This is the last of the Lunar chronicles, and a case in point as to why I no longer read series with 'Chronicles' in the name (or 'Saga' or 'Cycle' or any of those other trope pretentious buzzwords), and certainly an excellent example of why I typically dislike series. I loved the first volume ion the series, Cinder and reviewed it positively. I even reviewed Scarlett positively though I had some major issues with it. By the time I got to Cress it was time to say, "Enough is enough!" I wrote some 45K of reviewing material on these three volumes explaining what I saw in them (or failed to see!).
After Scarlett and particularly Cress, I wasn't as willing to spend so much time on Winter as I had on the previous three. If it failed even after a couple of chapters, I was out of there. And after a couple of chapters I was out of there. There are over ninety chapters and almost 900 pages in this tome, and from what I've gathered from other reviews, and from what I saw myself, all of it is a waste of perfectly good trees and bandwidth. It turns out it was exactly as I feared it would be and exactly why I'm not a fan of series.
The first problem is right there in the blurb: "... despite the scars that mar her face, [Princess Winter's] beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana" How is this a qualification for anything? What does beauty have to do with it? Is she a runway model? No! She's a princess in line for the throne, so what, I ask again, does beauty have to do with anything? She's apparently admired for her " grace and kindness" but nowhere do I see competence, integrity, diligence, advocacy or anything else like that listed here. Grace has nothing to do with it, and kindness is relative in a totalitarian society like the one which she exists, but at least she's in love with " the handsome palace guard," so what else could possibly matter? The beautiful people are together. The hell with everyone else! Excuse me while I barf profusely.
Winter turned out to be the most limp of all four "princesses" in this story (which is, from other reviews I've read, nothing more than a litany of one "princess" or her lover after another being captured and held prisoner. Seriously, that could have been taken care of in a few pages. Well over eight hundred is completely self-indulgent and is what happens when you have some success with earlier volumes that you're allowed to get away with anything in later volumes. Another reason to despise series, the writers who religiously vomit them up, and the publishers who so avariciously beg for them from writers. And why I shall never, ever, ever write a series. And why I refuse to grace this garbage with the kindness of a positive review. It's ugly!