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Cinder: Book One of The Lunar Chronicles - Summary

Author: Marissa Meyer

Setting: Futuristic New Beijing, Earth, and Moon


Cinder: Book One of The Lunar Chronicles is a riveting science fiction novel that intertwines retellings of classic fairy tales with a futuristic twist. Set in a dystopian future, the story unfolds in New Beijing, a city teeming with humans and androids, and plagued by a deadly disease. Amidst this chaos, the Earth faces threats from the Lunar people, a race with the ability to manipulate bioelectricity, residing on the Moon.

Plot Summary

The novel follows Linh Cinder, a skilled mechanic and a cyborg, who is considered a second-class citizen. Cinder's life takes a dramatic turn when her path crosses with Prince Kai of the Eastern Commonwealth, leading her into the heart of an intergalactic conflict and a tangled web of secrets.

Cinder discovers her mysterious past and her true identity, which places her at the center of the struggle between Earth and the Moon. The story is a blend of adventure, romance, and the quest for freedom and identity, as Cinder navigates through the complexities of society, loyalty, and personal destiny.


  • Identity and Acceptance: Cinder's journey is a quest for self-discovery and battling societal prejudices against cyborgs.
  • Duty vs. Freedom: Characters are torn between their obligations to their nations and their personal desires.
  • Love and Betrayal: The novel explores the nuances of trust and betrayal in relationships, set against the backdrop of political intrigue.


  • Linh Cinder: A cyborg with a hidden past and extraordinary abilities.
  • Prince Kai: The charming prince of the Eastern Commonwealth, who is burdened with the responsibility of protecting his people.
  • Queen Levana: The main antagonist, a ruthless lunar ruler with ambitions to control Earth.


Cinder has been acclaimed for its original storytelling, combining fairy tale elements with a fresh, sci-fi setting. Meyer's narrative is praised for its strong characters, especially the portrayal of Cinder as a resilient and relatable heroine.


Marissa Meyer's Cinder is a compelling start to The Lunar Chronicles series, offering a unique twist on traditional tales. With its blend of science fiction, romance, and political drama, the novel captivates readers, leaving them eager for the next installment.