Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, book 4) by Marissa Meyer
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?
To the world, Linh Cinder is a dangerous felon who kidnapped a world leader and instigated war, while Princess Selene could be the solution to all our problems with Luna.
For me books that end a series are the poops. Either they feel rushed and easy as an author tries to wrap up an arc. Though I will confess when that happens it's usually because a series that needed more books prematurely got the axe. But other times long running series can still end bad. Despite having many books already they are STILL rushed or things are just too happy. You know there are no repercussions and everyone gets an HEA. Basically a rosie eyed view to make fans happy. The kind that are sunshine and daisies when the final page of their much beloved series ends. While I'm wanting characters to lose limbs, lives, and have to live with the reality of the situation. Maybe that's why I loved Mockingjay.
So when Winter came out I bought it and immediately made myself read it. Procrastinating was not allowed. Imagine my surprise when about halfway through I realized that Winter was indeed going to be a solid closer, and by the last page I was sooooooo happy. While not everyone had a Happily Ever After, some would get them “off page”. Others HEA weren't how they had pictured them, but I thought the way Meyer had written them made them fill more real. The emotions and connections of the characters better.
Cress and Thorne not only became my favorite couple, but some of my favorite characters. Especially Thorne! He is the best thing about the series, and this book. The real treat is that I do love all the characters that share the stage of the Lunar Chronicles. Scarlet got some series kickass time and roles in the revolution. Making up for getting benched in Cress. Wolf, well he just keeps getting kicked in the face. Ugh. But it worked out showing how perfect Scarlet is for him and how amazing Wolf is. Not just being a Red Riding Hood inspired story, but a bit of Beauty and the Beast. Kai and Cinder were amazing in this book! And I loved how the responsibility that Cinder is taking on is not shrugged off, and when she talks about her goals for Luna it's fully realized that these goals are going to take time to establish. Bravo.
"Dearest Sir Clay,” she mused, and he wondered if she'd detected his desperation. "Do not think I am unaware of what I am asking you to do and how difficult it will be for you. But I am being merciful. I know you will be quick. She will not suffer at your hands. In this way, I also fulfill my promise to her father, don't you see?"
She was insane. Absolutely insane.
The worst of it was that he thought she might actually believe what she was saying.
Winter was a fantastical character. She didn't have near enough page time, Jacin as well. It's enough to establish them, their roles, and developing them to feel real. And part of me believes that if there would have been too much Winter in this final book the story would have suffered. After all all the requirements were met for their story and character growths. Plus, Winter’s madness may have gotten old.
There were more side characters introduced and old favorites. Which was perfect as they interacted beautifully with the main cast and influenced the end game. Also, Iko fans are teased with the potential of a love interest! Not to mention Levana's further decent into madness.
She believed what she'd said before. Levana could kill her, but Cinder had to believe her death wouldn't be the end. This revolution no longer belonged to her.
Meyer did an excellent job at portraying how dire the situations were, but still keeping that humor and heart that the series has had. Not to mention that Cinder gets a chance to face her Step Mother and Sister, and I felt immensely proud of her. The final battle of the people and Cinder vs. Queen are gritty and real. Which I was thankful for. At this point I've learned to accept that the Lunar verse won’t flesh out some aspects, but it makes up for it in other areas. My mind almost quit asking the tons of questions about the world building that it has. Almost.
In the end Winter was the perfect ending to this series. The pace is amazing and though it's long it will zoom by. It covers all the bases and manages to achieve it's end goals without feeling like a cop out. None of the characters are compromised and I enjoy that HEA aren't just a given.
Sexual Content: Some kissing and mild make out scenes.
5/5- Fabulous, a beautiful obsession!
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