This book is part of the Lunar Chronicles series. You can find my reviews for the rest of the series below:
Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1)
Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2)
Cress (Lunar Chronicles #3)
Fairest (Lunar Chronicles #3.5)
Winter (Lunar Chronicles #4)
Stars Above (Lunar Chronicles #4.5)
(summary 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?
WARNING! If you haven’t read any of the books in this series then I would very much recommend that you not read this review (yes, that’s right. I am actively turning people away from my blog!) Although there will be no spoilers for Winter I cannot promise that through my review I wont say something that may be a little bit spoilery for one of the previous books. Feel free to check out my earlier reviews though (all links above) and let me entice you towards this incredible series.
I always find writing review for books that I have loved to be the hardest. How do you put into words just how amazing the book has been? How do you convince people to read it too without being able to tell them all the spoilery things that make it so amazing. How do you stop fan-girling long enough to actually be able to write a half decent review?!
“She’s our lost princess. And she’s coming home.“
Good reviews are the hardest, and will always be the hardest for me to write. But I write them because people need to know how amazing the book was, the book deserves to be talked about, and I’m hoping that I do a half decent job in this review of telling just why I loved Winter so much…
Starting right at the very beginning of this book with the cover which is gorgeous and in keeping with the other covers in this series. The title and apple very much hint at the fairy tale the book is themed around. I love the way that Meyer manages to incorporate parts of the original fairy tales into the story whilst also keeping her heroines totally unique characters in their own right.
“Winter started to clap. “Brilliant speech. Such gumption and bravado.”
“And yet strangely lacking in any sort of actual strategy,” said Scarlet.
“Oh, good, I’m glad you noticed that too,” said Iko. “I was worried my processor might be glitching.” “
This is Winter’s book, so I guess I should talk about her first. When I read the final chapter of Cress (book #3) which featured Winter I was a little nervous, I didn’t know if I could like this girl. She seemly a little strange and I wasn’t sure if she was good or bad. But then I read Fairest and I learnt her backstory, and then I started Winter and she was simply beautiful, and not just physically. Her whole character was just so innocent and pure despite all the horrors she had been put through and I couldn’t help but like her just as much as Cinder, Scarlet and Cress.
As she has grown up she has been seen as this weak girl due to her nightmares and hallucinations, when in fact the strength that it has taken her to to not use her gift of mental manipulation (which causes her nightmares & hallucinations) is staggering. She has spent her whole life fearing for her life from Levana, but still not once does she give into the lure of her gifts and therefore shows her incredible strength.
“I’m going to make it a law that the correct way to address your sovereign is my giving a high five.”
Kai’s smiled brightened. “That’s genius. Me too.”
But even thought this was Winter’s book we still got POV’s from all the other characters we have come to love (and hate) in this series. All of these characters, even with their flaws and insecurities and occasionally questionable morals, are the best kind of characters. Loyalty, trust and love make up the bond that has kept our favourite crew stuck together through this entire series, and even on the really bad days they have pulled each other through.
Winter’s POV slides seamlessly into this book and at no point did I feel confused about whose POV I was reading. Meyer has done an amazing job of giving each character their own individual voice and it is very easy to swap between them and know whose POV you are reading from.
“Oh, I fully intend to form an alliance with Luna.” Kai glanced at the cyborg foot again. “I just intend to put a different queen on the throne first.”
I hate endings and I was petrified, uncertain how this book was going to end for everyone, and there was definitely a couple of characters in particular that I was very very nervous about. All the relationships are at different points in this book, some brand new others having been there since Cinder but they all continue to develop in this book (even though they are all trying to overthrow a monarch!) and I love that even in the madness Meyer made time for the cute, the sweet and the romantic little moments for each of our characters.
Each of the romances in this book is different but totally believable and it would pain me to try and pick my favourite. They all have their beautiful moments and their heartbreak. There was never one couple that I was totally sure would make it to the end of the series together. Meyer liked to tease with us, constantly separating our couples and then throwing them back together until my heart couldn’t take anymore!
“They’re the first crew I’ve ever had and most of them even call me Captain. I’m going to miss them.“
This book was brutal at times, I mean our characters were in the middle of a war so we knew this had to happen and the way in which it was done was so very believable. But really, how many times can you have your characters captured and then rescued/escape in one book?! I lost count!
With most books like this you have to wait until the end for some big action filled fight, which in the case of Winter would be torture due to its 800 pages. But Meyer writes this book perfectly and there were so many action filled moments leading up to our big ending that I kept getting scared I had reached the end and it was about to be over.
“Did you see any rice in there? Maybe we could fill Cinder’s head with it.”
Everyone stared at him.
“You know, to…absorb the moisture, or something. Isn’t that a thing?”
“We’re not putting rice in my head.”
I was a latecomer to the Lunar Chronicles but no less of a fan. I loved this series from the first page of Cinder to the last page of Winter and it was so hard saying goodbye to these characters, my favourite crew. Meyer has done herself proud with an incredible debut series that managed to twist some of our fairy tales into the most incredible of stories and I am in awe of how she imagined all this in her head.
The world building in particular was incredible and the addition of Lunar in this book made for some magical imagery. I can’t believe we aren’t going to be getting any more stories from this incredible series and although it makes me sad, I am also extremely happy because it was perfect and an honour to read.
She hesitated before asking, “Do you ever think about the future?”
His expression turned wary. “Of course I do.”
“And … does it include me?”
His gaze softened in a way that made her pulse skip. Releasing the overhead pipe, he tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. “That depends on whether I’m thinking about the good future or the bad one.”
Cinder shut her eyes and tucked her head under his chin. “As long as one of them does.”
This book is going to cause a lot of bookish hangovers but is an amazing ending to the series. It may seem a bit scary at 800 pages, but every single one of them deserves its place and adds something incredible to the story. I can’t wait for more books from Marissa Meyer, but for now I’m going to mourn the end of this fantastic series.
Re-Readability: Yes! Yes! Yes!
I would recommend this book to fans of: Retellings, futuristic worlds, YA dystopians, rebellions