Cinder - Summary

Marissa Meyer

Cinder Book Cover


In the enthralling novel “Cinder” by Marissa Meyer, readers are transported to a futuristic world where cyborgs, androids, and lunar inhabitants coexist. Set in New Beijing, the story follows the life of a young mechanic named Cinder, who is not your typical fairytale protagonist. Meyer skillfully weaves together elements of science fiction and fantasy, creating a unique retelling of the classic Cinderella tale. Through her captivating storytelling and vivid descriptions, Meyer takes readers on a thrilling journey filled with unexpected twists and turns.

The World of New Beijing

Meyer introduces us to a world where humans and androids live side by side, and the threat of a deadly plague looms over society. In this dystopian future, Earth is divided into various nations, and New Beijing is the bustling capital of the Eastern Commonwealth. The city is a melting pot of cultures, blending traditional Chinese elements with advanced technology. Meyer’s detailed descriptions bring the city to life, from the crowded marketplaces to the towering, futuristic buildings.

Meet Cinder, the Unconventional Protagonist

Cinder, the novel’s protagonist, is a skilled mechanic with a secret. As a cyborg, she is part human and part machine, facing discrimination and prejudice from those around her. Despite her difficult circumstances, Cinder is a determined and resourceful character. Her quick wit and sharp tongue make her an engaging and relatable protagonist. By incorporating elements of the Cinderella story, Meyer adds depth to Cinder’s character, allowing readers to empathize with her struggles and root for her triumphs.

The Mysterious Prince Kai

Prince Kai, the heir to the Eastern Commonwealth, is another central character in “Cinder.” As the story unfolds, readers witness the complex relationship that develops between Cinder and Prince Kai. Their interactions are filled with tension, as Cinder grapples with her growing feelings for the prince while hiding her true identity. Meyer skillfully portrays Kai as a compassionate and intelligent leader, torn between his duty to his people and his desire for personal happiness.

The Lunar Threat

One of the most intriguing aspects of “Cinder” is the presence of the Lunar people, inhabitants of the moon who possess unique abilities. Led by the enigmatic Queen Levana, the Lunars pose a significant threat to Earth’s stability. Meyer expertly builds suspense as the Lunar threat looms larger throughout the story, leaving readers on the edge of their seats. The Lunar society is shrouded in mystery, and their manipulative abilities make them formidable adversaries.

Unraveling Secrets and Uncovering Truths

As the plot unfolds, Cinder finds herself entangled in a web of secrets and lies. She discovers shocking truths about her own past and her connection to the Lunar people. Meyer masterfully reveals these revelations, keeping readers captivated and eager to uncover the next piece of the puzzle. The inclusion of unexpected plot twists and well-timed reveals adds depth and complexity to the story, ensuring that readers are constantly engaged.

A Tale of Love and Sacrifice

Amidst the political turmoil and impending war, “Cinder” explores themes of love and sacrifice. Cinder’s relationship with Prince Kai becomes increasingly complicated as their worlds collide. Meyer skillfully portrays the emotional turmoil experienced by both characters, highlighting the sacrifices they are willing to make for the greater good. The exploration of love and sacrifice adds a layer of depth to the story, making it more than just a retelling of a classic fairytale.

The Power of Identity

Throughout the novel, Cinder struggles with her identity as a cyborg and the prejudices she faces because of it. Meyer uses Cinder’s journey of self-discovery to explore themes of identity and acceptance. As Cinder learns to embrace her uniqueness and stand up against societal expectations, readers are reminded of the importance of self-acceptance and the power of embracing one’s true identity.

Themes of Prejudice and Discrimination

“Cinder” also delves into themes of prejudice and discrimination. The novel highlights the mistreatment of cyborgs and the marginalization they face in society. By drawing parallels to real-world issues, Meyer prompts readers to reflect on their own biases and the consequences of discrimination. Through Cinder’s experiences, the novel encourages empathy and understanding, urging readers to challenge societal norms and fight against injustice.

A World of Possibilities

As the first installment in the Lunar Chronicles series, “Cinder” sets the stage for an expansive and imaginative world. Meyer’s vivid descriptions and intricate world-building leave readers eager to explore more of this captivating universe. The introduction of compelling characters and the promise of future adventures make “Cinder” a must-read for fans of science fiction and fantasy.


In “Cinder” by Marissa Meyer, readers are transported to a futuristic world filled with intrigue, romance, and the constant threat of war. Through her masterful storytelling, Meyer creates a unique retelling of the Cinderella story, weaving together elements of science fiction and fantasy. With its engaging characters, unexpected plot twists, and thought-provoking themes, “Cinder” is a captivating novel that will leave readers eagerly reaching for the next installment in the Lunar Chronicles series.

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