Fairest: The Lunar Chronicles: Levana's Story

Fairest: The Lunar Chronicles: Levana's Story

Hardcover | January 27, 2015

byMarissa Meyer

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The #1 New York Times Bestselling Series!

Mirror, mirror, on the wall.
Who is the Fairest of them all?

Pure evil has a name, hides behind a mask of deceit, and uses her "glamour" to gain power. But who is Queen Levana? Long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress in The Lunar Chronicles, Levana lived a very different story-a story that has never been told . . . until now.
New York Times -bestselling author Marissa Meyer reveals the story behind her fascinating villain in Fairest, an unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes a special full-color image of Levana's castle and an excerpt from Winter, the exciting conclusion to The Lunar Chronicles.

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Fairest: The Lunar Chronicles: Levana's Story

Hardcover | January 27, 2015
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$18.31 online $20.50 (save 10%)

From the Publisher

The #1 New York Times Bestselling Series!Mirror, mirror, on the wall.Who is the Fairest of them all? Pure evil has a name, hides behind a mask of deceit, and uses her "glamour" to gain power. But who is Queen Levana? Long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress in The Lunar Chronicles, Levana lived a very different sto...

Marissa Meyer is the author of the #1 New York Times Bestselling series, The Lunar Chronicles (Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Fairest, Winter, Stars Above). Marissa lives in Tacoma, Washington, with her family.

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Hardcover|Nov 8 2016

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:272 pages, 8.45 × 5.8 × 0.92 inPublished:January 27, 2015Publisher:Feiwel & FriendsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1250060559

