Dystopian Fantasy Trilogy “The Lunar Chronicles” Reimagines Classic Fairy Tales
Disney’s sanitized and squeaky clean retellings of classic fairy tales have a new competitor in town in the form of a series of novels called The Lunar Chronicles, which is written by novelist Marissa Meyer.
Book one, Cinder, is a compelling reimagining of the usual Cinderella tale but with a twist: the servant-girl-turned-princess is not human at all. She’s a cyborg who goes by the name Linh Cinder who is stuck living with her stepmother and two stepsisters while working a side job as a mechanic. However, her life is turned upside down when a young prince by the name of Kai spots her skills with machines and asks if she can fix his personal android.
Books two and three, Scarlett and Cress respectively, are set in the same world. Scarlet, who is based off of Little Red Riding Hood, is on a mission to find her missing grandmother and teams up with a street fighter named Wolf to do so. Her fate merges with Cinder, as they exchange one mystery for another. Meanwhile, Cress is a Rapunzel figure who is an expert hacker and is stuck on a satellite working for the evil Queen Levana. When she’s ordered to track down a group of fugitives, one of which who is Cinder, Cress sees her chance to escape. The only problem is she and the other dystopian princesses have to save the world first.
Although the books are short and easy reads, they’re quite engaging. Plus, none of the princess figures are the usual Disney fare either. Scarlett, Cress, and Cinder are all strong female characters who do not need a man in their life to be happy and can hold their own in a fight. Meyers also gives her heroines skills that have traditionally belonged to male heroes, such as being an expert hacker or working as a mechanic.
All in all, The Lunar Chronicles is a breath of fresh air, especially since it overturns the damsel in distress trope.