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.
I have been looking forward to this book for so long. The Lunar Chronicles is my favourite series at the moment and has been for a real long time now. When I saw that the release of Winter was being pushed back I could have thrown my phone against the wall. Luckily I kept scrolling and saw this little gem of a novella would be something to get me through. AND IT WAS ABOUT MY FAV PERSON.
Just a heads up, this review will contain teensy spoilers from the rest of the series. If you are planning to start this series you should start with Cinder first, even though this is technically a prequel.
Queen Levana. Oh, how I’ve loved to hate this psychopathic villain. Throughout the whole series she’s been cold, cruel, and calculating and it was such a relief to see that somewhat remains the same. I love knowing the bad guy isn’t pure evil but I’m a bit over them redeeming themselves.
“You killed a million people, PLEASE DON’T MAKE ME LOVE YOU!”
That didn’t happen this time, WAHAHAHAHA.
The book opens with a sixteen year old princess who has some serious issues. Her parents have just died and she’s more concerned about what to wear to the funeral than the fact they’re gone. She glamours a jewelled tear onto her face so Luna knows she’s in mourning and she thinks this is totally normal behaviour.
It’s amazing how Meyer writes this character. She is literally insane. And as the book goes on, her thoughts become more and more intense and each decision she makes is justified in her mind. There are a few instances (where she’s planning something particularly nasty) that she claims the thought came to her by itself and got so loud and detailed she couldn’t ignore it. Had to go through with it.
As messed up as Levana is, it’s nothing to her bonkers sister, Channary. Having a short fuse and not being able to be told ‘no’ seems to be a trait that runs in the family. Channary is responsible, in large part, for who Levana turned out to be. And to make the nut-job even more dangerous she was a total idiot. Selene made a lucky escape.
Speaking of Selene, there’s a part you’re waiting for during this whole book (due to it playing a huge part in Cinder) and when it happens. Wow. I knew the basics of what happened and I still felt sick as I read it in more detail.
But Evret. Poor, poor, Evret. I still can’t quite believe what Levana did to him. That was unbelievably messed up and dealt with some dark and sick content for a YA book. I won’t go into too much but reading from Levana’s point of view it didn’t seem THAT bad because of her simple justifications for her actions. Then you think back over it all. Then you realise what actually happened. Then you vomit in your mouth just a little bit.
I really don’t think I could have loved this book more. Levana was both the protagonist and antagonist in her own story. After reading, I love her even more because I understand the motivations behind her actions. And while you can’t help but pity her, she’s not a character you want to see succeed. You’d rather see her throw herself into the lake just so she can have some peace.
Despite the book taking place over quite a few years I got the impression Levana never really moved beyond her sixteen-year-old self. She is willing to do whatever she has to for what she wants, she throws tantrums when things don’t go her way. She’s completely unhesitant about unleashing letumosis, and when it comes to Earth there is a possessive need to take it. Not just to resupply Luna with resources, but because she wants all Earthens to both love and fear her.
The one complaint I have is I wanted so much more! Two-hundred-and-something pages just wasn’t enough for this character. It was the most twisted love story I’ve ever read and I’m still struggling to work out if the love was between her and Evret, her and Solstice, her and Luna, or her and power. When she got fixated on something she was just so damn obsessed until BAM! she moved onto the next thing.
So 100% worth the read but start with the other books as there is a level of expectation from Meyer that the reader knows who people are. You wouldn’t be confused if you started here but there are a few side characters you wouldn’t care about, and there are a couple of spoilers for the rest of the series if you were planning on reading it.