This book in the series introduces our final fairytale heroine, Winter. Princess Winter is in danger because her stepmother, Levana, is jealous of her beauty and the love she receives from the people of Luna, and therefore wants her dead. Yes, the last fairytale retelling is Snow White.
Princess Winter suffers from terrible visions and hallucinations because she refuses to use her lunar mind powers to control others. She often sees things that are not there, and many think she is crazy. Her one true friend is her guard, Jacin, whom she has known since childhood. Winter is in love with Jacin, but he feels unable to return her love because of their different statuses. He puts his own feelings for her aside as he dedicates himself to keeping her safe, no matter the cost.
As Winter’s own story is being told, we also continue to follow our main heroine, Cinder – the lost Princess Selene and rightful heir to the throne of Luna. Cinder has accepted the truth about who she is and is ready to take back what is hers, ending Levana’s tyranny. Kai, the emperor of the Commonwealth, does everything he can to help her, while at the same time doing what he thinks is best for his own country. Unfortunately, this means following through with his marriage to Levana and as a result, obtaining the cure to letumosis, the epidemic that has claimed the lives of millions of earthens.
In addition to the support she receives from Kai, Cinder also has the help of her friends, Iko, Scarlet, Wolf, Cress, and Thorne, all of whom wish to see her overthrow Levana. We see the relationships that began in the earlier books continue to develop and deepen, and also be put to the test. It is unclear whether or not the characters we have grown to care about will actually end up together in the end. Meyer intentionally makes us wait till the last 50 pages or so (out of over 800) to find out if these characters will survive the final fight and find their own happily ever afters.
This series exceeded my expectations. If you can wrap your head around the idea of futuristic fairytale retellings that take place not only on earth but also in space, I think you may enjoy The Lunar Chronicles as much as I did.
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