Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles, #4
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: November 10th 2015
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?
– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com
This review may contain spoilers for previous book(s) in the series.
My Thoughts On…
It has been a long wait for the last book in the Lunar Chronicles series but it was definitely worth it. Everything has been building up to Cinder’s revolution and this final book in the series brings her journey to its conclusion. The Lunar Chronicles has become one of my all-time favourite series and while I am incredibly sad to see it finish I feel Winter was the perfect book to end it on.
Cinder has stopped the wedding of Emperor Kai and Queen Levana, for now. She has a plan for getting herself and the rest of the Rampion crew onto Luna to start a revolution that will help Cinder take her throne back from Levana. However the plan involves letting Kai back on Earth and him convincing Levana to hold their wedding on Luna so Cinder can sneak in aboard one of the Earthen leaders ships. Cinder is loath to let Kai go, she knows their plan is the best one they have but she wants to make sure they are all ready.
Once on Luna things start off badly for Cinder. Levana doesn’t trust Kai and has their ship searched. While Cinder, Wolf and Thorne manage to escape Cress is left behind, and Cinder has no clue how to start their revolution without Cress’s hacking skills. They run to the poorest of Luna’s districts where the people have been trodden on until they keep their heads down and try to make it through life unseen.
Despite living in a palace life for Winter has never been easy. She stopped using her glamour as soon as she had control of it and the Lunar sickness has poisoned her mind. She sees visions of blood running down the palace walls and of her body turning to ice. Winter is the laughing stock of Levana’s court but she refuses to use her gift to exert her will over anyone else’s.
Ever since Levana discovered Princess Selene was alive she has become paranoid of any threat, real or perceived, to her throne. When she finally sees Winter as a threat, despite Winter not having any royal blood, she asks Jacin to kill her stepdaughter. Instead Jacin helps Winter and Scarlet escape the palace unseen, telling Levana he murdered Winter and killed Scarlet to get rid of a witness. Scarlet and Winter flee from Artemisia and find themselves in RM9 with Cinder, Wolf and Thorne.
It is there that Cinder starts her revolution and rallies the people of Luna to her cause, but Levana is not going to go down without a fight. Now that she has married Kai Levana is one step closer to being crowned the empresses of the Commonwealth and one step closer to ruling Earth as well as Luna.
Winter has always been beautiful, it’s something that’s drawn her stepmother’s ire and others people unwanted attention. She stopped using her gift when she was thirteen and ever since then she has been driven mad by hallucinations. However Winter is a truly kind person surrounded by Levana’s court of cruel, manipulative Lunars. Winter is loved by everyone in Luna, not because she is beautiful but because she is kind to them when no one else is.
Jacin is a master at hiding his own thoughts and feelings. Ever since he was conscripted into the Queen’s guard he has had to hide his hatred for Levana and his love for Winter. He has stayed a loyal soldier and everything he has done has been to protect Winter. He follows the rules and seems very strict and by-the-book but he doesn’t do it because of any loyalty to Levana. He knows one day Levana will see Winter as a threat and he will do anything to keep that from happening.
Jacin and Winter have a very strong friendship from when they were children growing up together and somewhere it turned into love through neither can admit their true feelings. Jacin is the person Winter relies on to help her through her hallucinations, he is her best friend and she loves him and only him. Jacin tries to treats Winter only as a guard would treat a princess but he cannot deny his feelings for her, especially when Levana asks him to kill Princess Winter.
Cinder has never felt like a Princess or a Queen but she cannot leave Levana in charge of Luna and she cannot let her aunt get her hands on Earth either. There are times when she feels like they have already lost; when they are separated from Cress before they manage to slip from the ships into Luna, and when she is captured by Levana and put on trial. Cinder doesn’t have the luxury of lying down and letting Levana win, she keeps going. Cinder doesn’t know whether she will be able to rule but seeing the conditions her people are living in in the outer-lying districts she knows she cannot let them suffer under the injustice of Levana’s reign.
The contrast between Artemisia and some of the outer-lying districts were incredibly well-written. In the capital city the Thaumaturges and noble families have everything they could possibly desire; riches, stunning houses and the very best food. They want for nothing but it has made them all cruel and selfish like the Queen. However in the outer-lying districts, RM9 where Wolf’s mother lives, the people are sick and dying from regolith poisoning. They have rations for food and a curfew enforced by Levana’s soldiers, and they have been beaten and downtrodden by the Queen and her rules. There is no real way to spread a message to the whole of Luna; both the people of Artemisia and the people in the outer-lying districts have no way of communicating with each other and all media is controlled by Levana making Cinder’s revolution hard to get off the ground.
Winter was a stunning and fast-paced conclusion to the series. However I do wish there had been more of Winter and Jacin and their relationship. In all the other books the title characters and their development have been the main storyline with Cinder’s journey being the secondary plot. However in Winter the story focuses mainly on Cinder’s revolution with Winter and Jacin taking the backseat.
What did you think of Winter? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.