ISBN - 13:9781250060556

Customer Reviews of Fairest: The Lunar Chronicles: Levana's Story


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Creepy Well, that was just about the saddest, creepiest, most twisted villain origin story I've ever read. It has completely rekindled my all-consuming love for this series, and now Winter needs to hurry up and get here already.
Date published: 2017-01-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great for teens Great for young readers who enjoy small doses of dystopian fiction.
Date published: 2017-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Glad I read this before winter It was nice to see levanna back story but when reading winter it was nice to see where these prices fit. Totally worth the read
Date published: 2017-01-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from . Love Villain backstories! Still hate Levana but it was interesting to see what made her the way she is.
Date published: 2017-01-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Unsure This was hard to rate. It's dark and crooked, but I wasn't drawn in.
Date published: 2017-01-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from This book made me hate Levana so much! I hate Levana. I hate the way she thinks. I hate the way she acts. I hate the way she pities herself. Frankly, reading this book just made me hate her more and more. I kind of have mixed feelings about this book because I didn't like the mood of the story; it was too dark for my taste and there was just so much cruelty in it (since it was from Levana's POV). For me, this is definitely the worst book in this series. Nevertheless, learning about Levana's backstory was pretty interesting and seeing more of Winter, Channary (who has been a very mysterious character until now), Everet and Selene was pretty satisfying.
Date published: 2017-01-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It made me hate Levana so much! I hate Levana. I hate the way she thinks. I hate the way she acts. I hate the way she pities herself. Frankly, reading this book just made me hate her more and more. I kind of have mixed feelings about this book because I didn't like the mood of the story; it was too dark for my taste and there was just so much cruelty in it (since it was from Levana's POV). For me, this is definitely the worst book in this series. (more of a 3,5 stars) Nevertheless, learning about Levana's backstory was pretty interesting and seeing more of Winter, Channary (who has been a very mysterious character until now), Everet and Selene was pretty satisfying.
Date published: 2017-01-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great. I like when authors come out with novellas that deepen the main story. It was interesting to get to know a particular character more in detail - to understand their perspective. Although it is not necessary to read this book to fully appreciate the series - I would honestly say that this book/novella adds to the story-line and worth a read. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-01-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting Backstory All fans and readers of The Lunar Chronicles would absolutely benefit and enjoy this book somewhat. This book follows the villian, Queen Levana on her backstory leading up to The Lunar Chronicles. Her backstory was quite unexpected and very interesting and somewhat changed my original vision and opinion about her. It was great, and it just goes to show how you can't judge a book by it's cover
Date published: 2017-01-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing It was great to see Levana's backstory! Loved it!
Date published: 2017-01-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING Beautiful backstory to the evil character Levana, her past and childhood and what happened that made her who she is.
Date published: 2016-12-31
Date published: 2016-12-30
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Terrible I feel like this was an unnecessary addition to the series - it was poorly written, about a girl who just pines after someone. Gag. I enjoyed The first few books but would skip this one!
Date published: 2016-12-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great It was interesting to see Levana's backstory and how she came to be so evil. I felt so much empathy for Winter and her father and it made me root for Winter that much more in the last book
Date published: 2016-12-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic! This book is terrific! I love the whole series!
Date published: 2016-12-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Spin Off That is Actually Interesting I liked this book quite a bit - its not the best book I have read nor is it great compared to the books in the main series, but still it actually adds to the overall series unlike some other spin offs that don't always do that. For those who don't know this book is a prequel to the main series. Learning about Levana's backstory was interesting and actually added to the plot. We learn things about her that changes our perspective on her somewhat. Overall, a good read.
Date published: 2016-12-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good I really enjoyed reading Levana's backstory. Its another must read for the Lunar fans.
Date published: 2016-12-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Impossible to put down I absolutely loved this look at Levana's backstory that somehow made her creep almost into sympathetic territory before doing horrible things that pushed her firmly away from it. It was fascinating and heartbreaking to see how her mind worked, and it was chilling to watch her descend into more and more "evil" territory even as we understood her motivation - you know what's coming, and you can't help but read on to see how it will happen anyway. So happy Meyer wrote this.
Date published: 2016-12-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Good But Twisted Read! Fans of the Lunar Chronicle series definitely got what they wanted in this companion novel by Marissa Meyer. Everyone was wondering just what had caused Leavana to turn as evil as she is, and this novel definitely goes into depths about Leavana's very messed up childhood. As well, I can honestly say that Leavana is one of the most twisted characters I've ever come across before, and this book is a must read for any fans of the series.
Date published: 2016-12-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good! A must have for fans of the series
Date published: 2016-12-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Not my favorite book in the series, but it gives great background information.
Date published: 2016-12-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Short and sweet, I liked that you could hear more about why she is the way she is.
