“Her whole body was wound up tight. She was ready to storm the palace herself – an army of one.”
The thrilling conclusion to the series The Lunar Chronicles, by Marissa Meyer wins hands down as one of the best sci-fi fantasy novels of 2015 that has just about everything you could hope for in a book. Action, romance, suspense, a diverse set of characters, a chilling villian, and more.
Picking up from the last installment Cress, the characters Cinder, Cress, Scarlet, Wolf, Thorne, Iko, and Kai, are aboard the Rampion a space pod ship. They are getting ready to hatch a new plan in order to take down the ruthless Queen Levana of Luna once and for all, so Cinder can rightfully claim her throne. Throughout the novel Cinder also receives help from Winter, a princess of Luna (a moon colony), and Jacin, a royal guard.
In Winter, the readers are introduced to the characters, Winter and Jacin, hence the title. Winter is a character undergoing a disease called “Lunar Sickness” where she experiences hallucinations, as her mental state is deteriorating.
“…the walls have been bleeding for years, and no one else sees it.”
Very rarely in the Young Adult Novel world are characters written with this dynamic.
Including a character who is at the mercy of a disease, with no cure, adds a touch of realism to the book. Including a character who isn’t doing well mentally, adds representation to a large group of people, something that was needed in 2015 and still needed in 2019.
The representation doesn’t stop there. Winter is a manifestation of the tale Snow White, but instead of Winter being caucasian she is described with skin as “black as ebony wood”, and the characters Cinder and Kai, are both from China.
What has made this series unique is its a series based off of classic fairytales, but the women are strong, “I was always much more drawn to those strong, empowered female characters — both as a reader and as a writer,” Meyer said in an interview in the Bustle.
Winter is the final installment in the series, where Cinder, who ever since book one, has been set with the ambition of taking down the queen, and throughout the series we see her grow with new friends along the way. The dynamic between the women in the series is what makes this book so refreshing in the Young Adult genre. These women have stuck together, and do not immediately hate each other, which is what makes them realistic portrayals of women, and therefore this series accurately establishes women empowerment.
“When they arrived, they arrived in force- a dozen military ships surrounding the safe house, guns drawn.”
Not only does Meyer portray women relationships in an accurate manner, but she also makes them strong. Meyer makes her characters have the will to use weapons and fight, to overthrow a queen. It’s important that women read about characters who are strong, that way they believe they too can fight, and no longer be silenced.
Even though there were many characters in the novel, 830 pages were enough to pace the story properly, which shows how well done the writing is. Each character was given a solid amount of time, for the reader to get to know, and be able to enhance the plot, leading up to the big showdown between Cinder and the queen.