(Image from Barnes & Noble)
(Note: While this review will not contain spoilers for Winter, it may inadvertently reveal plot surprises from earlier Lunar Chronicles novels. As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order.)
Queen Levana's mesmerizing beauty is legendary. So is that of her stepdaughter, Princess Winter. Despite the scars that mar her face, Winter is lovely to look upon. Even more appealing is her kind, gentle nature—her natural sweetness endears her to royals and commoners alike. Levana can't stand her simpering young charge. The feeling is mutual, but Winter keeps her true feelings for her stepmother carefully concealed. As she has observed countless times, crossing the queen never ends well.
Winter isn't as cautious with her feelings for Jacin Clay, her royal guard. She has loved him—her protector, her confidante, her only true friend—for as long as she can remember. Queen Levana knows the depth of Winter's feelings for him and uses the younger woman's romantic longings in the cruelest ways possible. Is Winter strong enough to fight back against her evil stepmother? Is anyone?
A revolution against the heartless queen is already in progress. Can Linh Cinder and friends succeed in overthrowing Levana? Will aiding them help Winter win her own freedom? Or will the all-powerful Levana be victorious in her scheme to bring the entire world under her iron-fisted rule?
If you're a fan of The Lunar Chronicles—and I most certainly am—then you will not want to miss Winter, the exciting conclusion to the series. Reading the mammoth 823-page novel is a daunting task, I know. I put off reading it for a year! In the end, though, Winter was totally worth the read—as I knew it would be. My only complaint is that the series is now over. Marissa Meyer totally captivated me with fun characters, action-packed plot lines, unique interpretations of age-old fairy tales, and engaging storytelling. I know there are many exciting things to come from this author, but I don't know if anything she does from now on will enthrall me quite as much as The Lunar Chronicles has. I hope she proves me wrong. In the meantime, I'll miss this enjoyable series, one of my favorite YA series ever.
(Readalikes: Other books in The Lunar Chronicles series, including Cinder; Scarlet; Cress; Fairest; Stars Above; and Wires and Nerve)
If this were a movie, it would be rated:
for violence; blood/gore; brief, mild language (no F-bombs), and mild sexual innuendo/sensuality
To the FTC, with love: I bought a copy of Winter with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger. Ha ha.