Fairest is a prequel novella in The Lunar Chronicles series by New York Times-bestselling author Marissa Meyer.
In this article, you will find answers to some frequently asked questions about this book.
Also, this article contains spoilers. So if you haven’t read Fairest yet, proceed with caution.
I hope you enjoy reading these, and I hope this post answers some of the questions you may have about this book!
Who is Levana Blackburn?
Levana Blackburn was born to King Marrok Blackburn and Queen Jannali Blackburn, six years after her sister Channary. As a child, the frequent use of glamours and manipulation in her family strongly influenced Levana to do the same. When Levana was six, Channary convinced her to stick her hand in a fireplace, which was a hologram. But Channary actually set a fire over the fake one. At some point, they get into a fight and Levana accidentally pushes Channary into the fire. This makes Channary very mad and she uses her glamour to force Levana to throw herself into the fire, resulting in serious burns on Levana’s arms and also seriously disfiguring her face.
Later, Levana falls in love (or rather, becomes obsessed) with Evret Hayle. His wife dies in childbirth, and Levana forces her feelings on Evret, convincing him to marry her even though he has no romantic feelings for her. She tries to kill her niece in a fire wanting to rule Luna instead of allowing Princess Selene to claim the throne.
What does Levana look like?
In Cinder, Levana uses her glamour to hide her true appearance. With her glamour, she has long and curly auburn hair, onyx eyes, and extremely red lips. She bases her glamour on Solstice Hayle, but changes the color of her skin from honey to ivory, the color of her eyes and hair to auburn, and makes minor alterations to her body. For instance, “her waist is a little slimmer and her bust a little fuller”. The form of her hair and face remains mostly the same as Solstice, except her lips, which are “shockingly, vividly red”.
Beneath her glamour, Levana is horrifically disfigured from her burns. Her left eye is permanently sealed shut, and the scar tissue on the side of her face is formed of ridges and grooves. Half of her face is paralyzed from the incident, and great chunks of hair will never grow back. The scars continue down her neck and shoulder, half of her chest and upper ribs, all the way down to her hand.
How old is Levana in The Lunar Chronicles?
In Fairest, Levana starts out as a 16-year-old girl. And the book covers roughly 10 years. At the end of Fairest she is around 26m and at the start of Cinder, she is around 34 to 36 years old.
What book comes after Fairest in The Lunar Chronicles?
Depending on if you read Fairest as last or in between you can either read Winter next and Stars Above after that or just Stars Above after.
Is this book spicy?
No Fairest is not spicy. Levana is obsessed with Evret and acts on this obsession. There is some kissing yet no sex on-page. However, there is talk about Levana not being able to get pregnant.
Is there romance in this book?
Yes, there is romance in this book. However, the romance is only from Levana’s side since her love interest only sees her as a friend. That said, she uses her Lunar gift to manipulate him into loving her.
Are there LGBTQ+ characters or romance in this novella?
No, Fairest does not contain LGBTQ+ characters or romance.
Is this book enemies to lovers?
This book is more friends to enemies to forced marriage. Levana has an obsession with Evret who is a guard of her parents, and when they die, of her sister too. However, Evret is married and expecting a baby. When his wife dies in childbirth, she uses her lunar gift to force her feelings into his mind. Evret tries to fight her, but when she asks him to marry her, he can’t say no.
The funeral of Levana’s parents is taking place. Levana and her older sister Channary do not have a close relationship with their parents and feel no sadness for their deaths. Also, the two detest each other as Channary is naturally beautiful yet cruel, whereas Levana needs glamour to make herself beautiful and call herself the fairest queen.
During the funeral, Levana sees Evret Hayle, a royal guard who has known Levana for many years now and is ten years older than her. Levana has a crush on Evret and is immediately sad and jealous when she meets Solstice, his wife. Evret and Solstice are expecting a baby. Levana is extremely jealous and goes to Solstice’s shop where she uses glamour to disguise herself. Levana notices that Solstice’s work is very beautiful when she spots a quilt that Solstice made to look like planet Earth. Before she leaves the shop, she reveals her true identity to Solstice.
Later, Levana is trying out glamours for Channary’s coronation after the funeral. She makes herself look like Solstice when her sister bursts in and Evret sees her. Levana is mortified and rips off the gloves that she bought from Solstice.
Two weeks later, Levana turns sixteen. However, everyone forgets her during her birthday celebration. When she leaves, a guard gives her a present from Evret. Levana opens it and finds a pendant with Earth on it. Inside is a note saying that both Solstice & Evret send her their best wishes. Levana angrily rips up the part about Solstice.
Channary’s royal council come up with a way to make Letumosis succeed. Channary opposes this before Levana agrees to it. Shells are taken and harvested to make the antidote for Leutmosis.
Solstice is going into labor. However, Evret is on his shift, and Channary has no compassion for him. Levana decides to help Evret by letting him go with Levana as her guard to see his wife. However, Solstice does not make it and dies in childbirth leaving a devastated Evret behind with his newborn daughter Winter.
Levana thinks that she and Evret are fated to be together because of Solstice’s death and fools herself into thinking that Evret is in love with her. After Solstice dies, Levana reveals her feelings to Evret, who immediately tells her that he thinks of her as only a friend. She then uses her glamour to make herself look like Solstice. She tries to stop Evret from resigning from his position and begins controlling him in order to make him kiss her. Evret is manipulated into loving her, but always feels restrained and knows that his love for her is fake.
Evret tells Levana to stop manipulating him and reminding him of Solstice. Impulsively, Levana asks Evret to marry her and he’s forced to agree. However, he never stops being a guard after marrying Levana. Meanwhile, Channary announces that she’s pregnant, and the father is unknown. She later talks about setting up Selene with Kai, the heir to the Eastern Commonwealth. Channary soon dies of regolith poisoning leading Levana to suspect her sister of frequenting regolith caves with suitors.
Levana becomes queen regent to the throne before Selene is thirteen and old enough to become queen herself. However, she dreads the fact that she has only twelve years to rule and ends up envisioning her niece’s death. When Selene turns three, Levana hires a nanny for Selene. Levana takes Winter to the doctor while the nanny is left alone with the princess. Everyone thinks that Selene has died. Though there are rumors that Selene survived.
Winter & Evret become friends with Garrison’s family. Levana feels left out as she is never included in family affairs. Through Evret, she discovers that the pendant on her birthday was really a gift from Solstice, who pitied her. Levana shows Evret what she truly looks like under her glamour and he’s horrified.
Who dies in this book?
There are multiple people who die in this book.
At the start of the book, King Marrok and Queen Jannali die.
Eventually, Channary dies of regolith poisoning.
And Solstice Hayle dies in childbirth.
Evret Hayle also dies at the hand of Joshua Haddon a retired head thaumaturge who is then killed by Levana.
How does this book end?
Levana decides that an alliance with Earth is necessary for resources. She decides to assassinate Evret so she can marry the heir to the Eastern Commonwealth back on Earth. Joshua Haddon kills Evret as Levana promises that she’ll marry him if he does so. She stabs Haddon with a knife immediately after he murders Evret. Evret’s last wish is for Levana to protect and take care of Winter.
I hope this article has answered some of your questions about this book.
And if you want to read more about the Lunar Chronicles on this blog, check out our posts about:
Lastly, I hope that, if you have any questions I didn’t get to answer in this post, you will let me know in the comments below!