles: Levana's Story by Marissa Meyer at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Fairest: The Lunar Chronicles: Levana's Story by Marissa Meyer at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Fairest: The Lunar Chronicles: Levana's Story by Marissa Meyer at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Fairest: The Lunar Chronicles: Levana's Story by Marissa Meyer at Amazon.com.


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