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Fairest: The Lunar Chronicles: Levana's Story Kindle Edition
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Plot: Fifteen-year-old Levana Blackburn lives behind the shadow of her beautiful, cruel older sister Channary, who becomes queen of Luna after their parents are brutally murdered. Levana, who is deformed due to an "accident" caused by her sister in their childhood, desperately seeks love and acceptance, and feels that the only way to accomplish that is to disguise her ugliness by a beautiful glamour. She falls in love with a loyal guard who is married, and his wife is pregnant with their child. Somehow Levana ignores this, and gets it into her head that the guard, Evret Hayle, loves her, even though he makes it clear on numerous occasions that he does not. Levana dismisses this, and uses her Lunar manipulation powers to convince Evret that he does love her, and slowly travels down this dark path, manipulating anyone who stands in her way. And when Channary dies, she leaves Levana as the queen regent, and Channary's baby daughter Selene as the future queen. Now, as the temporary queen of Luna, Levana holds unlimited power, and she stands in nobody's shadow. No one can oppose her... except for the tiny, perceptive baby that will one day inherit the throne. If only Levana could find a way to dispose of Selene, she could rule forever. She will kill off Selene, she will become the permanent ruler of all of Luna, and she will grow so powerful, that eventually she would rise to become Empress of the planet Earth. Levana is determined to succeed in her evil plan, and will forever hide behind her glamour so that she can live free of pain, free of her burden of disfigurement.
But a mirror can tell no lies...
Review: This was sort of an anticipated read for me, considering that I was slightly curious about Queen Levana's past, and what happened in the events leading up to Cinder and the rest of the series. And the novella was mostly enjoyable. I did like how we got small cameos from different characters in the series, such as Cinder, Kai, Jacin, and Winter. I got to learn more about Winter in Fairest, so hopefully that will help when reading the final book. It was also kinda cool that we got to spend some time on Luna, and learn about how the Lunar aristocracy works. I didn't really mind the fact that it was just one long paragraph broken up into sections with no chapter breaks, but I can see how that might irritate someone. I wasn't a fan of Levana's interactions with the other characters, and how her thought process worked. I mean, get over it already! Evret's not into you! There are probably plenty of other unmarried, good-looking Lunar guys AROUND YOUR AGE! (Okay, calming down now. But still.) Levana didn't really interact well with the supporting characters, probably because unlike the rest of the Lunar Chronicles, nobody in Fairest really liked one another, other than Evret, Garrison, Jacin, and Winter. In the Lunar Chronicles, we are dealing with intelligent, respected characters that treat each other as equals, while in Fairest, our protagonist is an obsessive, sheltered princess who is fairly unlikable, and has been alone for most of her life. Even so, I still did see similarities between her and the other main female characters of the series. Both Levana and Cinder are deformed, and are treated horribly and unfairly because of it. Scarlet and Queen Levana share a similar strength and determination to accomplish their goals, and Cress and Levana also share the same naive, daydreamy quality in this book. Finally, both Queen Levana and Princess Winter were raised as Lunar princesses. Other than that, the writing in Fairest was especially descriptive and enticing, and it was really interesting to find out more about an infamous storybook villain's past.
However, while SOME of Levana's actions are somewhat justified by this book, Channary just seemed pure evil. It's hard to believe that this malicious, beauty-obsessed woman is Cinder's MOM.
In conclusion, this isn't the most necessary book in the Lunar Chronicles, but it is an informative novella that ties together nicely with the overall plot of this series. I do recommend reading it, but mostly for the important backstory on Luna and Levana, and not mainly for enjoyment. I do think this will be valuable for Winter, and I can't wait to finish the anticipated finale of the Lunar Chronicles, yet will definitely miss this series.
It is interesting to see things happening and knowing what will become of them, like a man named Dr. Darnel having a shell daughter. Young Winter is also adorable. I never liked the teenage one because of her illusions and imitating a wolf, but the Winter in this book is irresistible. She runs in and out of her stepmother's closet, bringing pairs of shoes to her dad or asks him why it is always a prince that rescues the princess. As you go farther into the book, you see more of how things happened, like Levana burning Selene. Near the end, you read about how Channary, Levana's sister, tortured her by fire, which was a bit confusing at first, because Channary had died, and I didn't see why she was mentioned again.
The end is tragic and sad. This was the most heart-touching book of the Lunar Chronicles for me. The last two pages made me cry. Marissa Meyer is an incredible author and continuously inspires me. This book is worth reading.
About the book, not the story, it didn't have much humor, and it is not as long as it appears. There are no chapters, only little marks between groups of paragraphs, making sections. It is spaced wider than the other books, and there are three chapters from the book Winter. Even though this was written after Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, read it after Winter, too. The proper order is not necessarily the order books were written in.
So, overall, the story is great, but the book could have been a bit longer and had chapters.
“Just one more lie she’d constructed for herself to escape into, never realizing she was welding the bars of her own cage.”
Well. I got some insight in Lavana that honestly I’m not sure I needed. Haha. She is definitely crazy. An interesting read though. To read how she justified her actions to herself. How deep her insanity was.
Honestly reading the things she did were disturbing. How her justifications to herself even sounded ok to her is something I personally will never understand but honestly just reading it kinda creeped me out. Creepy, yet interesting. I think I disliked her more in this than I ever did in the four part series.
Overall I can’t say I liked it considering I don’t like Levana, but I did like having more to the Lunar Chronicles. Seeing a young Winter, seeing that Cinder’s mom was also a terrible person. Haha.
It’s strange, you start to sort of feel bad for Levana and then she does something that completely wipes out your sympathy. That it’s not enough to stretch over her actions, definitely not enough to warrant what she actually does. Most of her pain and insecurities she brought upon herself and what she did to Evret was just. Oh man. Disgusting. Unforgivable. Makes me want to reread the end of Winter.
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