On My Bookshelf: Fairest by Marissa Meyer

December 12, 2016

Fairest by Marissa Meyer continues the Lunar Chronicles, but delves into the past and explains how Queen Levana came to be the force of evil that Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress are struggling against. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom application.
The basic plot from Amazon: Mirror, mirror, on the wall. Who is the Fairest of them all?

Pure evil has a name, hides behind a mask of deceit, and uses her "glamour" to gain power. But who is Queen Levana? Long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress in The Lunar Chronicles, Levana lived a very different story—a story that has never been told . . . until now. New York Times–bestselling author Marissa Meyer reveals the story behind her fascinating villain in Fairest, an unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes a special full-color image of Levana's castle and an excerpt from Winter, the exciting conclusion to The Lunar Chronicles.

Why I liked it: Fairest focuses on the evil Lunar queen, Cinder's aunt and Winter's stepmother. Like Winter's story, Fairest is a play on the classic fairy tale of Snow White, but focuses on events from the "bad guy," or in this case "bad girl's" point of view, similar to a fractured fairy.

This chapter of the Lunar chronicles delves into the past. You meet Queen Channary, Levana's sister and Cinder's mother, and gain a better understanding of the relationship and differences between the two sisters. Channary more interested in men and enjoying court life than ruling, while Levana is more strategic and interested in strengthening Luna's power. You also witness the gruesome scene in which Channary burns Levana, causing her disfigurement.
Fairest by Marissa Meyer continues the Lunar Chronicles, but delves into the past and explains how Queen Levana came to be the force of evil that Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress are struggling against. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom application.

I felt a strange combination of pity and disgust when Levana mistakes the kindness of Hayle, one of the royal guards, for affection and forces him to marry her after his wife's death. Levana raises Hayle's daughter, Winter, with Princess Selene, Channary's daughter. My distaste for Levana grew when Channary dies from lung disease and Levana kills Princess Selene so that she can be the true queen. She also has Hayle murdered so she can arrange a marriage with emperor on Earth and have access to Earth's resources.

Levana is just as clever as she is evil. She continues her father's projects, creating Letumosis and an army of beast like men, and then sends the disease to Earth to begin weakening the planet. Earth will depend on Luna for the antidote and if the people of Earth don't submit to her, then she'll use her army against them.

Classroom application: 
Fairest would be a great addition to a unit on point of view or fractured fairy tales. It could be paired with Wicked and other novels that tell a story from the villain's perspective. Students could do their own rewrite of a famous fairy tale, classic children's story, comic, etc.

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

For more reading suggestions for students and teachers:



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1 comments

  1. I read Fairest before Winter and I was really glad I did. Getting her backstory was important for me, as a reader, to better understand her brand of evil. Great review!
    Rebecca @ The Portsmouth Review
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