Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Monday 9 January 2017

Marissa Meyer
Genre(s): Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Published: January 27th 2015

Pages: 222
Rating: 5 stars

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.

Fairest had me torn between feeling sorry for Levana and hating her even more. There's no denying her tragic backstory and troubled life, but that doesn't excuse her actions. It makes them more understandable and allows us to get inside her head, but it doesn't make her any less of a monster.

Situations like Levana's go one of two ways: things can change for the better, or things can change for the worse. Levana's jealousy and need for vengeance took things to the extreme, turning her into a villain.

In this prequel to The Lunar Chronicles, a lot of a questions are answered. We learn why Levana is so obsessed with maintaining her glamour and making sure no one sees through it, but we also learn more about Luna. The relationship between Channary and her sister is explored, highlighting the resentment Levana harboured for her which no doubt led to her turning into the queen she is. Her burning desire to never be like her sister has her turn into a worse version.

While I cannot forgive Levana for all the murdering, torturing, and manipulating she's done, I can offer her sympathy. Not a lot, but some. Her childhood, lacking in parental figures and friends, constantly being chided and told she'd never be good enough by the thaumaturges was beyond unpleasant. Meyer manages to capture the repercussions of this neglect perfectly in shaping Levana's character.

The writing, as usual, is fantastic. It flows well and has a perfect balance between the descriptions of luxury and Levana's poisonous thoughts. The prose draws you in, immersing you in the Lunar courts, creating the world so vividly you have trouble picturing it.

Once again, Meyer has managed to create something wonderful. But after three books that just kept getting better and better, what do you expect?


  1. I completely agree 100%. This was such a chilling and eerie book and I'm glad you enjoyed it as much as I did. It really shows Marissa's talent for understanding psychology and diving into her character's heads. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! <3

    1. Thank you, Zoe! I wish we had more snippets like this, as I'd love to properly get into the heads of all of my favourites - and I also never want this series to end. :P

  2. I completely agree with your review! I know there were a number of people who called this "unnecessary" and just Meyer's trying to evoke sympathy for a "terrible" character, but I disagree. It answers a lot of questions and creates this rich (and twisted) back story for a character that has so much hate. There has to be a reason for that hate and I am glad Meyer's shared where it came from.

    1. I agree with you - I like that we're not just told 'this is the bad guy, hate her' we've been given the option to make up our own minds about her. Because yeah, she's evil, but when you learn about the abuse she suffered it makes you step back and think... should I hate her this much? Feels a bit like victim blaming to do so, but then I don't think you should sympathise with villains either. A very interesting dilemma to add to the series!


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