Have you always dreamed of being a princess? Talking to animals, moving with ethereal grace, and falling in love with your one true love? Then the Lunar Chronicles is the perfect book series for you to enjoy.
Each installment gives a sci-fi twist to the beautiful fairy tales we all know and love. Cyborgs, creatures, and battle are all themes on Lunar, and you simply have to read to find out more!
Written by American novelist, Marissa Meyer, The Lunar Chronicles was launched in 2011 with its first novel, Cinder. Since its release, the series has become a cult favorite among both sci-fi and fantasy lovers.
It has even been announced that an animated feature film adaptation is in production. However, if you are new to the world of fairytales and cyborgs then you may have no idea where to start. Below is a full guide to reading The Lunar Chronicles in order. You will never miss a battle or a kiss.
About The Lunar Chronicles
In 2011, Marissa Meyer released her first installment of the young adult fantasy novel series, The Lunar Chronicles. Consisting of four novels, a novella, and a short story collection there is plenty to keep you busy.
Throughout the series, we visit each classic fairy tale and give it a sci-fi, fantasy twist. Tensions between Earth and its former colony Luna are growing as both work to contain an escalating pandemic in this futuristic world filled with a variety of animals and creatures.
The Lunar Chronicles Books In Order
Now, while you can read this series in chronological order, it is not necessary. You can read The Lunar Chronicles in any order you wish and discover a new world of weird creatures, ongoing battles, romance, and self-discovery.
A talented mechanic in New Beijing named Cinder is a cyborg. Her stepmother despises her and holds her responsible for her stepsister’s abrupt illness.
But as her life becomes linked with the attractive Prince Kai’s, she finds herself at the center of a fierce conflict between the wants of a cruel queen – and a terrible temptation.
- Begins with a classic fairytale.
- Takes elements from different genres for a modern-day story.
- The lunar world needs more information.
Themes: Royalty, sci-fi, pandemic, romance, war.
The grandma of Scarlet is missing. Her case was dropped by the police. Wolf, a street fighter Scarlet does not trust, is the only person she can turn to, despite their attraction to one another.
As Scarlet and Wolf solve one mystery, Cinder appears, and another one comes to light. In order to defeat the evil queen, who will do whatever to make Prince Kai her husband, king, and prisoner, they will have to work together.
- Romance is a more intense theme.
- The female main character is given more of a feisty personality.
- Writing style can seem juvenile.
Themes: Fairytale, feminism, bloodlust, romance, freedom.
Cress was a prisoner growing up. She is compelled to carry out the evil Queen Levana’s orders with nothing but her computer screen as companionship. That requires finding Cinder and her charming sidekick Emperor Kai.
Levana is unaware that the people she seeks and the guy she loves are working to bring her to ruin.
- Brings the different plots together.
- Action is a more dominant theme.
- Writing can seem drawn out.
Themes: Action, adventure, romance, dystopia.
Fairest is the novella in the series. As a prequel to the next book in the series, we are given more backstory to Queen Levana. Queen Levana, who is she?
Levana had a totally different life before she met Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress in The Lunar Chronicles; a life that has never been fully described, up until this point.
- The reader is given more information on other characters.
- Build the foundation for the next installment.
- Not an essential part of the plot.
Themes: Romance, dystopia, action, escape.
Princess Winter is a picture of beauty, grace, and everything a princess should be. Everything her stepmother, Queen Levana wants. When Winter falls in love with the palace guard, Jacin, Queen Levana sees her chance to ruin Winter like never before.
Yet, there are uprisings against the Queen all over the country. Winter may even have the ability to start a revolution and end a war that has been going on for far too long if she joins forces with the cyborg mechanic Cinder and her friends.
- Plotline progresses the entire series.
- Princess is shown as more than beautiful.
- The plot is overcrowded.
Themes: Evil Queen, jealousy, rebellion, freedom, romance, friendship.
