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?
I’ve previously blogged about my experiences reading the previous books in the Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress. In short, I think they’re awesome, especially the Chronicles’ first book.
What I like about Winter is that Meyer does not shy away from the growing complexity in the world she’s built. With each book she’s written, new characters are introduced as narrators. Most of the narrators in Winter have been featured earlier in the series, and this book incorporates all of them – a staggering amount of voices. Together, these voices are able to tell the story of a war spreading across Luna from many different locations.
This action-packed novel kept me on my toes the whole time. Just as one character gets his/herself out of a bind in one place, someone else gets into trouble somewhere else. There’s no shortage of suspense.
Winter is a compelling character for a number of reasons. First, she basically embodies innocence, just like Snow White. She won’t use her Lunar gift to manipulate people like her stepmother does, and as a result, she’s going a little crazy. Sometimes. That’s the second reason she was compelling to me – she’s innocent to the point of self-sacrifice. She wants to do what is right. And kudos to Meyer for writing her so well. The scenes where Winter is hallucinating or imagining things weren’t over the top, though they were vivid. Being inside Winter’s head is sometimes uncomfortable, but I could almost always see the truth behind her hallucinations and delusions.
I have to say, I was surprised and pleased that I didn’t need to remember very much about the previous books in order to follow along. My memory is not great, and I sure didn’t have the time or dedication to reread the other books in the series before Winter came out. I was able to keep up with the characters, only suffering occasional confusion. Seriously, it was great. Sometimes I get annoyed if an author goes into recap mode for too long, but I didn’t fell like that was a problem here.
Things I didn’t like? Length – my attention span really made reading this 800-page installment a struggle. Couples – everyone pairs off (except the android); at least there were no love triangles, but I still found the emphasis on pairing off annoying. Arguably, Cinder had the least interest in relationship goals, probably because she was busy planning a revolution. The Ending – guys, it’s a fairy tale retelling, but still SPOILER ALERT: they all live happily ever after. Somehow this doesn’t seem entirely real when the characters are all heavily involved in the war. Meyer takes liberties with the setting and plot of original fairy tales to create these stories, just not when it comes to the fairy tale ending.
But! I did like it. It is one of those books that I couldn’t see panning out any other way. It is a fitting ending to the series, and that’s how it will be remembered, I think. If you’ve read the other books, come on! You’ve gotta read Winter now. And I have the just the way for you to do it – I’m hosting a giveaway of one US Hardcover of the book! Enter at the link below.