Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Princess Winter doesn’t agree with her stepmother’s way of ruling Luna. While Levana is heartless and cruel, Winter is admired for her kindness and is said to be even more beautiful than her stepmother. Levana disapproves of Winter’s feelings for the palace guard Jacin and wants to control the princess, but Winter isn’t as weak as Levana thinks she is. Winter joins forces with Cinder and her friends to start a Lunar revolution to create a world that is safe for both people on earth and the Lunars, but while she is trying to convince the people that they have a chance of success in a revolution, she is also fighting the madness that comes from refusing to use her gift to manipulate people. Together, she and her new friends find a way to defeat Queen Levana and find their happily ever afters.
The series in general has a lot of strengths, from well-rounded multiracial characters, strong platonic friendships, fun fairy tale adaptions, and swoon-worthy romantic moments, and these continue in the last book. The climax is dramatic, bloody, and feels like an appropriate ending for a way. One drawback of the plot is that Levana seems to be dethroned not for her cruelty or terrible leadership but her ugliness, taking away some of the good messages from the earlier books and even from Winter’s character. Winter and Jacin also almost feel like side characters than main characters because of how many other characters are important, but they still are uniquely themselves and have their own voices. Again, there are a few too many convenient things and the fact that everyone in the group ends up in a relationship sometimes seems a little forced. However, it is a delightfully fun read and this is a thrilling, satisfying conclusion to this series of fairy tale retellings.