This is a book review for Fairest: Levana's Story (The Lunar Chronicles #3.5) by Marissa Meyer.
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.
If it hasn't been said before, I will say it now: Marissa Meyer is a GENIUS. Yes, you heard me right . . . a GENIUS. How else can you explain her wonderful tale that actually makes me feel sorry for Levana? Yes I know she is a super villain, but this book tells her story and she didn't start out that way.
The book does explain how Levana got her scars and why she never lets anyone see her true face. She starts out as the lonely second daughter to an evil queen. Her sister, Channery, takes the crown when their parents are killed and then produces an heir, Selene. There were mentions of several characters from the first books and it was nice to hear how their stories started as well. Meyer does a remarkable job of showing how lonely Levana is and how desperate for love. When she becomes obsessed with a palace guard at the young age of fifteen, I ached for Levana and the disappointment I was sure would follow.
Because of her obsession with the guard and the obsession with gaining control over the entire universe, Levana does some questionable things. Okay, okay, she does some evil and loathsome things. But Meyer's genius comes in when she can still make me feel sorry for Levana, even at her lowest. This is a prequel so I know what happens and just how much destruction Levana can bring. That doesn't stop me for rooting for Levana to change. And as evil as Levana was, I was still rooting for her to find love and a happily ever after. But alas, that was not meant to be. This was such an engaging, awesome book! I cannot wait for Winter!!!
Buy/Borrow/Skip: If you love this series and love fantasy, buy this one!!