There’s nothing better than discovering that a loved series has a short story collection that goes along with it. And the fact that I realised this before getting too far into the series meant that I actually got to read most of this series in chronological order. Which, let me tell you, made an already amazing series amazing-er (it’s a word now…)
I’m so glad that everyone got a happy ending. And that, although the ending of Winter tied up the main plot points, there was Something Old, Something New to completely finish it off. After all, the series just had to end with a wedding, and this story did that perfectly.
You know when you finish a really amazing series, and you just… ?? After finishing Winter, I strolled around, looked at all my books and wondered how anything else could live up to that standard. Yes, I had a short story left to finish in Stars Above, and that helped for a little while, but the main storyline, that big, epic battle that had been building up? It was done, finished, and I honestly wasn’t sure I would ever be able to read anything so amazing again (it’s okay, I got over this, but seriously… how many books punch you in the gut like that?)
Winter is a creepy, but cool character that we first meet towards the end of Cress. And more of her horrible history is then introduced in Fairest. Yet, it is when you read The Princess and the Guard that she shines through beautifully. And you start to understand that she is actually crazy – although for a very good reason.
This book was supposed to give an alternative point of view to Levana’s choices and life. And it did, it made me feel a little sorry for her and the history that she has been forced to face up to throughout the beginning of her life. Although it is all kind of horrible, and I felt a lot of sympathy for her throughout the tale, she’s still kind of an awful person.
Carswell’s activities and past are mentioned throughout Cress quite a bit. And it’s a little hard to figure the guy out. But, there is one moment that stands out specifically for Cress, and there are a number of reasons that he gives for his actions. And that moment with Kate Fallow is covered in Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky.
Cress is so incredibly, unbelievably sweet. And a little naïve, but not horrifyingly so. I actually really liked her partnership with Carswell – he is so completely jaded and a player, and Cress is so very, very sweet. The balance between the two leads is kind of perfect, and it helps to drive the rest of the story as Cinder and her gang rush towards the royal wedding in an attempt to save Kai.
It took me a little while to really get into this book. I absolutely devoured Cinder and all of the books that came before…. But there was something about Scarlet that took me a little longer. And then it hit me, out of all of the fairy tales that I grew up with – Red Riding Hood was the one that held the least interest and sway for me. Something about it never really clicked, and in the beginning of this book, that feeling kind of lingered.
Levanna’s army is shown in Cinder and it seems kind of scary. Which is why a short story about one of the young men who are placed into this situation and created as a soldier worked in quite well. It’s the story from behind enemy lines that is not only introducing a character that will (I’m sure) appear in the next novel, but helping to highlight the horrors which Levanna inflicts upon her own people.
Cinderella is a fairly well known fairy tale. After all, it’s the perfect rags to riches tale. The story of someone overpowering their bad situation and finding a good one. The fact that there is a handsome prince, and a pretty dress and a ball…that just makes it all the more appealing and sweet… at least normally, Cinder gives this tale a very different spin. And one that I personally love to pieces.