Novella Review: Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles #0.5) by Marissa Meyer
Note: May contain spoilers for the first three books in the series.
Apparently I had NO idea what I was getting into when I started Fairest. I expected the normal villain flashback with the sob story, after which the main character goes absolutely cray and basically avenges herself on the whole world. Fairest kind of followed those guidelines, but only just barely. Queen Levana's story is one that will have your heart pounding in terror more often than it will get your feels on, but either way, this is a story you definitely will regret missing out on.
Even as a child, Levana was completely delusional. Yes, I understand that as a baby, her life sucked. And when I say it sucked, I mean it SUCKED. Her sister, Channary, was probably the worst person in the world, and knowing how Levana came by her ugliness/disfigurements was the one part of the story I almost cried at. As it was, I just sat there in shock, my eyes wide open, wondering why the heck I was putting myself through this crazy (though don't get me wrong, it's definitely the best kind of crazy). But anyways, where was I? Oh yes, Levana was completely delusional.
When the synopsis revealed that Fairest was a tale about love, I figured that maybe Levana was jilted or betrayed by the man she loved, and that's why she is the evil askdhgfalkd she is today. While it still wouldn't have excused her behavior, it would have at least allowed readers to understand where she was coming from. Unfortunately for everybody, that is not at all what happened. In fact, Levana was the one person I hated most in this book. As a child, she was unreasonable, and stole people's lives from them in order to live out her dreams. As a young woman, she KILLED BABIES...but you all knew that. The funny thing is - okay, no, it's not really funny - all this rage and jealousy and pent up everything inside Levana, it's all because of her vanity, or to be more precise, how much she hates her deformities. I mean, I've heard people start wars over beauty, but never ugliness. Sorry, that was a bad joke.
Fairest is a novella that will have you gasping in shock and getting heart attacks every other chapter. This villain's story is unlike any I have ever read before, and as shocking as that is, it only makes the novel that much better (I kind of hate myself for not realizing that anything written by Meyer should never be underestimated). Fans of The Lunar Chronicles will definitely want to pick this up as soon as possible, as Levana's story is as intriguing as it is despicable, and luckily, it's only 222 pages, so it's not long enough to kill you. But DEFINITELY check this book out as soon as possible. Really, you will NOT regret this foray into Levana's mind.
Book Synopsis: In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.
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.