While we have exceptional authors who invent new worlds with new characters that we find “out of this world”, we also have those witty authors who take on an already existing world or tale and give it an epic twist. Rather than trying to mirror the original authors, the authors who reinvent the story do so to pay patronage to the original tale. Because they were so enraptured by the original tale, they never wanted to grow up from it and writing their own version of the tale ensures that they never do-they will also never be alone because these authors have readers who feel the same way about such stories and join them in their journey of never growing up.
However it is the rare author who manages to both reinvent a tale and invent a new world within the reinvented tale.
Say hello to Marissa Meyer! The Lunar Chronicles by Ms. Meyer is a futuristic retelling of the tales of Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Snow White in a world where man, machines & cyborgs work side by side (in the picture below you have cyborg Cinder, android Iko & human Kai)- this is the part where the original fairytales are reinvented.
The Evil Queen/ Winter’s (Snow White’s) step mum aka Levana (below), the antagonist of the Lunar Chronicles, is the ruler of Luna (typically what we call the Moon).
A civilization, far superior to ours on Earth, called Lunars live on Luna and have the ability to control bioelectricity and the thoughts of people around them- this is the part where Meyer creates a new world in a reinvented tale. The picture below is an artist’s take on Luna.
For three of her fairytale couples, Meyers has devised a Earthern-Lunar pairing. Cinder (Cinderella) is Lunar while Prince Kai (Prince Charming) is Earthern, Scarlet (Red Riding Hood) is Earthern while Wolf (Big Bad Wolf) is Lunar and Cress (Rapunzel) is Lunar while Thorne (Rapunzel’s Prince) is Earthern.
Three countries are given major prominence in the series- China (New Beijing), France & America. Meyer’s female protagonists’ chosen professions accentuate on roles normally pursued by men. Cinder is a mechanic, Scarlet is a pilot, Cress is a hacker and Winter is next in line to the Lunar throne. So basically the heroines are not your typical damsel in distress types.
You’re en-titled to this tale!
So this is the part where I literally judge a book by its cover. The cover image depicts the one thing that makes the central character iconic- Cinder’s shoe, Scarlet’s hood, Cress’s hair, Levana’s mirror & Winter’s apple. But what holds more meaning than the images are the cover titles. While a quick glance, you’d probably think the book titles are the central character’s name or in Fairest’s case, an attribute. Look again! Go deeper! If you think about it, every title has some connection to the moon-the titles in itself are as Lunar as the Chronicles can get.
Ashes to Ashes. Another word for Cinder is ash. Now in ties to the Moon, like the Earth the Moon is made up of rocks. Lunar rocks.
One of these Lunar rock groups called Basaltic Volcanic Rocks includes pyroclastic (volcanic ash) rocks. Pyroclastic deposits are similar to the volcanic ash deposited around lava fountains on Earth. Soot-ed to the Cinder title yes?
Watch out! Things are about to get bloody. Scarlet means of a brilliant red colour. Red is the colour of blood. In connection to the Moon, we have a phenomenon called the Blood Moon.
During a total Lunar Eclipse, the Sun, the Earth and the Moon are in a straight line. The Earth blocks any rays of the Sun from reaching the Moon. Now although sunlight looks white, it is composed of different colours; colours towards the red spectrum have longer wavelengths while colours towards, the violet spectrum have shorter wavelengths. When the Earth casts its shadow on a Full Moon and eclipses it, the Moon gets a red glow because the Earth removes blocks part of the Sun’s spectrum, leaving longer wavelengths. Bloody brilliant ain’t it?
This one’s pretty straight forward. Cress is a short-form for Crescent Moon-this is actually confirmed by Cress’s father Dr. Erland in the novel when he keeps referring to his daughter as “my little Crescent Moon”. The Crescent Moon is one of the lunar phases of the Moon or the shape of the illuminated portion of the Moon as seen by an observer when the Moon orbits the Earth. There are four primary lunar phases of the Moon- New, First Quarter, Full & Third Quarter- and four intermediate lunar phases-Waxing Crescent, Waxing Gibbous, Waning Gibbous & Waning Crescent.
The Waxing Crescent Moon is an intermediate lunar phase occurring between a New Moon & First Quarter. Here a small portion of the Moon is lit up from the right side.
The Waning Crescent Moon is an intermediate lunar phase occurring between a Third Quarter Moon & the next New Moon. Here a small portion of the Moon is lit up from the left side.
While the title of this novel is a play on the popular Snow White phrase “Mirror Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all” as recited by the Evil Queen, the word “fair” is often tied together with the word “Moon” through literature (John Milton, Walter Scott) & songs.
For e.g. the phrase As fair as the Moon appears in the Bible in the Song of Solomon “Who is this that appears like the dawn, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, majestic as the stars in procession?”
Similarly the song Fair Moon to thee I sing by Gilbert & Sullivan and the poem by Walt Whitman titled Look down Fair Moon sees “fair” being attributed as an adjective to the Moon, while the poem Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold uses the phrase the Moon lies fair to convey imagery.
A play on the word “Snow White”, Meyer replaced Snow with Winter. In an ironic twist, Winter is dark-skinned in the series but is found fair and of incomparable beauty in the eyes of everyone. A dark beauty of sorts. Her beau is Jacin Clay ❤
Native American tribes kept track of the seasons using moon phases and gave full moon names depending on the month during which each full moon occurred. The most well-known of these names come from the Algonquin Native American Tribe.
Signaling the beginning of winter, the Full Cold Moon in December is also known as the Cold Moon, Winter Moon, Moon before Yule & Oak Moon.
The other Full Moon names are given below:
- January: The Wolf Moon
- February: The Snow Moon
- March: The Worm Moon
- April: The Pink Moon
- May: The Flower Moon
- June: The Strawberry Moon
- July: The Buck Moon
- August: The Sturgeon Moon
- September: The Harvest Moon
- October: The Hunter’s Moon
- November: The Beaver Moon
The last book Winter of the Lunar Chronicles will be out in bookstores by November 10, 2015
For us Luna-tics that only means one thing…..
Some people promise us the Moon.
Ms. Meyers gave us the Moon in the form of the Lunar Chronicles.
Time to put my pen down now, I feel a moon-walk coming on…….
Cover picture (http://fc08.deviantart.net/fs70/i/2014/280/8/9/the_lunar_chronicles_by_candy8496-d81xzet.png)
Cinder, Kai, Scarlet, Wolf, Cress & Thorne (http://images6.fanpop.com/image/photos/36300000/The-Lunar-Chronicles-image-the-lunar-chronicles-36355204-1200-1164.jpg)
Lunar Chronicles (http://i0.wp.com/www.bookaddictsguide.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/TLC.jpg)
Volcanic ash on moon (http://www.4films.co.uk/pagecmsimage/moondust477.jpg)
Waxing Crescent Moon (http://zeynepenzin.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/mOon-moon-20004353-1600-1200.jpg)
Waning Crescent Moon (http://static.shopify.com/s/files/1/0021/4312/files/Picture_4.png?1251821922)
Song of Solomon (http://biblepic.com/53/17625.jpg)
Fair moon to thee i sing (http://prints.encore-editions.com/500/0/fair-moon-to-thee-i-sing-pinafore.jpg)
Look Down Fair Moon (http://www.poemhunter.com/i/poem_images/622/look-down-fair-moon.jpg)
Winter Moon (http://d28mt5n9lkji5m.cloudfront.net/i/WN1duUBWx4i.jpg)
Winter writing (http://www.wyodlc.com/images/1420928241l/13206900.jpg)