“Take a Peek” book reviews are short and (possibly) sweet, keeping the commentary brief and providing a little peek at what the book’s about and what I thought. This week’s “take a peek” book:
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.
This slim novel is sure to please fans of the Lunar Chronicles books, finally giving us the backstory of just how Queen Levana ended up so crazy evil. Of course, it will also frustrate fans of the Lunar Chronicles, being so short and including a tease for the next (and final) novel in the series, Winter, due out in November.
In Fairest, we learn about Levana’s horrific childhood with her cruel and deranged sister Channary, and see how Levana, to a certain extent, never stood a chance of being a decent, well-adjusted person. The Lunar ability to create glamours and hide one’s true face is put to full use, as Levana uses a series of mind-tricks in her desperate search for love and happiness. But love that is coerced isn’t love, and Levana’s path from her teen years until the point when her story meshes with the Cinder timeline can be seen as one long, twisted, downward spiral.
There are places where I felt pity for Levana, perhaps even understanding. How could someone raised as she was be expected to turn out with any hint of a moral compass? Still, the sympathy is pretty quickly destroyed as Levana’s mad quest leads her to greater and greater acts of horrifying cruelty and devastation.
The hardcover edition of Fairest includes the first three chapters of Winter, which I decided not to read. I’d rather wait until I have the entire book in my hands!
Fairest answers a lot of questions about Levana’s past and the history of Lunar-Earthen politics and war. If you’ve read the first three books in the series, you’ll absolutely want to read Fairest as well. And for anyone who hasn’t given this series a try yet… jump on board! I was very late to the party, thinking that all the hype around the series couldn’t really hold up, but I was — happily — proven wrong. I really love this series, and can’t wait to read the conclusion… despite hating the idea of getting to the end!
Title: Fairest: Levana’s Story
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication date: January 27, 2015
Length: 222 pages
Genre: Young adult/science fiction