Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles, #0.5
Before Queen Levana of Luna sought to conquer Earth through deceptive means, she was the youngest daughter of the King and Queen of Luna. When the reigning rulers are found murdered, Levana watches as her sister, Channary, inherits the throne. It isn’t easy living in her sister’s shadow and constantly having to hide her ugliness behind various glamours. Levana isn’t satisfied with her own circumstances and is determined to find happiness through any means necessary.
“Levana had not seen the bodies, but she had seen the bedrooms the next morning, and her first thought was that all that blood would make for a very pretty rouge on her lips.”
Marissa Meyer’s Fairest provides an insightful look at the Lunar Chronicles’ antagonist Queen Levana and one I will not soon forget. Levana as a teenage girl is a combination of loneliness, envy, and unhealthy fixations. As her gifts for glamour and manipulation grow, so does the danger for those in her way. Levana’s character isn’t simply shaped by unfortunate circumstances, from the very beginning Levana exhibits questionable behavior. Her reaction to her parents’ murder can be described only as apathetic. Watching the young Levana transform from a confused girl into an evil ruler was both fascinating and shocking.
My emotions were all over the place with this book. On one hand, I felt sorry for Levana, her sister uses every opportunity to belittle her and much of Levana’s actions are motivated by the lack of love shown to her and her fear that people will discover the ugliness beneath her glamour. What makes Levana so interesting is that her ugliness isn’t just physical. She can be vindictive and is all too willing to exploit others’ weaknesses for her own gain. I didn’t know whether to pity her or hate her and I spent most of the book doing both.
If you are a fan of Marissa Meyer’s the Lunar Chronicles, I highly recommend picking up Fairest, what you don’t know about the evil Queen Levana will both surprise and frighten you. This slim volume also draws together several characters we’ve already met through the Lunar Chronicles and now I am even more excited to get my hands on Winter!