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The Lunar Chronicles, by Marissa Meyer, is a planned quartet of fairy tale adaptations set on a futuristic Earth in conflict with a colony on the moon. The first book, Cinder, is a retelling of "Cinderella" set in the Far East, with a Cyborg protagonist, an evil Lunar Queen trying to trap the Prince into marriage, and a planetwide epidemic. The other books - Scarlet, Cress and Winter - are planned for 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively.

Tropes used in Lunar Chronicles include:


  • The Alleged Car: Cinder's "pumpkin", an ancient orange wreck she finds in a junkyard.
  • And Now You Must Marry Me: Prince Kai is a rare male victim of this trope, as Queen Levana is holding the antidote for The Plague over his head to try and force him to marry her.
  • Artificial Limbs: Cinder has a detachable metal hand and foot, which she covers with gloves and boots.
  • Bad Moon Rising: The moon gives people the creeps, not for its own sake, because it's inhabited by a ruthless and powerful enemy.
  • Celeb Crush: Cinder's stepsisters have it bad for Prince Kai. So does Cinder herself, for all her denial.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: It is mentioned early in the book that Princess Selene of Luna had passed away in a fire- but that they never found her body, just some pieces of burnt flesh. What does this have to do with Cinder and Kai's love story main plot? It is revealed that Cinder is really Princess Selene, who did survive the fire, and who had gotten artificial replacements for her burnt parts and thus was now a cyborg.
  • Cinderella Circumstances Both Cinder and Cress, and possibly Winter
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: A prejudice against cyborgs which Cinder's stepmother Adri uses to hurt her.

  Adri: "Do your kind even feel love, or is it all just ... programmed?"

  • Dances and Balls: The Peace Festival.
  • Dead Little Sister: Peony, the one member of Cinder's adopted family who actually cares for her, dies of letumosis. Dr. Erland's defection to Earth and rebellion against Levana are motivated by her responsibility for his daughter's death.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: Averted HARD. Cinder's dead mother, Queen Channary, was a Complete Monster who installed an infantcide against the "shells," or children without powers
  • Deadpan Snarker: Cinder.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The computer hacker with Rapunzel Hair who warns Cinder about Kai's impending murder is implied to be Cress, the heroine of the upcoming third book.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Princess Selene is of course Cinder. There is also a Princess Winter, though it is too early to tell whether or not she subverts this.
  • Evil Aunt: As if her wicked stepfamily wasn't enough, Levana is Cinder's mother's sister. She is likely the one who killed Cinder's parents and is to blame for Cinder being a cyborg.
  • The Evil Prince: Inverted. Queen Levana was an evil PRINCESS, who brutally murdered her older sister and her family to inherit the throne. Avoided with Prince Kai.
  • Failsafe Failure: Cinder has a chip implanted in her spine which suppresses her Lunar powers, but it's slowly wearing out.
  • Fantastic Racism: Against both Lunars and cyborgs. Trust Cinder's bad luck that she turns out to be both!
  • Fantastic Slur: A "shell" is a Lunar with no mind control powers.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Cinder's cyborg programming makes her the best mechanic in New Beijing.
  • Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul: Queen Levana can pacify an angry mob just by looking at them.
  • God Save Us From the Queen: Levana.
    • You would think that Charrandy, Levana's dead sister and Cinder's mother, would subvert this, but no, she played this straight. Aside from a story that she chopped off her handmaiden's legs so that she would have more time to make her dresses, she also instigated an infantcide against "shells," Lunars without powers
  • Humans Are Psychic in the Future: The "evolved" humans of the Lunar Colony.
  • If We Survive This: When Peony falls ill, Cinder promises her that if she gets well, Cinder will introduce her to the Prince at the annual ball. Peony dies before that can happen.
  • Internalized Categorization: Cinder in regards to her cyborg status.
  • Mad Scientist: Dr. Dimitri Erland, who is researching a cure for letumosis using drafted cyborg test subjects. He's a Lunar keeping his mind control powers in check, which has the side effect of making him a little unhinged.
  • Magic by Any Other Name: The Lunars' "manipulation of bioelectric energy".
  • Nice Hat: Dr. Erland's newsboy cap.
  • Never Found the Body: Princess Selene, the Rightful Heir to the Lunar throne, leading to rumors that she is still alive. She is- and that would be Cinder.
  • Nonhuman Lover Reveal: Happens to Cinder and Kai at the worst possible time, at the ball, with Queen Levana and hundreds of guests looking on. Kai is horrified.
  • Prince Charming: Prince Kai.
  • Ridiculously-Human Robots: Adri's housekeeping android Iko, due to a "faulty" Personality Chip, acts like a ditzy but kindhearted woman with a love of fashion and boys.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Kai puts a lot of effort into standing up to Levana without risking war. When Cinder first meets him, he hires her to fix a broken android containing secret information, which later turns out to be part of Kai's plan to find Princess Selene and ally with her to overthrow Levana.
  • Sadistic Choice: Levana forces Kai to choose between handing Cinder over to execution (as a Lunar fugitive) and marrying Levana. He chooses to give up Cinder in order to keep his country free.
  • Say My Name: Due to shyness and protocol, Cinder and Kai have some trouble adjusting from "Linh-mei" and "Your Highness" to their given names.
  • Shoot the Dog: I dare anyone not to cry at the scene where Cinder finds Iko destroyed by Adri.
  • Swiss Army Appendage: Dr. Erland smuggles one into Cinder's prison cell at the end of the book, helping her escape.
  • Wicked Stepmother: Both Cinder and Cress suffer at the hands of one. Levana is Winter's stepmother, and she is pretty wicked, though we do not know how they are with each other.
  • Wicked Witch: Queen Levana and Mistress Sybill.
  • You Are in Command Now: The Emperor dies early on in the book, leaving Kai in charge.
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