Date published: 2016-12-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Weep Tears I feel bad for Levana, as we get to learn her own tragic back story and how she came to be the person that she is today. Excellent background story!
Date published: 2016-11-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So I Felt Bad For Levana? I hate her, dont get me wrong. She is a cruel woman. But I pity her in this novel, it is great to see inside her dark life. I love knowing why she is the way she is!
Date published: 2016-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An extra that should be a must read! This book tells the story of Levana and it's very eye-opening for readers because we experience the story from Levana's point of view. Don't take this book the wrong way though, it definitely does not justify her actions, it just paints the story of how she came to be. It's basically a villain backstory, but it's really good. It makes us as readers feel pity towards her and understand her actions a little better, but we also know how deep Levana's evil really runs.
Date published: 2016-11-17
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Um... It was so boring I couldn't even make it past the first few pages help
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I liked it This just proves more and more that Levana is a horrible person!
Date published: 2016-11-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Adds So Much to the Story! *Actual Rating: 4.3/5* This was a great story! I wish I had read this before Winter like I was supposed to, but I feel like I enjoyed it more since I was able to piece together the events in Winter as I was reading Fairest. I loved the characters in this, especially Evret and Solstice! I didn't like Channary at all though! This book made me feel some sympathy for Levana at times, but then she'd do something controlling or evil and I'd go back to hating her. I dislike Levana very much. Don't get me wrong, as a character she's very put together (if that makes sense), but I hate her personality and evil mindset. I know, she's a villain and so much has happened to her, but nothing can excuse what she did to people in The Lunar Chronicals series! If you haven't read this, and you've read the whole series up to Winter (or even if you've only read up to Cress), definitely pick this book up! The ending was so sad, especially because that's the one character I got really attached to. I can't wait to read Stars Above!
Date published: 2016-04-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very Eye-opening This can be read without even reading the main story! It really allows you to feel sympathy for Levana (especially if you hate her in the main story), and gives you her story on how she became the "evil queen"
Date published: 2016-03-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wow Just wow!
Date published: 2016-01-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Review from This is the Story of My(Reading) Life I went into Fairest expecting to increase my hatred of Levana ten fold. And I sure did. She's a cruel women. But something I wasn't expecting to feel for her was heart break. In the first three books of The Lunar Chronicles we see how terrible and what a tyrant of a ruler Levana is. She's manipulative and obviously cares nothing for human life. Nobody even knows what she looks like. Levana glamours herself into what she feels like looking like at that specific time. Beauty is everything to her. Which reading through Fairest you come to really understand why. The one thing that Levana is very lacking in is love. She never had anybody care for her growing up. Her parents, although we don't meet them, were into anything but their children. Her older sister is a whole different piece of work. Channary has no care for the political side of being Queen. She wants to be seen as fun. So she giggles and flirts her way through her people. Channary is flawlessly beautiful. That is something that Levana continually faults her for. Beauty is everything to Levana. It is the first thing she notices and begins to deconstruct when she meets somebody. It's a pretty terrible way to live, but from watching Channary constantly undermining her and calling her an ugly duckling, you understand why beauty is everything to Levana. There are times when Levana shows some sort of compassion and possibly heart. But it's never the right sort of compassion. It's always heavily sedated in her own backwards plan and reasoning. Which can come back to her lack of understanding in what love really means. Levana feels that she loves one of the palace guards so deeply. She knows they are meant to be together. But he's married with a very pregnant wife(you might guess where this is going). When the devastating happens to him Levana is there to comfort him. Well in her own way. She thinks that she's offering consoling words. But they're not. Her words are all wrong. Levana just doesn't get it. Like I mentioned earlier, it is a bit heart breaking to see her not understand the difference between right and wrong. But her actions quickly take away any of those feelings I had for her. It's another reason why I love a great villain. They can be the most complex and intriguing characters. Levana definitely encompasses both those traits. It's fantastic to read about. As is the case with a lot of evil rulers, they weren't necessarily evil to the core. Seeing Levana in her earlier teen years it was easy to notice that her surroundings and family had everything to do with her becoming the evil Queen she is throughout The Lunar Chronicles. She watched her parents put on a show for their people. A total loveless marriage with mistresses and "boy toys". Levana sees that as a normal marriage. Channary bullied her. Levana was a lonely child who grew into an even lonelier adult. It's one of those situations where just one true friend could have made the difference in the world for her. But there wasn't that person for her. Levana cared about nothing expect being an exceptional Queen. It took a lot for her to get there. And none of it pretty. As we see by the people that got in her way. Levana is an evil, cruelly manipulative women and ruler. I know a lot of us were disappointed when we heard the release of Winter was being pushed back and its place we would receive a novella about Levana instead. Sure, it sucked, I was(and still am) beyond antsy to get my hands on Winter. But Fairest adds a lot to the story. It's not some silly fill-in novella. Levana plays a huge part in our heroines journey. She is the villain. Fairest gives readers the insight into how Levana came to be the way she is. Which has already changed some of my understanding and views from the earlier books in the series. I also think this insight will come to the forefront when we really meet Winter in Winter. Fairest shows just how much Levana destroyed Winter's life and I can't wait to see how Winter will get her revenge. Winter will be a thrilling conclusion and Fairest did an excellent job of increasing my excitement for its release.
