**Warning! If you haven’t read Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Fairest which are the first through fourth books in The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer, there will be spoilers ahead. You can read my review of the first book Cinder, and the fourth book Fairest, instead if you’re not caught up on the series yet!**
I can’t believe that the end to The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer is already upon us. It’s been so long sinceCinder debuted and each year we’ve been introduced to new characters in a new installment, all of whom contributed to the major overarching storyline. I vividly remember being drawn to the gorgeous design of Cinder‘s cover and I devoured the entire story in one sitting because I was so enthralled. While there was some predictability within the series, I still found myself loving almost every minute of their action packed adventure (with the only lack of interest surrounding Scarlet and Fairest). Winter is absolutely the greatest series send off I could’ve ever wished for. I’ll be gathering some of my thoughts in this review but if you’re looking for a very in depth account which includes spoilers, you should check out the video Cassie, Melissa and I recently posted where we discussed Winter for our Spines With Wines book club.
Meyer struck the perfect balance of characterization and world building in her development of The Lunar Chronicles. I was fascinated to learn about Luna’s landscape and political system, as well as the republic currently operating on Earth. The descriptions of some of the places in the palace, particularly Levana’s Throne Room are so easy to envision and the need for rebellion is evident. While all of the aforementioned elements intrigued me, I do believe it’s the characters who kept my heart in the story. I struggled with reading Scarlet, not finding myself as interested in her story but I continued reading because I had to know what would happen to Cinder and Prince Kai. When I got to the third installment, Cress, I couldn’t have been more pleased that I decided to continue. Cress and Thorne easily became my favorite characters and their romance is so endearing. There are four definitive ships, each with a very different type of love and each of which I grew to deeply care about. And not a single one is a love triangle.
The newest character who we caught a brief glimpse of in Cress and Fairest is Princess Winter. I initially liked her and as the story progressed I grew to love her. She’s the perfect fractured fairytale counterpart to Snow White. Winter is so kind that she would rather give up the use of her Lunar gift to her own detriment than make a potentially bad decision for someone else. She’s fair and just and while many view her as slightly nutty, Winter’s mind is much more sound than she’s given credit for. I loved the scenes between Scarlet and she and their way of getting along is heartwarming. As for the rest of the crew, Thorne is hilarious as ever, Cinder is forced to make tough choices after she becomes the face of the rebellion under her true identity as Princess Selene, Kai and Cress show bravery beyond measure, Iko provides the perfect amount of comic relief, and Levana is just as evil as ever.
Final Thoughts: Winter by Marissa Meyer is the perfect conclusion to The Lunar Chronicles series. If you’re a fan of fractured fairytales, you should not hesitate to start the series. I would suggest reading the books in publication order (despite Fairest being a prequel) and I would encourage anyone to give Princess Selene and her squad an opportunity to work their way into your heart. Every thing is wrapped up nicely and the conclusion is satisfying. The Lunar Chronicles is indeed a fairytale from start to finish.
Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.
Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.
Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters? (via Goodreads)