Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles (3.5)
Recommended for: 6th grade and up
Pages: 222 (approx. 60 pages is a preview of ‘Winter’, book 4 in the series)
Call Number/Link: TEEN FICTION MEYER
Synopsis: Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.
I really like the Lunar Chronicles series and was looking forward to reading this. It was a somewhat disappointing. I was hoping for some of the action, dialog, and character development from the previous books but didn’t get it. It did offer some insight into Queen Levana’s nature but didn’t evoke any sympathy for her. Yes, she endured horrific treatment from her sister (she has to learn to use her ‘glamor’ to cover burns inflicted by her sister) and neglect from her parents but her reaction was equally horrible. I would recommend the previous books in the series for younger kids with high reading levels but not this one. Levana’s obsession with her married guard and then her use of mind control to get him into her bed is totally creepy and not for younger audiences. This isn’t graphic or anything, just the idea is horrible. Also, Levana uses mind control to make the nanny set fire to herself and the princess so Levana can become queen. This woman makes serial killers look tame.
The book does offer some interesting background on the lunar characters from the other books. We understand their back stories a little better but not a lot. It also helps set up the next book in the series ‘Winter’ and includes a 60 page or so excerpt. All in all I would say an ok book for older fans of the series but not up to the level of the previous books and not for younger audiences.