Date published: 2015-08-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Rise of A Villainess "Fairest" by Marissa Meyer is a compelling and imaginative look at the rise of the villainess in the Lunar Chronicles and begins with a malicious, sadistic sister who terrorizes young Princess Levana. With only a "glamour" to cover the scars of her disfigurement and hating her sister the Queen, the Princess yearns for love and a happily- ever- after with Sir Evret Hagle, a handsome royal guard. But although Sir Hagle is a caring friend to the lonely sixteen year old he's in love with, and married to a sweet and pregnant seamstress. As happiness eludes the young royal a darkness grows inside her as she craves but never gets what she hungers for. With her delusions intensifying a sinister opportunity presents itself that has the Princess using her power to make her dreams reality. This unique and captivating tale mixes love, hatred, war, betrayal and death in preparation for a final showdown in the upcoming novel "Winter". The plot is well-written and stirring as a broken and delusional Princess who wants nothing more than to be accepted and loved rises to power. In this story the reader is thrown into a society where monogamy, faithfulness and true love are a fallacy in the court of Artemesia where Queen Channary rules after the assassination of her parents Queen Jannali and King Morrok. It is a time of political unrest and cruelty as the Thaumaturge urges his Queen to look at developing a disease and antidote in their conquest of Earth as well as bio-engineering an army of vicious animalistic soldiers. In this society Princess Levana pursues her dream of ensnaring the good-looking guard she has a crush on, only to have her heart broken and her lust for power grow. The plot flows swiftly with Princess Levana's heartbreaking account of her desperation, pain and tragic loss as her sadness and loneliness transforms her. The characters are well-developed and unforgettable; like Princess Levana Blackburn who's scarred physically and emotionally by her vicious, domineering sister. At sixteen she feels invisible and unknown, clinging to any offering of affection and building a delusion of a love that's unrequited. Determined, resourceful but empty inside she covets the throne as darkness and heartbreak overwhelm her humanity. Queen Channary is the spoiled, self-absorbed sister who's cruel, selfish and arrogant. Sir Evret Hagle the royal guard is intelligent and cunning on duty, in love with his beautiful but fragile wife Solstice and protective of his daughter Winter. Weak-willed, duty-oriented and frightened of the young royal he succumbs to temptation rather than fleeing his life in the city. All these characters and more add to the drama and energy of a story that will lead to a reckoning in the next novel. I enjoyed "Fairest", a fascinating look at the destructiveness and cruelty that moulded a vicious Queen who wanted a happily -ever- after only to be swept into a nightmare of her own creation.
Date published: 2015-03-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Didn't want to love this story, but I did I'll be honest: when I first heard that Fairest would be published in early 2015, pushing back the release of Winter to Fall 2015, I was not happy. It got even worse when I found out Fariest is a novella on Queen Levana. It took a few weeks after this book's release before I caved and bought it. And I'm glad I did. I did not want to sympathize with Queen Levena, but Meyer gets you to sympathize with her. Fairest acts as a prequel to the series as more context with all the major characters are revealed. This is good for fans if you want a deeper understanding into this futuristic/fantasy world. It does what a prequel is supposed to do. Plus, there's a chapter 1-3 excerpt of Winter at the end. BEAUTIFUL end pages (the pages glued to the inside cover when you open the book). If you don't know what they look like, pick up a copy and open it up. I guarantee you will find it beautiful. Still disappointed that the last book, Winter, was pushed back half a year (making it almost a two year gap since its predecessor, Cress, which is double the typical writing/editing/publishing length for a YA series), but I did enjoy Fairest.
Date published: 2015-03-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Truth Behind the Glamour I was beyond excited when I first heard about Marissa Meyer's next novel, Fairest, featuring the prequel/backstory of the terrifying villain in her Lunar Chronicles series. Queen Levana is presented as a brutal, merciless, and enigmatic antagonist in the previously released books; but, rarely do the readers get a sense of her true character. Finally, we find out what exactly Levana is hiding underneath her veil, and the truth is not pretty. Fairest takes the readers on a journey into the psyche of a truly twisted character. There are moments when you sympathize with Levana and moments when you shake your head at the things she ends up doing. Truthfully, she is quite tragic, but pity is hard to maintain when you read the preview of the first three chapters of Meyer's final book in the Lunar Chronicles series, Winter, found in the end of the book. Meyer has successfully mixed up my emotions in regards to Queen Levana Blackburn of Luna, as any author ought to do with their villains. Well done!
Date published: 2015-02-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love! Um. Wow. Unrequited love, a sadistic psychopathic sister and her downright spiral into evil, Levana really makes you want to sympathize and even pity her. Fairest is set when she is about sixteen years old to the time she's in her early twenties I'm assuming. It really does set the tone for how she acts in all of the previous books. Now that I have a better understanding of where she came from and what she had to deal with, her absentee parents, her beautiful and mostly cruel older sister Channery..I can begin to understand why she wanted to rise to become empress of the galaxy. She is good at it. She's good at protecting her country, her home because it's all she has left. As I kept reading I slowly grew more horrified. The scars, the pain, the manipulation that happened..I knew it could be so, but I didn't want it to happen. And even with her family problems, she happened to crush on one of her guards who so happened to be with a family. This is unrequited love at its finest, and Marissa Meyer does it so well. I even felt sorry for her. It just so happens that she started her powers for mind control and manipulation here. No doubt it was sparked by her crazy sister.You can see the selfishness start to creep, the sinister thoughts that awaken at every turn. I was a little creeped out to be honest. I loved Fairest. It definitely added to the overall world building experience. To catch a glimpse into the point of view of a villain must be a hard thing to do, but nonetheless, I enjoyed it. Wholly 5 stars for me because I know I will be thinking about some of the scenes in here for a long time. Fireplaces will not be the same for me after reading this.
