On My Bookshelf: Winter by Marissa Meyer

October 17, 2016

Winter, Book Four of the Lunar Chronicles, by Marissa Meyer is a futuristic version of the classic tale of Snow White. Winter, known for her beauty and kindness, becomes an integral part of the plan to overthrow Queen Levena and establish Cinder as the rightful ruler of Lunar, but her moments of insanity may put her life and others in danger. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom use.
The basic plot from Amazon: 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? Fans will not want to miss this thrilling conclusion to Marissa Meyer's national bestselling Lunar Chronicles series.

Why I liked it: Winter, Book 4 of the Lunar Chronicles, is a futuristic version of the classic fairy tale of Snow White. Princess Winter is loved and admired while her evil step-mother, Queen Levena, must rely on her powers to control the people of Luna. She uses her glamour to cover up her disfigurement caused by the torture she endured as a child by Cinder's mother, Channery.

Winter, Book Four of the Lunar Chronicles, by Marissa Meyer is a futuristic version of the classic tale of Snow White. Winter, known for her beauty and kindness, becomes an integral part of the plan to overthrow Queen Levena and establish Cinder as the rightful ruler of Lunar, but her moments of insanity may put her life and others in danger. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom use.Unlike other Lunars, Winter refuses to use her powers over others as she believes that even when she has good intentions for doing so, it only ends up causing further harm. Because she does not use her gift, she is slowly going mad, but proves to be a useful ally for Cinder and her rebellious friends.

The book ends happily ever after without tying everything up too neatly. Scarlet and Wolf are set to return to Scarlet's farm, Cress and Throne will be aboard the Rampion, Winter and Jacin will serve as Lunar ambassadors to Earth, Kai will return to being emperor, and Cinder may someday join him after establishing a democracy on Luna.

Classroom application: Many connections with historical or current events could be made with this novel. The revolution/rebellion led by Cinder and her friends could be connected to the American or French revolution in the past or more recent revolution in Ukraine and Egypt. The desire for a change in government from a monarchy or dictatorship to a democracy or more balanced form of government could be related to these revolutions, past and recent, as well.

Another issue in the book (and the series) is the inequality between cyborgs and humans on Earth, an issue that is very personal for Cinder. Cyborgs are treated like second class citizens which could be connected to the struggles of blacks in the American South under segregation, aborigines in Australia prior to 1967, apartheid in South Africa, women in Saudi Arabia under Saudi law, Dalits in India and Nepal, and Roman Catholics in Northern Ireland.

Queen Levena's beast army, wolf-like men who were taken from their families as young boys, are threatened and brainwashed similar to child soldiers in Africa and the Middle East. Winter's character and her refusal to use her powers/gift despite the effect on her mental health could lead to discussion of mental health issues and the undesirable side effects of some medications.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of Winter for yourself, you can find it on Amazon here.

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