Mirror, Mirror On the Wall

Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Release Date: January 27, 2015
Publisher: Macmillan | Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 222 pages
Source & Format: Bought; Hardcover
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #0.1
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Summary from Goodreads
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.

Brief Thoughts on Fairest
I've had an interesting reading experience with The Lunar Chronicles. I read Cinder after hearing a ton of praise for it, and I found myself a little underwhelmed with it. I enjoyed the creativity, but I didn't love the book overall. Thankfully, however, I fell in love with Scarlet and Cress. Both books worked so much better for me, and I've been anxiously awaiting the final book in this series ever since!

When I heard there was a prequel releasing, I was intrigued. I hate Queen Levana, but I loved the idea of getting to know her better. Maybe finding out her backstory would make me more sympathetic towards her? Alas, that was not the case. Personally, I didn't see the point of Fairest. The story is longer than a novella, but it never feels as fleshed out as a full-length novel. While you learn more about Levana's past (and why she became the person she is today), I didn't feel like I saw another side to her character. Essentially, Fairest just confirmed that she was as awful when she was younger as she is later on. She's mentally ill, and it's stressful being inside her head. This is definitely a twisted character!

Overall, it was a weird reading experience. She's a disturbing character, and I disliked spending more time with her. I'd hoped this book would allow me to learn more about the girl behind the glamours, but all I ended up learning is that she's as delusional as I always thought. I loved seeing the hints at what's to come, including characters you meet in the series, but that's about it. I don't see myself re-reading Fairest, and I don't think it's necessary to read it in the first. It's a nice little "bonus," but I wished there'd been more to it. I felt like it ended in a weird place or maybe it just felt too short. Either way, I'm on the fence about this book. It's not bad - I still enjoyed Meyer's writing and loved how she's woven so many stories together. But, at the same time, you don't need to read this because it doesn't add a lot to the series overall.

So Quotable
“Maybe the princess can save herself.”
"That sounds like a pretty good story too."


  1. I love The Lunar Chronicles, unlike you I loved Cinder too but I went into it thinking I'll hate it. Thankfully that wasn't the case. Despite this I'm so afraid of picking up this book, I liked the Lunar Chronicles short stories so far but I hate Queen Levana so much, I don't think I can enjoy her story even if it's awesome. And I heard many mixed things about this novel.
    I'm sorry this didn't work out for you. Lovely review! :)
    Veronika @ Reading Is Dreaming With Open Eyes

  2. I do agree it doe snot add much to the stories. However, I did enjoyed this books because it answered so many questions about all the characters, specially of who Winter is. I felt more it was a sort of peek to the final book's setting and characters. Short enough to get the information, thankfully not so long that you get so frustrated at it.

  3. Ah, Fairest. I actually expected Levana's story to be sad and twisted (which it was), and I liked it well enough as a character study. I don't think it's necessary to actually read this to complete the series, but if you're fascinated by the characters and want more, then it might be your best bet :)

  4. Hm, now I'm rethinking whether I want to read this. I don't particularly like Queen Levana (I know some people like to read well-written villains, but I'm more traditionally "I hate that villain, go away!") and it sounds like the book doesn't add anything to the overall story that you'd need for later on. Plus it sounds like Meyer wasn't even trying to write a villain with a twisted past who might ultimately stop being evil, or at least have a story that makes you understand why she's evil. If the story showed a good person who became evil because of some circumstance, it might at least add to her characterization.

  5. I felt the same way. I wanted there to be MORE. And I think I only sympathized with Levana because I hated her sister even more. Didn't think that was possible. But yes, she's always been twisted and it's more self-evident than ever in Fairest. I liked the easter eggs but I also wanted more of a bridge between baby/toddler Winter and teenage Winter. Maybe that's coming in the last book.


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