*A few Spoilers*
I absolutely adored this series! I really did not know what to expect when I started it and thankfully it completely exceeded my expectations.
We start with a fresh perspective from Princess Winter who is greatly admired by the people of Lunar for her grace and kindness as well as her beauty which is marred by three scars that mark her face (said to be given to her by Queen Levana). Winter can’t stand her stepmother and her only solace in Luna is her childhood friend Jacin who is now one of the royal guards. He is the only one who can keep her somewhat sane as she refuses to use her abilities and has vowed to never control another person the way that she has been controlled. Not using her abilities has caused them to turn back into her and now produces debilitating attacks of hallucinations. But hopefully with the help of Cinder and Emperor Kai she will be finally able to overthrow Queen Levana and reestablish peace over Lunar and Earth.
Winter was a very different character to the rest of the cast of strong female protagonists. She had a whimsicalness to her and she kind of floated along the storyline maintaining a strong presence but I was unsure as to what input she could add to the plot. She definitely redeemed herself in my eyes towards the end of the book and I came to really appreciate her arc. Jacin was one of those characters that you kind of love to hate but you understand his motivations. I honestly didn’t really enjoy him at in the last two books but reading how he acts around Winter and going more in depth to their history together made me kind of change me mind about him in the sense that he was integral but I still didn’t quite like him. Their relationship did feel genuine to me though and I like how they have that unrequited thing going.
Cress definitely stepped up in this book. I love that she really has no combative skills and even doesn’t know how to swim, yet everyone relies on her so much for her technological know how. Being separated from the rest of crew for a majority of the storyline and not giving up and still helping in whatever way she can was really inspiring to read. I also still absolutely love how her relationship with Thorn progressed throughout the course of the story and I just found them to both be absolutely adorable!
The action in Winter was kind of up and down. You get a whole lot going on all at once and then a slow build towards the next event and then that pattern would continue throughout the book. I appreciated the build up but a lot the book was quite stagnant for me. It felt like things were moving and plans were set in motion and then it would kind of stop for a few chapters and there would be nothing happening. Eventually everything did come to a head and we get this fantastic, dramatic fight scene at the end where all of the plot lines intersect and comes to fruition.
All in all this was a highly entertaining series and I really enjoyed every second reading these books and dissecting the storyline and seeing how these characters were going to interact with each other and work together towards this seemingly unattainable goal.
⭐️4/5 stars HIGHLY RECOMMEND!! Amazing YA Sci-fi/Fantasy series that ticked all my boxes 🙂