I started reading this as soon as I finished Scarlet and I'm really upset that I didn't hear of this series later so I wouldn't have to wait so long for Winter to come out.
The only reason I gave this book 4.5 stars and not 5 is because of the lack of Scarlet and Wolf in this book. They were so good in the last book and Scarlet is so far my favourite of the four protagonists and although I understand why there was little of them because she was setting up for the next book, I was still a little disappointed. This book is also told from varying perspectives like the last two books, but this time the main perspectives are Cinder and Cress because Scarlet is taken away pretty early on, but once again there are lots of random chapters from other characters like Kai, Dr Erland, Thorne and occasionally Sybil. This book has a lot less parallels to Rapunzel, the princess Cress is based upon, than Scarlet did to Little Red Riding Hood and Cinder did to Cinderella, which is understandable because the series is having to move on to focus on the overall plotline of stopping Levana, but the few that are in there, while not as clever as the ones in Scarlet, are pretty cool. I really love that there are no love triangles in this book, it makes me so happy that a fantasy book based on fairy tales, so there's a lot of romance, can be excellent and not have a single love triangle. It has four different main female characters and not a single one is conflicted and angsty about which man they love! They all know who they like, they think about it for varying amounts of time depending on the character, and that's it! I really want this series to become hugely popular with a movie adaptation so other authors can take note of this fact. It's possible to have a female teenager (or four) to fall in love with one person and one person only, while also focusing on the bigger plotline and ordeals they have to go through. This book is really just a giant setup for the next and last book in the series Winter, which doesn't come out till November 2015, because although it is the longest so far it doesn't really cover much time or have any giant plot surprises. They accomplish what they set out to do in the end of Scarlet and just build up for all that will unfold in the next book, including introducing the last princess, Winter, who seems like she'll be really interesting to read the perspective of considering she's going loopy. My favourite character in this book was Dr Erland, I thought it was really clever how he was connected to everyone in one way or another and I loved his little speech of rebellion to Levana in his last chapters. I would strongly recommend this book to any fantasy/dystopian fans that also, like me, have a soft spot for or enjoy fairytales.
Cinder, Scarlet and the rest of the crew contact Cress and she gets them to come get her so she can join them and help in their rebellion against Levana. Just before they come to get her Sybil comes to check on her and learns of her contact with them, when Thorne arrives she ties him and Cress up and then gets her pilot Jacin to fly them to the Rampion in the podship and sets Cress's satellite to plummet to Earth and kill her and Thorne. Once on the Rampion, Wolf wounds Sybil and Cinder shuts them off from the ship after a fight but then realizes that Sybil tricked her into thinking her guard Jacin was Scarlet, so Cinder has him and Sybil takes Scarlet to Luna. Jacin says he's loyal tohis princess so Cinder trusts him and gets him to fly them to Africa so they can meet up with Dr Erland and he can fix Wolf and help them. Thorne manages to free Cress in time for her to set a parachute to go off and save them from crashing, but he bumps his head in the process and when they land he realizes he's blind. He cuts of all Cress's hair because they were tangled together in it and they then have to walk through the Sahara desert and try to make it to civilisation. They encounter a group of travellers who help them make it to the next town, but they then take Cress because they realize she's a shell and they take her to sell to Dr Erland, who is trying to discover a cure for mutated Leutemosis that affects Lunars. Thorne follows after her and manages to pick up an escort droid on the way for Iko to have. They then break into the palace on wedding day and Cinder kidnaps Kai and Dr Erland manages to create a serum that will fix Thorne's eyesight before trapping himself in quarantine because he sees he has the plague. When the others come to take them to the Rampion Dr Erland explains why he's not going, apologizes to Cinder and Wolf (who he helped create) and then explained to Cress that he was her father and if he knew she was alive he never would've stopped searching for her. When they arrive at the ship Sybil and her guards are already there and Thorne kisses Cress after promising her in the desert that he wouldn't let her die without being kissed but then Cinder manages to break into Sybil's mind and torture her into insanity. All but Jacin and Dr Erland then make it onto the ship and Levana is so furious that her wedding was so close she declares war on Earth. Scarlet is forced to chop off her own pinky after not being able to answer any of Levana's questions about Cinder, but then before any other harm can come to her, Winter asks to keep her and she tells her that they're going to be friends. Kai wakes up on the ship and after Cinder explains everything to him, including her being Princess Selene, he kisses her and agrees to go to Luna with them.