Friday, February 20, 2015

Review: Fairest

By Marissa Meyer
Published: January 27, 2015

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.
New York Times –bestselling author Marissa Meyer reveals the story behind her fascinating villain in Fairest, an unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. 

My review:

Fairest is a prequel to the Lunar Chronicles books that introduces Levana as a teen as well as Cinder (Princess Selene) and Winter when they were little. Because this is Levana's story it is dark and Levana is not a likable character though Marissa Meyer did manage to make me feel some sympathy for her. 

Levana suffers a traumatic event when she is little that scars her for life. She comes from a family with a twisted idea of love and family relationships. Her parents were neglectful and horrible rulers and her sister Channery is worse. Levana wants love more than anything and she sets her sights on Sir Evret Hayle, a member of the royal guard who treats her with kindness. Unfortunately there are complications but Levana is used to getting her way. 

As the novel progressed my sympathy for Levana evaporated into horror at her behavior. Even when she gets what she wants (at a terrible cost) it isn't enough. The only truly good characters in the book are Sir Evret and his family. The book takes readers up to the horrifying events of the attempt on Princess Selene's life and Levana's inception of the plot to take over Earth by marrying Prince Kai.

What I liked about this book was the introduction of Winter and learning her background. As this is a series of fairy tale retellings, Levana is the Evil Queen from the fairy tale of Snow White and Winter is cast as Snow White in this version.  I am looking forward to reading the final book in the series, Winter to see how everything turns out and there are some sample chapters of it at the back of Fairest which I enjoyed reading.

While it was interesting to learn more about Levana, it did not make for pleasant reading. There was some discussions on a teen librarian listserv about the appropriateness of this novel for younger teens due to some darker content (instances of what the teen librarians described as "mind rape"). I think readers who are unsure if they would like this book should check it out from the library instead of buying it or consider skipping it altogether if they are concerned about content for younger teens. I think the rest of the series can be enjoyed without getting the background of Levana from Fairest

No comments:

Post a Comment

Reading Extensively is now an award free blog. Thanks for stopping by! Please leave a comment. I enjoy receiving feedback! Due to increase in spam, I've enabled comment moderation. Sorry for any inconvenience!