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Would you like fairy tales retelling with a sci-fi/dystopian twist? The Lunar Chronicles is for you!
What is The Lunar Chronicles about?
A series of young adult fantasy novels written by American author Marissa Meyer (Renegades, Heartless…), The Lunar Chronicles are futuristic retellings of classic fairy tales.
Each book offers a different science-fictional twist on a classic fairy tale–featuring iconic characters like Snow White, Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Little Red Riding Hood.
The stories are set in a futuristic world inhabited by various species, cyborgs, and creatures. As tensions are rising between Earth and its former colony Luna, both attempt to manage an ongoing pandemic.
How to Read The Lunar Chronicles Books in Order?
There are threes ways to read The Lunar Chronicles Books in Order, you can read the books in publication order or in chronological order (there’re two of these at the end of this article).
The Lunar Chronicles Published Reading order:
More often than not, you can’t go wrong with the Lunar Chronicles publication order:
- Cinder – Cinder, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She’s reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s sudden illnesters. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she finds herself at the center of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen – and a dangerous temptation.
- Glitches – Short Story. Collected later in Stars Above.
- Scarlet – Scarlet’s grandmother is missing. The police have closed her case. The only person Scarlet can turn to is Wolf, a street fighter she does not trust, but they are drawn to each other. As Scarlet and Wolf expose one mystery, they encounter Cinder and a new one unravels. Together they must challenge the evil queen, who will stop at nothing to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner…
- The Queen’s Army – Short Story. Collected later in Stars Above.
- The Little Android – Short Story. Collected later in Stars Above.
- Cress – Cress grew up as a prisoner. With only netscreens for company she’s forced to do the bidding of the evil Queen Levana. Now that means tracking down Cinder and her handsome accomplice Emperor Kai. But little does Levana know that those she seeks, and the man she loves, are plotting her downfall…
- Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky – Short Story. Collected later in Stars Above.
- Fairest – Whois Queen Levana? Long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress in The Lunar Chronicles, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told … until now.
- The Princess and the Guard – Short Story. Collected later in Stars Above.
- Winter – Princess Winter is admired for her grace, kindness, and beauty, despite the scars on her face. She’s said to be even more breath-taking than her stepmother, Queen Levana… When Winter develops feelings for the handsome palace guard, Jacin, she fears the evil Queen will crush their romance before it has a chance to begin. But there are stirrings against the Queen across the land. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even find the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.
- Stars Above – A collection of nine short stories – five of which have never before been published – set in the world of the Lunar Chronicles.
- Wires and Nerve – a graphic novel about Iko, the android with a heart of (mechanized) gold. When rogue packs of wolf-hybrid soldiers threaten the tenuous peace alliance between Earth and Luna, Iko takes it upon herself to hunt down the soldiers’ leader. She is soon working with a handsome royal guard who forces her to question everything she knows about love, loyalty, and her own humanity.
- Wires and Nerve, Volume 2: Gone Rogue – Iko – an audacious android and best friend to the Lunar Queen Cinder – has been tasked with hunting down Alpha Lysander Steele, the leader of a rogue band of bioengineered wolf-soldiers who threaten to undo the tenuous peace agreement between Earth and Luna. Unless Cinder can reverse the mutations that were forced on them years before, Steele and his soldiers plan to satisfy their monstrous appetites with a massacre of the innocent people of Earth.
The Lunar Chronicles Chronological Reading order:
It is not advised to read the Lunar Chronicles in chronological order the first time around. Fairest, the prequel, will spoil you a little bit about what’s to come for example. But if you want to have a go at it, here is a possible chronological order:
- Fairest – Prequel to The Lunar Chronicles.
- “The Keeper” – Prequel to The Lunar Chronicles.
- “Glitches” – A prequel to Cinder.
- “The Little Android” – a prequel to Cinder who makes a short appearance, but this short story is not directly related to the events in the books.
- “The Mechanic” – a prequel to Cinder.
- “The Queen’s Army“– A prequel to Scarlet.
- “Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky” – a prequel to Cress.
- “After Sunshine Passes By” – a prequel to Cress.
- “The Princess and the Guard” – Prequel to Winter.
- Wires and Nerve’ graphic novels
- “Something Old, Something New” – Epilogue to Winter.
The Lunar Chronicles Chronological Suggested order
Want another Lunar Chronicles reading order, that includes all the novella? This one is suggested by Between Chapters on Youtube based on her own reading to enjoy the story without being spoiled by a novella prequel the first time around.
- “The Mechanic“
- “The Little Android“
- “The Queen’s Army“
- “The Keeper“
- “After Sunshine Passes By“
- “Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky“
- “The Princess and the Guard“
- Wires and Nerve’s graphic novels
- “Something Old, Something New“
More Lunar Chronicles with…
- Cinder’s Adventure: Get Me to the Wedding – In Which Readers Choose the Story and Determine the Fate of Their Favorite Cyborg! Cinder is getting married! She and Emperor Kai have made it to their big day – now all Cinder has to do is show up and say “I do.” But it’s not so easy when there are twists and turns and obstacles along the way, and you, the reader, are in control of her fate, along with the many friends and strangers she meets on this adventure. Can you and Cinder make it to happily ever after?
- The Lunar Chronicles Coloring Book – People, places, and scenes from Marissa Meyer’s bestselling and beloved intergalactic adventure come to life in this enchanting coloring book. Illustrated by Kathryn Gee.
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This article was last updated on December 14, 2022.