Fairest by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles #3.5)(Spoiler alert)
This is the much anticipated novella that depicts Levana's story, which is greatly needed to tide me over as the final book 'Winter' is not being released until November 2015.This novella also provides us with the first three chapters of Winter as bonus content. Firstly, the cover art and inside covers of this book are stunning, that alone makes me love this book!
Before reading this i hated Levana which most people probably do as she is the antagonist of all three books in the series. Her back story has often been hinted at but theres never really been any light shed on why she is so evil.
The first thing that intrigued me was the detailed history of Levana's sister, Channery. As Channery is the elder sibling she was first in line to inherit the throne. Levana sees her sisters disinterest in becoming queen and of making decisions on behalf of Luna. We already knew from the first three books that Levana is facially disfigured and uses her glamour to trick people into believing that she is beautiful. Fairest offers us an account of how she became facially disfigured, Channery tricked Levana into walking into a lit fire and she was left with burns.
Channery is portrayed as quite promiscuous but at the same time she also knows the importance of marrying well in order to extend the throne. That said there was no upheaval when she became pregnant and had no idea who the father was. She later gives birth to a little girl, Princess Selene who we all now know as our much loved Cinder. When Channery dies when Selene/Cinder is one years old Levana is expected to take to the throne until the child is of age to become queen. During the first few months of Levana acting as queen she develops a taste for the power that comes with it, the thought of giving up the throne for Selene makes Levana plot to kill her. She glamours the nanny into starting a fire which results in Selene's 'death'.
We also have the introduction of our newest character Winter. She is obviously the main protagonist in the upcoming book of the same name, which coincidentally will be the final installment to the series. Her story is an interesting one as Levana married or should i say tricked into marrying her father thus making Levana Winter's step mother. Winters birth mother died during labour.
I think the point in which i felt sorry for Levana was when Channery constantly picked on her. She was lonely and friendless. Her only friend Winters father Sir Hayle she results into manipulating into marrying her even though she knows he will never love her. I couldn't help but feel that she was silly and made some poor choices. The only thing she had left was Luna and this is why she became the hated dictator that we all love to hate.
I am beyond excited for Winter to come out! The first three chapters that were included as bonus content left me yearning for more!