Series: The Lunar Chronicles #3.5
Publication Date: January 27, 2015
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 222 (Hardcover)
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've been sitting on this reviewer since January 25th, and the reason for that is because I can't word. I just don't know how to describe my thoughts in regards to this book. My good friend Bekka said it ten times better than I ever could. I enjoyed this book a lot, but I also had a lot of issues with it in the sense that I didn't think it was entirely necessary.
Really, my issue is with Levana's back-story and that's not to say that her back-story is bad because it is not. It's just that I loved her as a villain in the other works in this series, and her back-story both helps her and ruins her. I totally understand why she is evil now. Her evil older sister kind of ruined her life for no true reason and abused her physically, mentally, and emotionally. So her cruelty is totally understandable, but watching her grow and become more and more twisted was horrifying and unsettling to read as I flipped the pages.
The evil Levana that we know today was born out of something we all want: a desire to be loved. But she took her actions so far that the pit in my stomach grew and grew and grew. She manipulated her chosen love borne out of a childish crush by using glamours and taking away his free will, forcing him to do things that he regretted and ruining his entire reputation in the process. I can honestly say that I was disgusted by how she chose to go about finding that love, and it kind of ruined her back-story a little bit for me. I'm unsure exactly what I imagined when I thought of her, but this wasn't exactly it, though it does add to understanding her desire to be married in a weird, twisted way. Do you see why it's so hard for me to word right now?
With that in mind, I am not disappointed or upset. I really enjoyed this book. Sure, it was unsettling, but it was very well written and my level of uncomfortableness just goes to show how talented Meyer is at writing deliciously dark and twisted tales. I enjoyed this and found it easy to flip the pages at a lightning fast speed on my daily commute home from my internship, and I look forward to book four now more than ever. But my main issue with this book is that it did change the way I view Levana slightly and while it gave us a little bit of set-up for Winter's story in the final book in the series, it wasn't entirely necessary. Levana, one of my favorite villains ever, was affected by a book that I loved but don't really think had to be brought into existence, and I kind of wish that I discovered her story in a different way while we discovered Winter's full story in book four.
I would say that this is worth the read, though, upon completion of Cress. It should not be read before its intended spot in the series because you won't be able to appreciate a lot of the depth in this book since it covers decades spanning Levana's childhood to the evil queen we love to hate today.