This is a pretty good story, but somehow I didn’t like a lot about it.
The final fairy tale ends up being Snow White, and while Winter fits the general outline, her Prince Charming Jacin doesn’t quite make sense. His attachment to Winter and hers to him just doesn’t seem to have much of a foundation other than they kind of grew up together and he’s been around her entire life.
The other thing I didn’t really like is how the heroes spent so much of the story fragmented, which means that certain parts drag badly, while others fly by. The parts with Kai and Scarlet were good, although I don’t quite see why Scarlet’s torture on Luna is so glossed over. I realize this is YA, but so is Hunger Games, and you not only saw bad things happen, you saw some real(ish) after-affects. IT also irritated me that Winter called Scarlet violent after she (Winter) was the one who controlled Scarlet to kill bad guy Aimery, who may have deserved it, but still… It’s not even clear that Winter feels bad about it, after she’s spent so much time not using her Lunar glamour powers and telling people so, and even telling someone why.
It was also fun to see a little more of Torin and Iko, who are pretty darn interesting for side-characters. The little reveal about Iko towards the end was a good move I didn’t quite see coming, and I wish Torin had a little more backstory.
The slow parts mostly involved Cress, Jacin, and Cinder in a lot of places. Cress didn’t seem to have a lot to do except hide, and Cinder’s final confrontation with Levana wasn’t all that satisfying. Trying to make Levana more human right at the end seems kinda cliché, and I don’t see why every villain needs some kind of sob story background; why can’t she just be evil? And why does Cinder’s big complaint to her aunt have to be “you married my boyfriend!” when they’re finally face to face? It could have been a pretty epic showdown, like the wedding was, but it had to go cartoony.
The epilogue section sets everyone up for their happy endings, although none are terribly concrete, which I liked, but at the same time none of them were full endings.
For having so many little problems, I’m not sure why I still liked this conclusion, but I did, and I have to admit, I’m trying to decide if I want to keep going with the graphic novel. I’m pretty sure I don’t care about Levana’s backstory in Fairest, but a story focusing on Iko that takes place after the novels end might just be worth it.