Read: July 2023
By the end of the second book, Scarlet and Wolf have joined Cinder’s mission to take the Lunar throne, along with Thorne and Iko. The third book adds Cress, and Jacin, to the gang. Cress has been bread-crumbed earlier in the series – she was the one that contacted Cinder at the end of book one, and for readers who pay attention, the doctor had mentioned he had a shell daughter (“my little Crescent Moon”) taken away by the Lunar government. Meyer also starts to drop in crumbs for introducing Princess Winter for the final book.
Cress is a retelling of Rapunzel. I understood Rapunzel from her long hair, and that the satellite is she imprisoned in represents the tower from the fairy tale, and even Carswell Thorne as in the briar patch that surrounded the tower. I’m on board with all of that, but I was so distracted by the name! All the others work (Cinderella, Scarlet = Red, Winter = Snow) but Cress?! What has Cress got to do with Rapunzel? I did look this up in the end and honestly the answer annoyed me more.
Apparently, Marissa Meyer’s explanation for this is that Rapunzel is named after the type of lettuce that her parents planted in the queen’s garden. So lettuce is a leafy green, and Cress is a leafy green.. and I guess it just sounds better as a name than any others she could come up with. I also read that Carswell means “well where the watercress grows“, and at that point I decided Marissa needs to calm down.
Anyway, that was all just a petty little divergence from what otherwise is another wildly entertaining book! This might be the strongest in the series, as you start to feel pay off from details in previous books and the crew really starts to gel and feel like a group of friends.
This might be my favourite book despite the fact that Cress herself is not my favourite character. She is very naïve and cutesy (singing, dancing etc), she feels a bit babyish (especially as much is made of how small she is), which I’m not a fan of. I was just irritated by her crush on Thorne! She does get better in the later end of the novel, and I don’t hate her, but she’s not a patch on Cinder and Scarlet for me! Just not my flavour of character.
We get more background again on the Lunar schemes, and the history of the Lunar people. It’s a weird one in this series, as I think Meyer is good at world building in terms of characters and their place in the world, but the background it patchy and full of holes if you stop and try to think about it! (I guess that’s a lot of YA though!). I’m still distracted wondering about space travel!