My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Whew. File this one under “Rollercoaster, Emotional.”
Winter is much, much longer than the other books in this series. Thank goodness, because when I flipped the last digital page of Cress, the first thing that I said was, “Marissa has a lot of loose ends to tie up. She better deliver.”
Rest assured, she does. I tell you this now because if you haven’t finished Winter yet, or even picked it up, I want you to know there’s a happy ending. Well, a bittersweet one, perhaps, but satisfactory, nonetheless. There are several points within its pages which will make you question the truthfulness of this statement, but I promise, happiness is coming.
Winter is our delightful spacey interpretation of the beloved Snow White. She is mentioned only a handful of times and only introduced at the very end of Cress, but as you might be able to guess, she plays a large role in the overarching story. Winter is Queen Levana’s stepdaughter and largely lives as she pleases in the palace at Artemisia, but Levana is cruel to her as she is to everyone, and Winter has the scars to prove it. Even so, she is still easily the most beautiful Lunar of them all.
When Scarlet first meets Winter, she is stunned to learn that Winter’s beauty is not a product of her Lunar glamouring powers–in fact, Winter has not used her glamour at all since she was twelve years old, when she realized that it was evil to trick and manipulate others with her gift.
If you’ve read the other books in this series, you won’t be surprised to learn that this withholding makes Winter a little . . . well, crazy. She combats it as best she can, but slowly and surely, her madness grows until it defines her almost as much as her beauty.
I don’t want to say much more about the content of the book for fear of spoiling things for you, but trust me, it’s the conclusion you’ve been hoping for. There are such positive messages here about individual autonomy, the sanctity of life, human exceptionalism, personal responsibility, the nature of love, and systems of government that are fair and just. Cinder’s decisions toward the end of the novel make her what Katniss Everdeen should have been. In fact, it makes me that much more angry about how the concluding events of Mockingjay went down.
In short: Buy these books. Read these books. Message me so we can squeal about them together. In an age where subpar YA literature hogs most of the mainstream shelf space, The Lunar Chronicles stands out as a prime example of what the genre should and can be. I can’t wait to see what Marissa Meyer does next.