“My point is that I am going to figure this out, like I always do. First, we’re going to find a way to get into Artemisia. We’re going to find Cress and rescue Cinder and Wolf. We’re going to overthrow Levana, and by the stars above, we are going to make Cinder a queen so she can pay us a lot of money from her royal coffers and we can all retire very rich and very alive, got it?” –Thorne
“Brilliant speech. Such gumption and bravado.” –Winter
“And yet strangely lacking in any sort of actual strategy.” –Scarlet
In this book, the action moves to the dreaded Luna, where Cinder's new idea for revolution and wedding-interrupting is going to take place. Prince Kai manages to negotiate the change in venue, which leads to a lot of action, rebellion, and drama.
We also check up on how Scarlet's doing--not great--and how Wolf is super anxious to get to her. However, Scarlet's in the tender loving care of Princess Winter, Levana's stepdaughter who swore off of using glamour at age twelve...and has been having lunar sickness ever since. The poor girl hallucinates blood or other terrible things frequently, and her childhood pal/queen's guard/current crush Jacin spends a lot of time watching out for her. After his return to Luna, he manages to get back into his job without too much horror by Lunar standards. However, once Levana's sanity starts going even more Snow White Evil Queen than usual, Jacin needs to get Winter the heck out of there and hide her along with the rebels.
The Rampion crew ends up hiding out with Wolf's mom and rousing the crowds. This also clarified for me why everyone on Lunar isn't manipulating the heck out of each other like you'd think they all would--I guess only the top people are allowed when "unlawful use of manipulation" is cited.
I do appreciate how this series eventually has almost all of the various pairings mix and match and hang out. Cress may not be super thrilled to hang with Wolf, but they manage it. Carswell and Kai are a delight together (see Quote Corner). And this book has some standout moments between Winter and Scarlet--Scarlet is driven crazy by Winter's crazy, but at the same time she grew up with a grandma everyone else thought was crazy, so she's a little more tolerant than usual.
“I guess I’m just hoping that despite all the absurd things you say, you might also be a little bit brilliant. That said, if you’re going to tell me how stupid this idea was to begin with and we should run like hell, then I’m right behind you.”
“And I believe you’re not as crazy as you want everyone to think you are.” –Scarlet to Winter
The one pairing I wish this book did more of would be Cinder and Winter, given their past history/being sorta-related. But they don't get much time together, unfortunately. I was kind of curious about Iko (now residing in the escort-droid) and Kenney the guard, if that was going to go anywhere. Beats me.
Anyway, things get pretty hardcore in this one. I'll leave some discussion of that below the spoiler cut. I do think it all resolves very well and reasonably for the characters, even if the carnage gets a bit much at times.
Overall, I thought this was a very well done book and finale (ish) to the series, and I'd recommend it to all. Four stars!
- “This must be weird for you. Your cyborg girlfriend being a wanted outlaw and your fiancee’s niece and all that.”
“Honestly, I try not to think about the details. Does she really call herself my girlfriend?”
“Oh, I wouldn’t know. We haven’t spent an evening gossiping and painting each other’s toenails since the kidnapping.” –Thorne and Kai
- (After Kai reveals he’s read up on Thorne’s record and gives him some crap about his foolhardy flying skills) “I didn’t realize I had a royal stalker. I’m flattered, Your Majesty.” -Thorne
- “And from what I can tell, being raised on Luna really messes people up. She wouldn’t be the cuddly cyborg we’ve all come to adore.” –Thorne on Cinder
- “I can’t believe nothing went wrong.”
“I would wait until you’re sitting on a throne before making statements like that.” –Cinder and Wolf
- Thorne gets his vision back and then finds out Cinder repainted the ship.
“Do you know how long it took me to paint that girl in the first place?”
“Judging from how precise and detailed it was, I’m going to guess…ten minutes? Fifteen?”
- “Princess, you have got to stop collecting these rebels.” –Jacin to Winter
- “Nothing like an execution on your wedding day.” –Thorne
- “If I don’t take care of myself, nobody will. That’s something I learned early on, thanks to you.” –Cinder to the Linhs.
- “Leave it to Winter to make a bunch of sadistic, hot-headed predators get all swoony over her….or maybe it was just Winter, who could make a rock fall in love with her if she smiled at it the right way.”
- “Careful is my middle name. Right after Suave and Daring.” –Thorne
- “I am a criminal mastermind, and I’m here to take down this regime.”
“That’s my line.”
“I know, I stole it.” –Cress and Thorne
- Cinder wonders why Levana didn’t just agree to an alliance instead of causing diseases and attacks. “Did you honestly believe that was the way to get them to love you?” -Cinder
- “Love is a conquest. Love is a war. That is all it is.” -Levana
- “She would be brave. She would be heroic. She would make her own destiny.” –Cress, self-narrating.
- “You deserve better than some thief who’s going to end up in jail again. Everyone knows it. Even I know it. But you seem determined to believe I’m actually a decent guy who’s halfway worthy of you. So, what scares me most is that someday even you will realize that you can do better.” -Thorne
And now for spoiler cut....