After teasing fans all weekend, Fierce Reads in conjunction with USA Today announced today an upcoming prequel to Marissa Meyer's the Lunar Chronicles, titled Fairest . Fairest will go back in time to focus on the backstory of Lunar Chronicles' super-villan Queen Levana.
The new novel will be released January 27, 2015 by Macmillan. The story will be a spin on the classic Evil Queen from Snow White. It will begin when Queen Levana is 15 years old and it will end about 10 years before the start of the first novel in the series, Cinder .
Was there going to be a movie? A TV show? A cover reveal for Winter? The announcement came as a surprise to Meyer's massive fan base, as she said on Twitter just before that only one person had guessed the news correctly. Meyer already plans to release the series finale, focused on her adaptation of Snow White, titled Winter, November 2015. In an interview with USA Today, the author talked about her motivations for releasing Fairest before Winter. Fairest, she says, will include at least one major event that will affect a major turning point in the story in Winter.
After the story broke, fans took to Twitter to showcase their excitement — though some did air out some of their worries about what this means for Meyer's existing release timeline.
Meyer hopes to quell any fears and delve into more details in a live Google video chat for fans Wednesday at 9 P.M, Eastern.
Most fans, however, are very excited about the news.
These fans have good reason to be stoked. Marissa Meyer's Fairest has so much potential, for these four specific reasons.
1. Origin stories are always compelling
If Maleficent at the box office proved any two things it's that females can power a blockbuster and origin stories will always sell. And Fairest has serious Maleficent potential; just think about how similar they are. Queen Levana is pure, ultimate evil. She's the Darth Vader of the Lunar Chronicles, if you will. This back story, much like Maleficent's, will give more reasoning for this, other than just presenting her as the antagonist to Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress. Just like Maleficent isn't evil because she wasn't invited to a baby shower, Levana isn't trying to literally take over the universe for no good reason.
According to her comments in USA Today, Meyer knew the method behind Levana's madness since she began writing, and has always written with that in mind. But it was only after putting the story on paper during NaNoWriMo that she decided to publish it:
I personally have always had a great deal of sympathy for her knowing the things she's gone through.
So thank you, Marissa Meyer for giving fans that reason.
2. More well-rounded female characters!
This backstory of course gives more depth and characterization to Levana. She's not just the Queen of the Lunars on the moon. She's not just an evil force that is trying to infiltrate to conquer the globe. Fairest will make sure this female character gets the full treatment Meyer did such a great job with for Cinderella in Cinder, Red Riding Hood in Scarlet, and Rapunzel in Cress. (And soon to be Snow White in Winter.)
Meyer is incredibly deft at creating female characters, and not just one at a time. Her Lunar Chronicles series stands out as being an almost completely female-centric, sci-fi, action-adventure series. And Fairest will only add to that canon.
3. Check out the cover
Seriously. That is one creepy cover. And it gives me major hope that Meyer is going to go dark with Fairest — really, awesomely dark.
4. Could delve into interesting, relevant themes
One of the major characteristics of Queen Levana is that she never lets anyone see her real face. She "glamors" everyone who looks at her with a face of perfect beauty and keeps mirrors out of the house. There is so much to work with here, and I trust Meyer with the material. Particularly today, when so much is put on standards of beauty, particularly for those who are famous or in power, I'm looking forward to seeing how Levana really feels about this, and Meyer is hinting that she will certainly cover it:
In the fairy tale, she has the mirror, and I did a lot with mirrors and played with that element and that concept of what could make a woman so vain that she would commit unspeakable evil to remain the most beautiful woman in her country?
It's a bummer that Winter is being pushed back, but if it's to add yet another book to the Lunar Chronicles, how can we not be excited?