Books: Cinder

Author Marissa Meyer Puts a New Spin on the Cinderella Story

Marissa Meyer’s Cinder takes a startling new spin on the age-old tale of Cinderella: Here, the classic story is reimagined in a grimy science-fiction version of Beijing, set in the distant future and peopled with a rich cast of cyborgs, androids, and, of course, royalty.

Drawing from both the well-known 17th-century version of the fairy tale by French writer Charles Perrault and the far older Chinese Cinderella story (written in about 856-860 CE), Meyer’s Cinder is both familiar and unique. It paints the story of a young cyborg girl living in a society that does not recognize her as fully human. It tells of her struggles to escape from her stepfamily and discover the truth about her past and what the secrets of her DNA could mean for a plague-torn city desperate for an antidote to a mysterious disease, all while working through her feelings for the young emperor who doesn’t even know that she’s a cyborg.

Cinder’s story is only the beginning of a larger saga of the Lunar Chronicles, which continues in Scarlet, a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, and Cress, based on Rapunzel. A prequel to the series, Fairest, is expected later this year, tiding fans over until the release of the much-anticipated final book, Winter, a rendering of Snow White.

Although each book brings a new fairy-tale heroine to the forefront, their stories all weave together over the course of the series to create a thrilling tale of friendship, romance, and personal and political turmoil as the protagonists prepare to face the wicked queen of Luna in a battle for the throne.

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