Date published: 2015-02-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Review from Esther's Ever After *Please note: there will be very small, minor spoilers for the previous books in The Lunar Chronicles. I will not include any details - but suffice to say, I will mention who the main antagonist for the series is. This review is nearly spoiler-free for the series. The Lunar Chronicles has been a delightful series so far, and news that a prequel was coming had me eagerly awaiting its arrival. In particular, the fact that Fairest focuses its attention on Queen Levana, the main antagonist in the first three books of The Lunar Chronicles and I'm assuming the last one as well. Fairest is exactly what a prequel should be, as it narrates some of Levana's personal history and she came to be the Queen of Luna as we readers now know her. As an aside, I would recommend reading this prequel after having read Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress - I also think it fits in well before Winter, but then again I haven't yet read Winter! Basically, I would suggest reading the books in the order in which they were released. I enjoyed Fairest because I was already familiar with many of the central characters in The Lunar Chronicles series, and if you haven't read the previous books I think you'll miss many of the little clues or truly appreciate some of the details. Reasons to Read: 1. Evilness: nature versus nurture? At this point in the series, many of us have been horrified by the rumours surrounding Queen Levana and the actions she has taken. And I was deeply interested to read Fairest so I could learn more about Levana's mind and her personal life. I like that Marissa Meyer didn't just leave Levana as a villain - she gave her a back story and made her feel more like a real character than a ghost. But we aren't given any easy answers in Fairest - it wasn't clear to me at all whether Levana's character worsened over time because of events in her life, or if that was just the way she had always been. It's an interesting question though, and I appreciate that Marissa did make it as clear cut. 2. A character-driven story, but also some world building: Up until this point, we haven't had much information in the series about Luna in general. None of our characters have spent much time there, so this is our first through glimpse into the world of Luna. Even better, we have a historical perspective on it - the events in Fairest take place in the past from the point of the other books in the series. So yes, we have the gift of hindsight but it also makes it much easier to understand why the events in the previous books have taken place. While the story is really about Levana, it can't help but explore some of Luna as well. 3. The best villains in a story are still characters: I'm never enchanted with books that make a character a villain simply because the plot demanded it. I suppose I view life as shades of gray that I can't make that black and white distinction - a villain is still a person, or they should be at least. There needs to be that depth of the character, and it's a true sign of a writer's strength if they can flesh out the dimensions of their antagonist. Fairest is as heartbreaking story, and one that needs to be read. When we see people do horrible things, it's natural for us to wonder "why?" This book is the answer to that question in The Lunar Chronicles. Review copy received from Raincoast Books for review; no other compensation was received.
Date published: 2015-01-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An intriguing prequel to the series Fairest is a look into the past of a cruel and controlling tyrant, the beginning of her and her rule. The beginning of everything. It's hard to feel any small amount of compassion towards Levana, knowing what she becomes, knowing the crimes she is guilty of, knowing how much blood is on her hands, but those short moments of sympathy do exist. It's because her true self is found here, in the pages of this book. A sad, scarred, lonely girl, unloved by those she wants to love her and bullied by a crass and uncaring sister. If it wasn't for her glamour, if she couldn't hide her scars, then I imagine she would be nothing. Nothing but a shell of a person, hiding from the world. Of course, it's just as likely that she wouldn't blind everyone so they would never see what she truly looks like. Obsession fills her. The desire to be seen as beautiful, perfect. The desire to be loved, by everyone and by one person in particular. Nothing else matters, no obstacle will keep her from making him hers. However, the most frightening thing about Levana isn't the depths of her obsession, the lengths she'll go to get what she wants, but her intelligence. Her sister's flippant attitude towards anything serious gives Levana the chance to show she can make the tough decisions needed to rule over the Moon. That, combined with her obsession, make her an unstoppable force. The series is here in its entirety, the bits and pieces that make up the beginning are present in the background of Levana's tragic tale. The disease and its cure, the plans for an army with animal instinct, the doctors and scientists before they disappear, the plots and plans to gain control over Earth. I do wonder what it would be like to read this without reading the previous three books, how the story would unfold that way. This is definitely a must-read for fans of the series, for those desperate over waiting for Winter. As sad as this story is, it was still interesting to see how it all started, where it all started. Why Levana is the way she is. This is an intriguing character study.
Date published: 2015-01-28

Extra Content

Editorial Reviews

"She loves fiercely and kills with little remorse; her iron grip over the Lunar people is equal parts impressive and terrifying. Queen Levana from "The Lunar Chronicles'" is more than a beautiful villain. In this prequel, Meyer explains how she went from lonely, shy second daughter to the most feared and relentless woman in the universe. . . . Thorough world-building and fascinating character development will thrill fans and entice new readers." -School Library Journal