Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.
Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.
Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?
I won’t lie. I was a bit wary of this book. First of all, when I discovered the page count was over eight hundred, I thought the author probably tries to cram way too much into the last book. Also, it’s been my experience that books in a series rarely get better. For example, I actually disliked Scarlet when I read that book. But somehow, some way Marissa Meyer gave me new hope…. because this book was freaking amazing.
I’ll admit it, there were parts I still wasn’t interested and at times, it seemed like the story was copying Mockingjay. But overall I loved this book. So let me break it down for you based on the characters and I promise no spoilers that you wouldn’t already know from reading the previous three books and/or Fairest.
Obviously this is the Cinderella couple in this story. But the best part of it all is the fact that they are really invested in trying to overthrow Levana in order to create a better world(s) for all. While Cinder has been trying to embrace and learn how to control her Lunar side, she finally discovers that she needs to use every gift she has, especially her cyborg side. These two aren’t overly lovey dovey and it’s nice because it would be extremely inappropriate given the fact they have so much to endure. Still, they with the rest of their friends work together to constantly thwart Levana’s efforts to destroy them.
Sadly, this is the one pairing I have never had any interest in. I don’t know what it is, but the two just never had that thing that really caught my eye, you know? I found myself fighting the urge to skim every time the book went back to Scarlet or Wolf by themselves. Fortunately, those moments were extremely rare. You get to learn more about Wolf’s life on Luna before he was taken by Levana. However, this also leads to some of the biggest areas that seemed like copies or expansions of parts of The Hunger Games. So it really was a hit and a miss for me. As for Scarlet, through her eyes, you get to see a different perception of Winter, which is highly needed as it’s clear she’s pretty bat shit crazy from not using her Lunar powers.
You know, after all their turmoil in Cress, I thought I would have tired of the back and forth with Cress and Thorne. But actually I didn’t. It was nice to see that despite the fact they are clearly meant for each other, they were both too insecure to admit it to the other. This allows both of them to grow throughout the book. Which, let’s face it, was definitely needed. But here’s the thing I like about this couple, despite their obvious lack of abilities in comparison to most of the others, they are always willing to put themselves at risk for those they care about. They definitely become one of my favorite couples by the end of this book.
For some reason, I don’t know why I didn’t think of Jacin as the Huntsman from the Snow White story. But obviously, that’s who he is in this book. Winter is actually a really interesting character. When she’s lucid, she’s kind and thoughtful and when she’s not… well she’s bat shit crazy. It’s entertaining to read about her and her odd interactions with everyone. Jacin, on the other hand, is not as despicable of a character as you would believe. In truth, everything he does is in order to protect Winter. So when he deceived Cinder and the others in Cress, it was so he could get back to Winter. He’s a good guy and they make a nice couple.
I have had some major respect for this character since reading Fairest. She is clearly a product of her environment and in a world as superficial as Luna, you have to fight really hard to stand out and be respected, or in her case, feared. She’s a great antagonist for this series. But the best part of this book was how Meyer did such a great job slowly breaking down Levana. The character is slowly spiraling out of control in the wake of everything that is happening and you begin to see cracks in her facade. It’s a nice touch and it was done extremely well.
If you enjoyed this series, you’ll love this book. It was definitely worth dedicating eight hours of my life to. It’s far from perfect and as someone who has read a lot of books, I could see the strong correlations and inspirations that were gathered from other works, particularly the Hunger Games Saga. But it still works out to be a fantastic read and I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys these kinds of twists on fairy tales. I actually found myself sad as I reached the end of the book because I knew that was it. There would be no more for this series. But it’s also for the best. At least it ended on an extremely high note.
Pick up your copy on Amazon: Winter by Marissa Meyer