Winter is a retelling of Snow White and the final book in Marissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles series. Fair warning that this will have spoilers if you haven’t read the first book Cinder, the second book Scarlet, and the third book Cress which you can read my reviews for here, here, and here.
Princess Winter is beloved by the Lunar people for her grace, kindness, and stunning beauty—which is said to even rival her stepmother’s, Queen Levana’s. Winter despises her stepmother, whom she knows won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend and palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes. Together with Cinder and her allies, she might even be able to start a revolution.
There were a lot of things I really liked in this book then there were some I wasn’t so crazy about, I mean a lot happens in 824 pages.
In this book we’re actually on the moon! Luna is really interesting and kind of hard to picture. There’s this elaborate castle and capitol where Levana lives obviously, and then there are sectors. Each sector is a different class and has a different job, I thought of it kind of like The Hunger Games and the districts. Plus, there’s these dome-esque things covering each portion of Luna.
Winter also has a really fast pace, it’s just one thing after another. Meyer creates really great conflict and writes some really strong action sequences. Like at points it feels like the scenes could be in a Mission Impossible movie or something.
Let’s get to Winter. She’s Levana’s stepdaughter and the Lunar Princess that we got a glimpse of in the last book. Winter is supposed to be even more beautiful than the Queen, even with the three scars—given to her by Levana—on her face. She saved Scarlet and refuses to use her Lunar abilities, which makes her kind of crazy.
She’s definitely one of my least favorite main characters in this series. I know she’s a good person, but I had a hard time connecting with her. A lot of the time she’s just speaking gibberish or having a total freak out, and it just made me want to be with the others in the action instead. That being said, sometimes she just pretends to be crazy to get her way or trick people and I found it absolutely hilarious and very cunning. Her dynamic with Scarlet was also very nice, albeit a little odd, and Meyer did a great job weaving a lot of Snow White aspects into her story.
“She was prettier than a bouquet of roses and crazier than a headless chicken. Fitting in was not an option.”
Winter’s love interest if you didn’t figure it out from the last book is Jacin. He betrayed Cinder and her friends by leaving them during Kai’s kidnapping, but he definitely has no love or loyalty for Queen Levana. He’s been Winter’s friend since childhood and will do anything to protect her. Again, Jacin’s one of my least favorite characters in the group. I feel like he’s a little bland compared to Kai, Thorne, and Wolf.
Speaking of Kai, the poor guy. This whole series he’s been stuck appeasing and distracting Levana. I like that he’s finally in on it though, and he really feels like he has something tangible to fight for. Him and Cinder are still separated for most of the book, but the moments they do have are really sweet and tender—they gave me butterflies in my stomach.
Cinder struggles a lot in this book. She is confronted with people sacrificing themselves and dying with her. She finds it all unbearable and it really breaks her heart. She also starts to envision the future and her ruling Luna, that’s scary enough but then she realizes fitting Kai into that future is almost impossible—that’s a long long distance relationship.
But, in typical Cinder fashion she kicks some ass. I mean Cinder is leading this rebellion and constantly putting her life on the line. She is such a strong character physically and emotionally and it was really inspiring to see her act in such a way.
Wolf was very depressed in the last book because they lost Scarlet, but now they’re on Lunar and Scarlet is on Lunar so there’s hope. I don’t think anything really changes with Wolf in this book compared to the other ones, I feel like his arc is pretty stagnant. We do see his mom in this book though, because Wolf is from Luna. She takes them in and is really the ones to rally the people of her sector behind Cinder.
As always, Thorne was great. I think he took on a lot more responsibility in this book and was a little bit more mature—kind of like in Cress—but don’t worry he’s still comedic and has great one-liners. For me, it all stemmed from a conversation Throne had with Kai at the beginning Winter. He basically says he doesn’t deserve Cress because she thinks he’s a hero. Kai, the perfect guy that he is, tells him maybe he should start acting like the guy Cress deserves—and he does, which is so swoon worthy. Plus, he gets his eyesight back!
“Thorne scoffed. ‘Careful is my middle name. Right after Suave and Daring.’ ‘Do you even know what you’re saying half the time?’ asked Cinder.”
Cress got a hundred percent more awkward in this book as soon as Throne could see. It was super frustrating but also funny and adorable. Every time he’d turn toward her, she’d look away. She steps it up in this book. I mean Cress has always been nervous and afraid, but in Winter she puts that aside and always pick what’s bravest and best for her friends. It was really great to see that happen.
Iko was really funny in terms of Luna, just because no one there knew what to do with her. She can’t be mind controlled and shooting her toes nothing.
Queen Levana is as demanding and evil as ever. There’s a lot more pressure and high stakes in this book because Cinder is on Luna, and you can just see her become super paranoid and what’s left of her sanity disintegrate. I guess there’s a novella that tells Levana’s story called Fairest that goes between Cress and Winter. I didn’t read it, but you do learn a lot about Levana’s backstory, her true appearance, and her glamour in Winter. It was fascinating and disturbing all at the same time.
Winter was a fast-paced and thrilling conclusion to a five-star series. You can find it on Amazon and the author Marissa Meyer at marissameyer.com. Give it a read and let me know what you think in the comments. Plus leave recommendations for my next book!