Fairest by Marissa Meyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Another great story from Marissa Meyer this time from the point of view of the baddie.
Fairest is book 3.5 in the Lunar Chronicles and was intended as a bridge book between Cress and Winter. I somehow read them a little out of order and finished Winter before starting this but it probably doesn’t matter too much as this all takes place long before the other books.
Fairest tells the story of Levana and fills in a lot of the details of her childhood and how she became Queen of Luna. For anyone who has read the other books in the series you will already know a lot of it but this is the first time hearing it from Levana’s side. (For those who haven’t read the Lunar Chronicles, they are essentially retellings of classic fairytales with Levana the evil Queen from Snow White.)
I have to say it makes an interesting change to have a story told from the side of the villain. She does some truly terrible things in the other books (and in this one) but for most of this story I felt a lot of sympathy for her. She doesn’t have an easy time of it and comes across as lonely, damaged and desperate for someone to love her. While her actions are wrong you can understand why she acts as she does in both this and Winter, the final book in the series.
I think the “feels” in this book are definitely a mark of the quality of Marissa Meyer’s writing. It is, as always, fantastic and draws you into both the story and the emotions of the characters. I love how she always manages to work in references to the original fairytales while making the story and the world completely her own.
It is fairly short at just over 200 pages which is a pity as I could have quite happily read more about Levana but it’s a quick and enjoyable read. I look forward to seeing what Marissa does in her next series.