Fairest: A Book Review

Posted February 19, 2015 by Carlisa in Book Reviews / 3 Comments

Fairest: A Book ReviewFairest by Marissa Meyer
Also by this author: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #3.5
Published by Feiwel & Friends on January 27, 2015
Genres: Fairytale, Fantasy, YA
Pages: 222
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

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

Ah! I am so happy with Fairest. Happy in a “Oh my gosh, I hate Levana so much more now” kind of way. It’s not technically a part of the Cinder canon (aka CinderScarletCress, and [I’m so excited!] Winter), but it gives you insights into the past three and most probably into the third…Let me scratch that, it will give you insights into the third. I had so many “Oh, wow so that explains it” moments. Let me tell you what I think about this book.

The Good

First off, the cover. The cover is amazing in a “I can’t tell if this is creepy or beautiful” type of way. The iconic mirror. The creepy yet totally symbolic veil. The crown of wire and sinisterness. And the flames, eh? They won’t mean anything to you until you read the book.

The characterization of Levana. Ah! I realize I keep saying “Ah!” but it’s my real reaction and I cannot tell a lie. Anyways, the characterization was so good. I love seeing different sides of the story and in this we literally get to see the face of Levana that has been hidden in the other three novels. She is this evil, hidden queen that does not really have a personality in the first three books. All we know is that we hate her. AND NOW I KNOW WHY I HATE HER. I literally hate her so much. But I also strangely sympathized with her in some parts…and then I hated her again. Mostly I hated her. Anyways, you get the point. Meyer had my feelings about Levana wrapped around her finger.
Also, I was worried about it being some Maleficent type of evil character (don’t get me wrong, I love Maleficent), where you think she’s evil, but really she’s just misunderstood and we come out to love her. Not the case. Misunderstood? Yes. Still a crazy, evil lunatic? Also yes.

Winter Preview. Uh, yes. They have the first few chapters of the final book of the Cinder series, Winter, at the end of the novel. You see Winter, some first friendship-turned-love, and, of course, you get an execution by the one, the only Queen Levana. All in this excerpt.


The Bad

There isn’t much to say about this. I think I’ve given four stars to all of the Cinder series, but I can’t completely place why they’re not fives for me. I think in this one specifically what holds me back is the lack of a real plot. This novel is supposed to be more of a character analysis than a real part of the series (I totally get that), but it did lack the action that the other novels held. Personally, I really enjoy character development so this didn’t bother me to a point that it lowered my rating significantly, if at all.
Also, just a small thing but Levana’s older sister, Channary, kind of drove me crazy in a way that was never explained. The sisterly cycle of craziness? I don’t know.


Read the book. If you’ve enjoyed the Cinder series, you’ll love this book. If you haven’t read the Cinder series, then you need to kick it into gear because they’re fantastic. And for those people that didn’t like the Cinder series…let me know in the comments because I want to know why!

Bravo, Marissa Meyer! Bravo!

[Side note: Even though this is technically a prequel, I don’t recommend reading it before you read the others in the series. It would give away major spoilers and I think it’s supposed to be read in the order they were published in.]


  • Christina T

    I felt some sympathy for Levana too but it didn’t last long because of her behavior. It does help to understand the kind of twisted family and society that Levana came from. I was surprised by Channary. I never had that picture of her character from reading the other books.

    I didn’t like this one as much as the regular books in the Lunar Chronicles and that is partly because Levana is the main character and she is so unlikable. I did feel bad for Sir Evret and his wife. His story was just so sad and I can’t wait to read about Winter. I feel like I need to reread the books before the final one is released to better understand what is going on with Winter.

    • Thanks for your comment! Yeah I agree, my sympathy didn’t last long either. And I also want to reread the series before Winter comes out!

      Which of the three were your favorite?

      • Christina T

        I’d need to reread Cinder to decide! I think I liked Cress more than Scarlet.