The Lunar Chronicles
This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (May 2017)
|Genre||Fantasy, young adult fiction, romance, science fiction, dystopian|
|Publisher||Feiwel & Friends|
|Media type||Print (hardcover and paperback), audiobook, e-book|
|No. of books||5|
The Lunar Chronicles is a series of young adult fantasy novels written by American author Marissa Meyer. Each book entails a new take on an old fairy tale, including Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Snow White. The story takes place in a futuristic world where earthens, cyborgs, androids, and a race of moon colonists all coexist.
Cinder is the first book in The Lunar Chronicles and second chronologically. It was published on January 3, 2012.
Linh Cinder (based on Cinderella), a cyborg living with her step mother and her two stepsisters, works as a mechanic in a booth at the market place, where she meets Prince Kai, who requests that she fix his personal android. After Cinder's stepsister, Peony, comes into contact with the plague, Cinder is forcibly volunteered for cure testing. As a result, many previously unknown things regarding Cinder's origins surface. At the same time, tensions between Earth and Luna, a lunar colony where most of the citizens have special abilities, are rising with Prince Kai caught in the middle of that and his and Cinder's ever unusual love story.
Scarlet is the second book in The Lunar Chronicles and third chronologically. It was published on February 3, 2013.
Scarlet Benoit (based on Little Red Riding Hood) is the granddaughter of Michelle Benoit, a farmer and former military pilot who has suddenly disappeared. On Scarlet's journey to find her grandmother, she works hesitantly with a street fighter named Wolf. Unfortunately, as Scarlet's trust for Wolf grows, his old lunar gang puts them in unusual circumstances, testing Wolf's loyalties. Deeper connections surface as the gang's malicious intent is finally exposed. Simultaneously, Cinder joins forces with the convict, Carswell Thorne. As the search continues, Scarlet meets Cinder and becomes an ally in her plan to stop the tyranny of Queen Levana and her thaumaturge, Sybil.
Cress is the third book in The Lunar Chronicles and fourth chronologically. It was published on February 4, 2014.
Crescent Moon, or "Cress" Darnel (based on Rapunzel), is an imprisoned shell (a Lunar without special abilities) working with Sybil to help Lunar ships. Living alone on a satellite and harboring an enormous crush on Carswell Thorne, she secretly works to sabotage the wicked Lunar queen, and eventually Cress teams up with Cinder and becomes entangled in her plot to save Earth. As complications arise and the crew is separated, they must do everything they can to prevent a royal wedding from putting Earth into Queen Levana's hands. And all the while, the plague has begun to mutate and even the Lunars are not safe.
Fairest is the fourth book in The Lunar Chronicles and first chronologically. It was published on January 27, 2015.
Fairest is a prequel to the other books in the series, telling the backstory and past of Queen Levana (based on the Evil Queen from Snow White). Fairest begins when Levana is around 15 years old and covers about ten years of her life, ending about a decade before Cinder is set. Levana has grown up in a poisonous household and has a cruel older sister who has been mentally and physically abusive to her throughout her entire life. After her parents are murdered by a Lunar assassin (a Shell), Levana's sister, Channary, is set to become queen. Channary's reign is short-lived, and with Channary's ascension, Levana begins an unexpected downward spiral to becoming heartless when it comes to anything but her people.
Winter is the fifth book in The Lunar Chronicles and fifth chronologically. It was published on November 10, 2015.
Winter (based on Snow White) is Queen Levana's stepdaughter. She has lived on Luna in the palace and has been raised by her stepmother. She has seen how Levana's use of glamour has turned her into a heartless tyrant. Winter decided to never use her gift, so she has not used her Lunar "glamour" since she was twelve. A side effect of not using glamour causes loss of sanity for Lunars and Winter is afflicted with bad hallucinations. As the book goes on, her mental state starts to slowly deteriorate. Winter's only source of comfort from the hallucinations is her guard, childhood friend and crush, Jacin. 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 will not approve of her feelings for Jacin. But Winter is not as weak as Levana believes her to be and she has 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 has been raging for far too long.
Short story collection
Stars Above is a collection of short stories set in The Lunar Chronicles universe. It was published on February 2, 2016. It includes five novellas previously released individually and four originals:
- The Keeper: A prequel to The Lunar Chronicles, showing a young Scarlet and how Princess Selene came into the care of Michelle Benoit.
- Glitches: A short story that takes place before the events of Cinder about Cinder coming to live with her new family at age 11. It was originally released on January 27, 2014.
- The Queen's Army: A short story about Wolf and his brother Ran's past before Scarlet. It was originally released on November 20, 2012.
- Carswell's Guide to Being Lucky: A short story detailing the incident between Carswell Thorne and Kate Fallow and the retrieval of her portscreen mentioned in Cress. A glimpse at the young Carswell Thorne, his family life, and his teenage years. It was originally released on February 4, 2014.
- After Sunshine Passes By: A prequel to Cress, showing how a nine-year-old Cress ended up alone on a satellite, spying on Earth for Luna.
- The Princess and The Guard: A short story about Winter and Jacin's friendship during their childhood.
- The Little Android: A retelling of The Little Mermaid that takes place before the events of Cinder. It was originally released on January 27, 2014.
- The Mechanic: A short story about the first meeting of Linh Cinder and Prince Kaito, from Kaito's perspective.
- Something Old, Something New: A short story set about 2 years after Winter during Scarlet and Wolf's wedding.
The series is the retelling of old fairytales where the female protagonists were themselves the passive participants. Due to the portrayal of strong female characters as an alternate to the conventional fairytale characters throughout its four books, this series is now considered as a part of the Feminist literature.
Wires and Nerves is a graphic novel sequel series written by Meyer also based in the world of The Lunar Chronicles. Set after the events of the Lunar Chronicles but before the Stars Above epilogue, it features many of the same characters, with Iko as the main protagonist. The first book, Wires and Nerve, Volume 1, illustrated by Douglas Holgate, was released on January 31, 2017. The second book, Wires and Nerve, Volume 2, illustrated by Stephen Gilpin, was released on January 30, 2018.
- Truitt, Brian (June 16, 2014). "Book Buzz: Meyer's 'Fairest' delves into evil". USA Today. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
- White, Caitlin. "Q&A: Marissa Meyer Talks Fairy Tales and Feminism". Bustle. Retrieved 2018-05-02.