Welcome back to Lunarthon! It’s the beginning of the end, as this week we’re starting the last book of the series and discussing Cinder’s revolution and the introduction of Princess Winter.
There’s a lot to discuss in this week’s chapters (1-32) so let’s dive right in! Team Cinder have spent the days since Kai’s kidnapping preparing to infiltrate Luna, rescue Scarlet, and make Cinder’s true identity known to her people. Meanwhile, Jacin has returned to Luna to reunite with Winter and share the news that their childhood friend – and their rightful queen – is alive.
As with the previous three books in The Lunar Chronicles, Meyer uses the first few chapters of Winter to introduce the series’ newest protagonist. We caught a glimpse of Winter through Scarlet’s chapters at the end of Cress, but this is the first time we get to see things through her eyes, and it’s clear right off the bat that Winter is an entirely new kind of heroine.
Aimery took a step toward the throne and his severed head tipped off, thunking against the marble and rolling, rolling, rolling, until it stopped at Winter’s frozen feet.
She whimpered, but the sound was buried beneath the snow in her throat.
It’s all in your head.
There’s much more to Winter than first meets the eye, though, and she’s not going to let Levana or her illness rule her. She’s clever and cunning, and she uses the Lunar Court’s pity and Levana’s dismissal of her as a poor, mad girl her to her own advantage. She’s also just as brave and kind as the rest of Team Cinder – willing to suffer the visions that come with not using her Lunar gift, risking her own safety to hide Cress, and offering Jacin comfort and companionship during his 40-hour long penance.
“My stepmother is not only powerful because the people fear her, she is powerful because she can make them love her when she needs them to. We think that if we choose to do only good, then we are only good. We can make people happy. We can offer tranquillity or contentment or love, and that must be good. We do not see the falsehood becoming its own brand of cruelty.”
Meanwhile, Cinder and her friends arrive on Luna and head straight into an ambush – but Cress’ quick-thinking allows the others to escape unscathed. As Jacin and Cress help Winter and Scarlet escape the Lunar Court, Cinder, Thorne, Wolf and Iko journey through Luna’s Outer Sectors in the hopes of finding allies to their cause. It’s here that the Luna we’ve heard so much about for three books now – not the glamourous capital, but the domes full of scared, desperate citizens helpless to stand against Levana’s tyranny – begins to emerge.
There was a reason Levana kept her people isolated from one another. There was a reason no one had attempted a cohesive rebellion yet, not because they didn’t want to. It was clear from the government-sanctioned propaganda that Levana and her ancestors had sought to brainwash the Lunar people into a belief that their rule was righteous and fated. It was equally clear from the tunnel graffiti and the people’s downcast faces that they no longer believed it, if they ever had.
Cinder, Thorne, Wolf and Iko find shelter with a surprising sympathizer – Wolf’s mother – and with Scarlet and Winter finally reuniting with their friends, it’s time for Cinder to put her plans for rebellion into action.
What do you make of Princess Winter and what we’ve seen so far of Lunar society? Sound off in the comments below – and don’t forget to read chapters 33-65 for next week’s readalong!