Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?
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.
To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to like Fairest. (Spoiler alert: I loved it!) A tale from the point-of-view of an evil queen? I didn’t need her back story to dislike her. The first three books of the Lunar Chronicles had already proven to me she’s not a nice person. But as I read, I came to realize that Levana’s story is important. It gives her dimension, though not a flattering one. In sharing what happened to Levana before we met Cinder, Meyer emphasizes that it wasn’t in Levana’s nature to be an evil queen, but it was how she was nurtured (or the lack of nurturing) that transformed her into the villain of the story. Levana suffered from the fact that her parents didn’t care for her, and then were assassinated when she was sixteen years old. Levana suffered from her older sister, Channary’s torment, the details of which are divulged in the book. Fairest doesn’t have a main character we root for, but it gave us a villain to root against. I recommend it to all fans of fairy tales, villians and of course, the Lunar Chronicles!
First order of business: THE RUMORS ARE TRUE! Winter will be over 800 pages! Shortly after Marissa came out (to clapping and cheering), she shared with us that she finished writing Winter just last week! This is, of course, thrilling news and November can’t come soon enough because I need to know what happens to Cinder, Scarlet, Cress and I’m excited to dive into Winter’s story.
But I got a little ahead of myself... Last night, the Lunar Ball kicked off at 6PM, with two games of trivia and a costume contest. Joseph-Beth Booksellers went the extra mile to welcome Marissa and readers to the event. I grabbed a trivia packet, which included a word search, crossword and code-breaking game that used Fairest to decipher a secret sentence. After using my exceptional skill (this is where sarcasm font would come in handy) and my copies of the books, I won a small Lunar Chronicles gift bag with two postcards, two stickers, a bookmark and a button. Swag is the best!
The event got underway when Marissa Meyer joined us to judge the costume contest. Cheers to all those who dressed up—I saw some amazing Queen Levana, Scarlet, Cress and Cinder costumes as well as some generally fancy folks! Marissa talked a little bit about Fairest, and how the story came to be. Then she shared a special excerpt from Winter, one that isn’t in the three chapter preview at the end of Fairest! I’m not going to spoil it, but let’s just say that Jacin might not be quite the heartless jerk that he’s been portrayed as so far…
|Talking to the crowd!|
After reading the excerpt, Marissa answered some questions for the crowd. She’s an expert question-answerer by the way—it was quick-fire and she probably got through twenty-five questions in twenty minutes while still giving satisfying answers. Marissa talked about how the series came to be (she wrote a Puss in Boots short story set in the future then had a dream where instead of losing her slipper, Cinderella’s whole foot fell off—she’s a cyborg!). Marissa talked movie rights (which sold a few years ago, and last she heard they were working on a script 18 months ago) and that she would love to see Emma Watson play Scarlet in the movie version (which would be a dream come true!). Marissa also shared what she’s working on in the future! In 2016, she’s releasing Heartless, a prequel to Alice in Wonderland focused on the Queen of Hearts and how she got a proclivity for beheading. Marissa’s also working on a trilogy about superheroes, super villains and the gray areas in between. Umm, can I have all five books (Winter, Heartless and the hero trilogy) now please?
Of course, even though members of the crowd asked, Marissa didn’t divulge any Winter spoilers—we don’t know how it will end or if anyone dies but she did say, unfortunately, that “it’s a revolution and sometimes people die in revolutions.” Nooooo!
Then came the signing!
|Check out the gorgeous backdrop!|
|Marissa and me!|
|Signed copy of Fairest plus swag!|
Thanks Marissa for writing the Lunar Chronicles, coming to the Midwest and generally being awesome!
Disclaimer: This post is an unofficial account of the event with Marissa Meyer on January 31, 2015 at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Cincinnati, OH. The views that I present in this post are my interpretations of the event, and they do not necessarily represent the opinions of Marissa Meyer, her publisher or any affiliates.