Review: Fairest by Marissa Meyer

January 30, 2015 4 stars, Book Review 23 ★★★★

Review: Fairest by Marissa MeyerFairest by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #0.1
Published by Feiwel & Friends on January 27, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Science fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 272
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon
My Reviews in this series: Cinder, Scarlet , Glitches, The Queen's Army, Cress

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.

There are no mirrors on these walls

For current fans of The Lunar Chronicles series, Fairest will be a treat to read as we finally get to see Queen Levana’s history and back story all seen from her perspective. The book spans about ten years, from the time she’s 16 into her mid 20’s, with some flashbacks from her childhood. I have to say getting this inside view of how she grew up really puts a cool twist on things and gives me more of a personal connection to her character, tho no sympathy whatsoever no matter some of the awful things she went thru. I think it often happens that the villains of stories are just “evil” for the sake of being evil but with Levana there is demented method to her madness and seeing it first hand from her point of view was great, though bitter and sad as well.

What are we a product of? Nature vs nurture

Levana is an excellent example to use for this old argument of how a person’s character will develop based on their nature or how they are nurtured. She had it rough growing up. Unloving parents, a sadistic older sister who left her mentally, emotionally and physically scarred and being the youngest she was always the shadow of her older sister who would someday be Queen. But in my mind that doesn’t dictate the Orson you choose to be. Do you think the way she was treated while growing up is at fault for the awful things she later does in life? Are those other people to blame for the twisted way her emotions, attachments and ultimately her logic and perception of right and wrong develop? I’m a big believer in that how you are nurtured is not to blame for your faults. True they can have an impact on you but ultimately we as individuals choose what is right and wrong and who we become. Seeing the struggles that Levana goes through and at times even seeing her moments of kindness further solidify my opinion that even she knew she could go about things differently or that she was wrong in the things she did or was doing but her indulgence in her selfishness ultimately always wins out.

Into the mind of a psychopathic megalomaniac!

Fairest was a fantastic origin story for Levana to give us a deeper feel for her character. I was admittedly very sad that the book was only 220 pages and the remainder of the book was the first 3 chapters of Winter. Ultimately though that was actually a really good length given over to her story. So either way I was happy to enjoy this addition to The Lunar Chronicles universe. Fans definitely need to read this book but newcomers to the series should not start with Fairest, you should definitely read it as the 4th book as reading it first before Cinder, Scarlet and Cress will spoil key things for you in the other books. Enjoy! I know I definitely did.

Stalk me!

Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
Stalk me!

Latest posts by Tabitha (Pabkins) (see all)

23 Responses to “Review: Fairest by Marissa Meyer”

    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      Marvelous! I hope you have fun at the signing. Hopefully she does a cool Q&A! I went to her very first original launch party in WA back when Cinder came out. (My sister used to live in her town). And then I got to see her on a YA group author signing / panel for Scarlet. She’s so fun in person. Have a blast!

      It was enjoyable but very somber of course.
      Tabitha (Pabkins) recently posted…Review: Fairest by Marissa MeyerMy Profile

  1. Bec @ Readers in Wonderland

    I’m so glad you enjoyed this! It’s been on my wishlist since I heard about it and it’s bound to sit there for a while longer. I can’t wait to see the environment Levana grew up in and what led to her becoming the villain she is in the Lunar Chronicles. The only thing I might have a problem with is the fact that it’s so short! I’ll be left wanting more (and Winter is so far away!)

    Thanks for the great review 🙂
    Bec @ Readers in Wonderland recently posted…Review: I Was Here by Gayle FormanMy Profile

  2. Lynn

    I haven’t read any of these series and it’s had such good reviews but, I’ve decided to just let it go!! I have to many unread books already collected and unfinished series so I’m going to behave!
    Lynn 😀
    Lynn recently posted…Woman’s best friend????My Profile

  3. Kim { Book Swoon }

    Wonderful review! I’m so glad this gave you the insides of the mindset of this famous villianess. Thanks you for clarifying that for us newcomers, it should not be read first, but rather still fourth in the series as to avoids spoilers. Whew!
    Adding to my collection, for a binge read hopefully this year! 🙂
    Kim { Book Swoon } recently posted…Adult Book Review: Hungry Like the Wolf Paige TylerMy Profile

  4. Brigid

    Ugh….I’m the lone reviewer that enjoyed this book, but couldn’t sympathize with Levana. I couldn’t exude her actions, just because of her past and her cruel sister. I did not feel her decisions to manipulate and coerce those around her justified her cruelty could be excused; whether it’s because of her parents, her sister, or her presumed mental illness.
    Brigid recently posted…Review: Fairest by Marissa MeyerMy Profile

  5. YvonneJ

    As a fan of this series I’m really looking forward to reading this but I’m probably going to wait to see if the library gets it as an ebook or digital audiobook.

  6. Jessica @ Rabid Reads

    I’m totally with you on nature vs. nurture. Yeah, sometimes bad things happen, and yeah, sometimes it’s really hard to get over those things. But once you’re an adult, you don’t get to use that excuse anymore–time to grow up and stop acting like a child. But you already know that this book didn’t make Levana a sympathetic character to me 😉 Still . . . it was wicked good.