Fairest: The Lunar Chronicles: Levana's Story

Marissa Meyer
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.  Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.


Reviewed: 2018-05-07
When I started reading The Lunar Chronicles, I did not know what I was in for. I knew they were retelling’s of popular fairy tales but I had no idea the plots or story lines. So when it came time for me to read Fairest, the back story of the evil Queen Levana, I did not think that it was a necessary addition in the story. But I’m pretty sure I was wrong. I thought this was going to be a back story of how Queen Levana became so evil and I did not want to have any sympathy for her because she’s clearly very evil and I do not like her. And while this is Queen Levana’s story and it sort of explains why she is evil, I kind of enjoyed it. Marissa Meyer’s writing is still amazing in this one and while I really did not care to know Queen Levana’s history, I found myself wanting to get to the end of the book to see what happens. Levana grows up with her older sister Channary. Their parents die when Levana is still a teenager and Channary becomes Queen. The two sisters do not get along very well. Levana seems to think that Channary is a terrible Queen and that she, herself, would make a better one. Levana has her sights set on a royal guard, Evret, but he is already married and expecting a child. But that does not stop Levana. We get to find out how the plague is started and they talk briefly of using the Shell’s for the antidote. We also get to see the build up of the wolf-hybrids. I hated how Levana and Channary used their powers to get what they want. And of course we learn a little bit more on why Levana uses her glamour to hide her looks from everyone. We also get to see Princess Selene and Princess Winter in their younger ages and kind of see their back story. Levana is crazy and so disturbing. While understandable because her parents did not show any love to Levana or her sister, her need to find love is just too much. Reading some of the parts between Levana and Evret were so awkward and I felt so bad for him. So I may have only given this one a 3 star rating, but I did find it enjoyable to read about Levana’s past. I just did not enjoy as much as I thought. But I do recommend others who really enjoy The Lunar Chronicles to check this one out as well.
Reviewed: 2017-12-07
4.25-4.5 stars
Initial Impressions 1/29/15: Well my Goodreads rating may only show four stars but SIIIIGGGHHH my heart is happy and whole with more Lunar Chronicles in my life. I loved the story and I ALWAYS love getting love backstory in my favorite worlds, especially finding out what makes the villains tick.
Levana was fascinating. I felt bad for her and horrified by her at the same time. It was so interesting to see how her history really shaped her life and her way of thinking. I really pitied her and I wished I could reach out to help her before everything started spiraling terribly out of control.
I LOVED the name drops & little glimpses of the other characters that we've met in previous novels (or I guess later in the timeline) and it just made my heart melt! I also really loved getting to know more about Winter's history since I know so little about her. I can't WAIT for her story. (And no, I did not read the teaser chapters because I CANT HANDLE IT.)

Full review posted HERE on The Book Addict's Guide 2/25/15: Ahhh, FAIREST. Just what I needed tie me over until WINTER hits the shelves in November this year! I don’t always read ALL of the novellas that are published, but of course I was going to read a Lunar Chronicles novella and was especially excited to find out more about Queen Levana! She’s pretty terrifying in the books so I was especially anxious to see her history and how she ended up the way she is now.

The first thing I can say about FAIREST? Yeah. Levana is certainly crazy… BUT she didn’t have it easy either. I’m not saying that excuses the way she acts, but she’s had some majorly catastrophic and scarring events (oops, no pun intended but there you have it) happen to her and it seriously messed her up. Things also went down at a young age too so these traumatic events really affected Levana long before she was even close to being in a position of power, or even wanting that position. I definitely still fear her but it also made me pity her. Sometimes these kind of novellas sort of justify who someone is in the present story line and while I don’t think Levana is justified in her actions, I do think I understand her a lot more!

Another thing I really loved was seeing all of the other characters in Levana’s story and exactly how she’s tied to them all. It was really interested to see some of the title characters pop up, along with their friends and family and I got little chills and thrills seeing their names there! I think the most interesting for me was actually Channary. I may need to re-read everything again ASAP (kidding, that’s already in the works so I KNOW I will) but for some reason I don’t remember mention of how horrible she was! She was a terrible older sister to Levana and I really wonder how Levana would have ended up if it weren’t for Channary. I’m going to have to hunt down mentions of her in my re-reads!

FAIREST is very much Levana’s story so it’s not a major point in the series as far as plot goes, but I do still think it’s an important story for fans of the series to read. We learn a lot about the Lunar Queen and there’s also a LOT of Winter’s history in here which I was very excited to see since I don’t really know that much about her yet. There were still a few surprises though and it just goes to show you that there’s always more to learn about everyone!

I had such a blast reading FAIREST and that both filled the void and made me even more hungry for more of this series! I loved falling back into this world for a short time to keep my heart whole before WINTER probably chews it up and spits it out in November. In a good way! I CAN’T WAIT!
Reviewed: 2017-01-09
A very interesting look at Queen Levana and just how deep her delusions truly run. I actually found it more interesting to learn about Queen Channary, and feel she wasn't quite as bad as anyone made her out to be (but still not good, by any means). It is an interesting display of long-term family dysfunction and the effects on the children raised in that environment. Enjoyed little nods of continuity, like the references about Jacin and Cress.
Reviewed: 2016-11-01
Reviewed: 2016-07-26
Eh. It was an interesting background for the main villain. I'm glad she was made a bit sympathetic but not all of her crazy was explained in a way that made you feel bad for her. She's still a horrible person. Good for anyone who enjoyed the series. Can't wait for the next one. Best part was the preview chapters for the last one for sure.
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