Before she was Queen, she was a princess. Before she decided to marry Kai, she fell in love.
Before there was Cinder, Scarlet or Cress, there was Levana.
Boy oh boy did I love this book.
You know how there are villains who have a dark and depressing past and you feel sorry for them because it was their circumstances that made them turn out this way. Well, Levana’s past is dark and depressing but Meyer created a character where I pitied Levana and hated her more than before.
Why did I feel sorry for her?
Because she was desperate. And lonely. And that’s a dangerous combination. She misinterpreted signs of kindness and manipulated them into gushing feelings of love. She also had bizarre views of what love was. But you could tell she was utterly sincere about her feelings for Evret, but in such a screwed up way. This complex portrayal of her mind revealed so much about her character. And because I was in her point of view, I felt so overwhelmingly sorry for her.
However, I couldn’t deny how evil she was. And mentally unstable. Manipulating Evret’s feelings, impersonating his wife and not understanding how wrong the whole situation was.
SUCH CONFLICTED EMOTIONS.
It wasn’t her manipulations of everyone else that was horrifying, it was her self-manipulation. She effectively fooled herself into thinking that she was Solstice, that she deserved the crown, that Evret loved her just as much as she loved him.
So as a character, Levana was great. As a person, she was reprehensible.
Channary was primarily the cause of Levana’s eventual spiral into madness. She was cruel and marred her appearance to the point that Levana could never leave her room without creating a glamour to hide herself. It would have been nice to see more character development to her other than the bitchy, spiteful sister. We saw a hint of it in her care of her daughter but I wanted to know more.
I was a little uncomfortable with the manner in which Channary died. She died because of regolith poisoning which were found only on the outskirts of town and since she was royalty, there was no way that she could have died of that unless she was having a rendezvous with one of her romantic conquests. Ugh. Slut-shaming.
This was a good backstory to Levana but I wished I had more to read other than a lovesick, twisted and pitiful teenage girl. Written brilliantly, of course, but I would have liked to see more of her development into the cold, emotionless Lunar Queen that she is now. Instead, I got petulant teenage girl whining about how she deserved this and that.
The problem was that Fairest was too short. If there were maybe another 100 or 200 pages then I would be wholeheartedly satisfied.
I liked the little introduction of Winter that was in here. It’s clear that she’s a different kind of princess.
“Why is it always a prince?” asked Winter. “Why isn’t she ever saved by a top-secret spy? Or a soldier? Or a … a poor farm boy, even?”
My kind of protagonist.
“Maybe the princess can save herself.”
YES. You go, Winter. I hope that something like this happens in Winter.
Overall, this is a 3.5-4 star book. If you were seeking some redeeming qualities about Levana, look the other way. But if you want to have a deeper understanding of this psychotic character, then you should most definitely read it.