Review: Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Series: The Lunar Chronicles #3.5
Publication Date: January 27, 2015
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 222 (Hardcover)
Source: Gifted
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.
~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

I've been sitting on this reviewer since January 25th, and the reason for that is because I can't word. I just don't know how to describe my thoughts in regards to this book. My good friend Bekka said it ten times better than I ever could. I enjoyed this book a lot, but I also had a lot of issues with it in the sense that I didn't think it was entirely necessary.

Really, my issue is with Levana's back-story and that's not to say that her back-story is bad because it is not. It's just that I loved her as a villain in the other works in this series, and her back-story both helps her and ruins her. I totally understand why she is evil now. Her evil older sister kind of ruined her life for no true reason and abused her physically, mentally, and emotionally. So her cruelty is totally understandable, but watching her grow and become more and more twisted was horrifying and unsettling to read as I flipped the pages.

The evil Levana that we know today was born out of something we all want: a desire to be loved. But she took her actions so far that the pit in my stomach grew and grew and grew. She manipulated her chosen love borne out of a childish crush by using glamours and taking away his free will, forcing him to do things that he regretted and ruining his entire reputation in the process. I can honestly say that I was disgusted by how she chose to go about finding that love, and it kind of ruined her back-story a little bit for me. I'm unsure exactly what I imagined when I thought of her, but this wasn't exactly it, though it does add to understanding her desire to be married in a weird, twisted way. Do you see why it's so hard for me to word right now?

With that in mind, I am not disappointed or upset. I really enjoyed this book. Sure, it was unsettling, but it was very well written and my level of uncomfortableness just goes to show how talented Meyer is at writing deliciously dark and twisted tales. I enjoyed this and found it easy to flip the pages at a lightning fast speed on my daily commute home from my internship, and I look forward to book four now more than ever. But my main issue with this book is that it did change the way I view Levana slightly and while it gave us a little bit of set-up for Winter's story in the final book in the series, it wasn't entirely necessary. Levana, one of my favorite villains ever, was affected by a book that I loved but don't really think had to be brought into existence, and I kind of wish that I discovered her story in a different way while we discovered Winter's full story in book four.

I would say that this is worth the read, though, upon completion of Cress. It should not be read before its intended spot in the series because you won't be able to appreciate a lot of the depth in this book since it covers decades spanning Levana's childhood to the evil queen we love to hate today.

4 stars



  1. I have been dying to read this series. I'm glad you liked this one a lot. I still can't believe that I haven't started the series.

    Great Review!

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

    1. Thank you! And side note...YOU REALLY HAVE TO START THIS SERIES!

  2. This book is just so difficult to quantify. Like, we all KNOW Levana is evil - we're all expecting her to be shitty. But I guess leaving things to the imagination will always make things scarier than the reality of a situation. I mean, I wasn't /disappointed/ but it wasn't quite what I expected either.

    I did love the writing and ease of reading that Marissa Meyer possesses. I just really love everything about this series, so while Fairest wasn't my favorite either, I still appreciate it, just like you.

    Thinking back on all the horrible things Levana did, especially to her "husband," just... ew. Ew ew ew. She's gone from a villain I really enjoyed to a villain I feel no connection to or sympathy for. Which is fine, but different from what I was expecting.

    Seems like I can't word right now either.

    1. THIS COMMENT. Idk what else to say. I can't word in regards to this book, like, at all.

  3. Huh! I'm in line to get Cinder from the library, and I'm really eager to be able to have something to contribute to your review. I'm so curious about what I'll think of her.

    1. Hah you'll really get to know Levana in books 2 and 3, and this is her back story, so it'll be interesting to see what you think!

  4. I'm quite amazed that you were able to write a full review for Fairest! I settled for doing a mini-review, since I didn't have nearly as much to say about it. While I did like getting to know Levana's history (dark as it is), it was also, well, just even more reason for me to grow to dislike her. I guess that makes sense, considering she's the villain, right?

    1. T'was not an easy review to write! A lot of repetitiveness because I can't word.