Title: Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Published By: Feiwel and Friends | 10 November 2015
Date Read: 17 January 2016
Rating: 5/5 stars
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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?
821 pages of intense, exciting and mushy read!!!
I’ve been holding on for this series for a few years now but was only able to read it just last year and also just in time for the final installment – Winter – to be released and I was actually so happy that I waited for the release of Winter before reading the whole series because binge-reading this series was totally worth the time and the sleepless nights.
As one of Taylor Swift songs goes: “It’s a roller-coaster kind of rush” – Winter gave us an action-packed and revolving plot line with awesome characters that will all leave us at the edge of our seats.
The story started right after the last events in Cress. Cinder and her fairytale hero group have successfully kidnapped Emperor Kai and his wedding with Levana was stopped. And now, the group will travel to Luna to stop Levana from her vicious plans and get her removed from the throne and make way for the real princess – Princess Selene aka Cinder.
As I have mentioned, this book is full of rush and action and a lot of things definitely happened here since its 821 pages long. Though the whole fairytale crew has well made plans there is always a little mishap on it. Every one of them was getting separated; got back together and was separated once again. Others may find it repetitive due to it happened several times already but I actually find it fun. It adds more on the entertainment and anticipation on the book
Though some of them we‘re physically and mentally harmed while others are caught by the guards on the act and was imprisoned I was still apprehensive that one of them will die or something bad will happen to them. I wanted the whole crew to make it all in one piece until the very end and Marissa Meyer have not left any room for me to breathe throughout the story.
One of the things I greatly appreciate about this series is that the main conflict is not about the main characters; there are no love triangles or group problems or similar to that. Yes, they each have their own issues but the main conflict came on the political part of the book – getting the evil queen to abdicate her throne and to stop her from her inhuman plans not only for Luna but for earth as well.
As usual, the world building was awesome! I was actually intrigued on how the life in Luna was and Marissa Meyer did not disappoint it was nice to be on a new setting for once.
As for the characters, I could say that I really did get attached with this crew and what an awesome fairytale crew they are.
Cinder was still the same driven, brave and smart leader of a character. She grew so much on this book comparing on the first time we all saw her on the first book. She made mistakes and learned a lot from it. And with the pressure on saving Earth and Luna, Cinder is willing to do everything to get her rightful throne and save lives even if saving them may also cause deaths of the others.
“Help me. Fight for me. And I will be the first ruler in the history of Luna who will also fight for you.”
Though Kai was forced to play by Levana’s rule and let Cinder and her crew does the works, he remained smart, kind and passionate on his people. Though he was left to do things on his own after his own father’s death we also see the growth of his character. He will do anything and everything for his people.
“I will not let that woman rule the Commonwealth. I would be honored to die in service of my country just as long as I can take her down with me.”
Scarlet and Wolf was the alpha male and female on this story. Though they were forced to be separated on the majority of the story I still love the connection between these two. No matter how many trials have been bestowed on them they never left each others side – emotionally.
Cress and Thorne is one of my favorite couples on this series. Cress with her awesome technology-hacking skills, sweetness and bravery and Carswell Throne with his flirty, sarcastic and spunky attitude makes their story more enjoyable. Don’t even get me started on their burning chemistry. Their story ended on a quite open note on the previous book and as well on the first few chapters of this book, but the thing is they were able to make up their differences at the end.
The main protagonist for this book is Winter – Levana’s step- daughter. This girl did intrigue me ever since her small appearance on Cress’ book. Winter was adored by the people of Luna – maybe more than they adore the Queen itself. Winter is beautiful, timid and has a tendency to be quite strange and have hallucinations at times. This is because she refuses to use her power.
Jacin Clay also played a huge part on this story. Though his character was introduced as an enemy, he was able to explain the actions he has done and was able to redeem himself throughout the story. With his help, the plans of Cinder and her crew became lighter as with him being part of the Queen’s guard he knows that ins and outs of the security on the kingdom.
Winter and Jacin’s love-story made me really swoon with all the childhood stories and their princes and the guard status. I just love their chemistry. However, one thing I was quite sad about is that I wanted more Winter time on this book. It seems that though the book was about Winter we only get to see her on several chapters as it also jumped to different POV’s of the other characters.
Of course, let’s all not forget the humanoid – Iko who is like a breathe of fresh air on this series. I love her sarcastic and funny remarks, humor, endless adoration for Kai, her on-point flirting abilities and her sister-like relationship with Cinder. Though we all know she’s not a real human, it was nice seeing her feel things such a love and friendship for Cinder and the whole crew. I’m also really happy that she was able to find her own ‘body’.
Levana was evil when we get to know her and she is still evil even at the end of this story. I would never get tired of saying that she is one of the most effective villains that I have ever encountered. And her evilness knows no bound – Imagine ordering Jacin – Winter’s guard to kill her? Uhm there is really something wrong with that right? She isn’t the type of villain that can easily be defeated. She’s evil from the beginning and she still is until the very end.
“She is powerful because she can make them love her when she needs them to. We think that if we choose to do only good, then we are only good. We can make people happy. We can offer tranquility or contentment or love, and that must be good. We do not see the falsehood becoming its own brand of cruelty.”
The friendship and dynamics between all the fairytale characters was greatly written. I was actually at ease with the whole team of Cinder, Kai, Scarlet, Wolf, Cress, Thorne, Winter, Jacin and Iko’s relationship. Their relationship/friendship was solid and you know you can rely to each on one them and that no one is a traitor even in the midst of such chaos that is happening. We see all of the grew and find their own selves on this story.
The mushy or should I say romantic side of the story really got me so well. The first few chapters are full mushy and flirty scene and my heart ate all that up. Plus there are a lot of kisses. YAY! My heart is flailing all over with their sweetness and chemistry.
In all, this series has been so great and definitely one of my favorites. I really like how all the characters from different fairytales has been connected to one another and how each of their stories was not far from the original one’s – its just on a different setting. The fairytale retelling was done so greatly. It was so interesting and engaging and will definitely leave you at the edge of you seats.
If you have not read this series yet, please do yourself a favor and pick this one up now!