Book Review : Fairest by Marissa Meyer

March 30, 2015 Book review 21 ★★★★

I’m so glad that my book club gave me the push I needed to get back into The Lunar Chronicles by choosing this as our next book club read.  I gushed over Cinder and somehow just never got back to reading the rest of the series.  But just 5 minutes into Fairest, I knew I was going to binge read the lot of them.

Book Review : Fairest by Marissa MeyerFairest by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #3.5
Published by Macmillan on January 27th 2015
Genres: Fairy Tales & Folklore, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 272
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon

Mirror, mirror, on the wall.  Who is the Fairest of them all? Pure evil has a name, hides behind a mask of deceit, and uses her "glamour" to gain power. But who is Queen Levana? Long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress in The Lunar Chronicles, Levana lived a very different story--a story that has never been told . . . until now.


First Line of Fairest by Marissa Meyer:

“She was lying on a burning pyre, hot coals beneath her back.”

My Thoughts on Fairest by Marissa Meyer:

Before I even started Fairest, I made my usual detour via the Recaptains blog to refresh my memory on what exactly went on in Cinder.  But when I got there and started reading, I realised that I did actually remember most of it.  I read so many series that it’s hard to retain all the details but Marissa Meyer’s world was so unique that it proved to be an exception for me.

Fairest is actually book 3.5 in the series (after Cinder, Scarlet and Cress) but it’s a prologue so I knew I’d be fine just jumping straight in.  It features Queen Levana’s story and illustrates how she developed into the evil queen that we encounter in Cinder.  And it did a great job of showing just how ruthless she is but also highlighting some of the more vulnerable sides of her personality.

My favourite thing is that it wasn’t wishy-washy.  I still HATE Queen Levana; she will stomp all over others to get what she wants and she is power hungry.  However we got to see just why she is that way and I do understand why she went down the route she did.  I don’t excuse her, feel sorry her or even feel any real empathy for her but I do get it.

I love that the author dished us up a thoroughly mean character and then showed us the times when Queen Levana could have gone another way.  I could even picture an alternative life that she would have had, one that would probably have made her a lot happier but that wouldn’t have been half as entertaining to read about!

I’m also not a fan of novellas as I hate how little world building you get.  Not so here, ok I already had the basics of the world building set from Cinder but the details of life on Luna are colourful and really captured my imagination.  There are shady politics, exciting landscape descriptions, tasty food, royalty rituals like funerals and so much more goodness to get stuck into and layer by layer you just zone into life on Luna.

There is a sort of love story in this one and it worked so well.  Definately not a mushy, swoony romance, it’s more of a one way street romance but it was intriguing to read about.  Especially as there was potential at times to become something more, something deeper and more meaningful.  I loved that it was dark and depressing instead.

Overall this one was a winner.  Which is surprising as it’s a novella but also not surprising as it’s Marissa Meyer.  But as much as I loved it; the main thing I’m happy about is that I now have a weekend of Scarlet and Cress ahead of me.


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: four-stars


Who should read Fairest by Marissa Meyer?

If you are already a fan of the series, I’m sure this is already on your read list or your TBR so you don’t need encouragement from me.  If you haven’t read Cinder yet, then you need to get on that!  This is a fab fantasy YA series (one of the first that ignited my love of fantasy) and you need to read it if you like great world-building, fairytale retellings and memorable characters.  Fans of authors such as Marie Rutkoski and Samantha Shannon should also enjoy.


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21 Responses to “Book Review : Fairest by Marissa Meyer”

  1. Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library

    I’m really looking forward to reading this series and I love that even though it’s been awhile since you’ve read Cinder you still could recall the details. That says good things about the author and the world she’s built. I’ve really liked everything I’ve read about Fairest and your review makes me want to read it even more. This is going to have to happen soon!
    Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library recently posted…The Dead Play On – Review

    • trish

      You should make it happen Katherine, it is a hyped series and I think it totally warrants all the hype. The world building is amazing.

    • trish

      I’ve finished Scarlet now and loved it. And Cress has gotten off to a great start! I’m so in love with this series 🙂

    • trish

      Well I was pretty late to the party too! But you should join in the fun soon, it’s too good a series to miss out on!

    • trish

      I know Amy, it sucked that you couldn’t join in properly. I love this series and am so glad that it was our pick this time.

    • trish

      I know I was really impressed too that it seemed a vital part of the series, pretty impressive for such a short book

    • trish

      You need to read them Dee! They are EPIC! And didn’t you win some fantastic Scarlet swag last year, you will love it even more once you read Scarlet.

  2. Berls

    This is the only one I haven’t read yet, but I’m really hoping to read it this month. I’m so glad that we don’t come away liking Lavana – I want to keep her an evil, bad guy. But it will be cool to see how she ended up that way. Great review – enjoy Scarlet and Cress (Cress is my favorite so far)!
    Berls recently posted…A Witch Before Dying by Heather Blake

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