Once you have read all the main books in The Lunar Chronicles, you may have some unanswered questions or need to keep reading the series and Meyers is never one to disappoint her fans.
Stars Above is a collection of short stories that give you the fix you need and the answers to all of your questions. With 9 books in the series, there are four individually published novellas and five original stories to keep you hooked.
The first short story is The Keeper. This is a prequel to the entire series. We learn more about young Scarlet and Princess Selene and how Michelle Benoit found herself in their care.
Glitches are the prequel to Cinder. We are given more of a backstory of Cinder when her step-father dies and her step-mother becomes wicked. The prequel to Scarlet is The Queen’s Army.
Focused on Wolf and his brother, we learn what events took place for this unsuspecting boy. Carswell’s Guide To Being Lucky may not seem important but it details the situation between Carswell Thorne and Kate Fallow.
This is the novella to Cress and gives important information for the novel. The prequel to Cress is called After Sunshine Passes By and shows how a young Cress ended up being a spy for Luna. If you loved Winter, then you have to read The Princess and The Guard.
This short story shows us more of Winter and Jacins friendship when they were children. The Little Android is, of course, a re-telling of The Little Mermaid. Set before Cinder, it tells the story of how a robot saves a man and quickly begins to experience the impossible. Love.
Can’t get enough of Conder and Prince Kai? The Mechanic will keep you satisfied. Learn more about how the two came together from the perspective of Prince Kai.
To complete the collection of Stars Above, the final tale Something Old, Something New is spectacular. Set after Winter during Scarlet and Wolf’s wedding, Kai does something necessary…
- Gives more information about characters, settings, and Luna.
- Allows novels to be focused on the present day.
- Not necessary for reading novels.
Themes: Romance, action, control, suspense, sci-fi, companionship, war.
Wires And Nerve
In 2017, Meyers decided to expand The Lunar Chronicles into graphic novels. Two graphic novels have been released and are worth every read.
Iko is made with a heart of gold. Literally. As she works to save the peace alliance between Earth and Luna, she soon finds herself falling in love and questioning everything she has ever known.
- Expands the world of Luna.
- Introduces new characters.
- Graphic novels are not for everyone.
Themes: Romance, loyalty, humanity, destiny.
Iko and Cinder work together to bring down the alpha of a bioengineered wolf-soldier, Alpha Lysander Steele.
Steele and his men intend to slaughter Earth’s defenseless populace in order to save their monster appetites unless Cinder can undo the alterations that were inflicted upon them years earlier.
- Brings back old characters.
- Full of action from the beginning.
- The Lunar Chronicles is finalized and completed.
Themes: Friendship, action, peace, sci-fi, control.
If you are looking for a sci-fi take on some of your favorite fairy tales then The Lunar Chronicles is an absolute must-read. With 5 novels, a collection of novellas and short stories, and 2 graphic novels, this series is expansive and excellent.
Perfect for readers 12 years old or above, these captivating novels are made for anyone with a love for the weird and wonderful. Transport yourself to a world where cyborgs are as common as people and there is never a damsel in distress.
Above, we show you how to read The Lunar Chronicles in order but you can really read them any way you choose! Excellent if you prefer one princess over another.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Many Main Books Are In The Lunar Chronicles?
Five young adult novels in Marissa Meyer’s New York Times bestselling Lunar Chronicles series retell traditional fairy tales in a dystopian future where humans, androids, and cyborgs live.
Are LGBT+ Characters Included In The Lunar Chronicles?
Throughout The Lunar Chronicles, none of the main characters are noted to be LGBT. Meyer does mention that Torin, Kai’s adviser is gay but this is never stated in the book.
Is Netflix Making A Lunar Chronicles Movie?
Locksmith Animation, the production company behind the just-released film Ron’s Gone Wrong, has acquired the rights to Marissa Meyer’s best-selling book series. However, it has not been documented that Netflix will stream the movie.