I'm surprised to say that I really enjoyed Fairest because I don't normally enjoy novella's because they're so much shorter than the novels of a series.
Fairest tells the story of Queen Levana's life years before Cinder starts. I'm NOT a fan of Levana by any means but I actually felt kind of sorry for her reading this book.
I thought that Levana's sister, Channary was really cruel to her. This surprised me as we normally only get one real villain in a series but here, we have two. It's revealed that Channary is the reason behind Levana's burns and disfigured face as she pushed her little sister into a fire when they were children.
Also there was a lot of romance in Fairest. This surprised me again as I thought it was going to be more a book of revenge before I started it, which it was also but the amount of romance, however unrequited it was surprised me still.
Basically, Evret, a guard is introduced in the first few pages of Fairest. This guard princess Levana (at the time) has fallen in love with. He's married we find out however and his wife is pregnant with their child who turns out to be Winter (the 4th main protagonist). We see Levana try to get over this but she just can't seem to.
When Evret's wife dies in child birth Levana thinks that he'll fall hopelessly in love with her and that he'll forget his former wife. That's why she forces Evret to marry her. However, this doesn't happen and that's how Levana becomes the villain she is in the other books of the series. Levana is jealous of her sister at first because she thinks she has everything that Levana doesn't. Levana wants a baby of her own like Channary. She wants that baby to be Evret's child.
Channary gives birth to Cinder in Fairest and we see her as a mother. We however don't know who Cinder's father is though. Maybe this will be revealed in Winter.
At the end of the book, when Levana reveals her true face to Evret and she realises that he'll never love her the way she thinks she deserves to be loved, she starts thinking of evil ways to conquer everyone, including the people of earth. She has the mirrors of Lunar destroyed because she's jealous that she doesn't look the same as everyone else after her trauma as a child. If she can't be happy, nobody can is what she thinks.
There are a few other bits to the story but I didn't see them as being important to the overall plot of Fairest.
I can kind of understand why Levana is the way she is through reading Fairest. I never thought I'd be able to see the way she does but I can. This book is really important to read if you want to get the true picture of Levana. I'm going to give Fairest 3 stars because it was only a novella but if it had been longer and included more of her life story I honestly think I would have given it 4 stars.
I really look forward to starting Winter soon. My review will be up within the next week I expect.