Estimated read time: 6 min read

One Sentence Summary

A cyborg mechanic becomes embroiled in a futuristic political conspiracy and must navigate a dangerous world to uncover the truth.


"Cinder" by Marissa Meyer is a futuristic retelling of the classic Cinderella story, set in a world where humans and androids coexist. The novel follows the life of Linh Cinder, a gifted mechanic who becomes entangled in a web of political intrigue, romance, and rebellion. As the story unfolds, Cinder discovers her own identity and strives to break free from the constraints of her society, making it a compelling and thought-provoking read.

Brief Synopsis

Plot Overview

The story is set in New Beijing, a bustling city in a post-World War IV world where humans and androids, called "Lunars," coexist. Linh Cinder, a talented mechanic, is also a cyborg, despised and marginalized by society. When a deadly plague sweeps the city, Cinder's path crosses with Prince Kai, who seeks her expertise to repair a broken android with vital information. As Cinder becomes involved in the political turmoil between Earth and the Moon, she uncovers long-hidden truths about her own identity.


The novel is primarily set in New Beijing, a city that blends traditional Eastern culture with futuristic technology. The city is a melting pot of diverse characters, from the ruling class in the palace to the bustling marketplace where Cinder works as a mechanic. The contrast between the advanced technology and remnants of the past creates a unique and immersive setting for the story.

Main Characters

The book features several main characters, each with their own distinct roles and personalities.

Linh CinderA skilled mechanic and cyborg, struggling to find her place in society.
Prince KaiThe charismatic and duty-bound heir to the throne of the Eastern Commonwealth.
Queen LevanaThe ruthless and power-hungry ruler of the Lunar colony.
IkoCinder's endearing and loyal android companion.

Story Points Over Chapters

Chapters 1-5

The story introduces Linh Cinder, offering insight into her life as a talented mechanic and a social outcast due to her cyborg status. We also meet Prince Kai, who seeks Cinder's help in repairing an important android. The initial chapters set the stage for the political tensions between Earth and the Moon, as well as the burgeoning relationship between Cinder and Kai.

Chapters 6-10

Cinder's involvement in the political landscape deepens as she uncovers a shocking revelation about her own identity. She grapples with the implications of this discovery while navigating her growing feelings for Prince Kai. The tension between Earth and the Lunar colony escalates, adding further complexity to Cinder's predicament.

Chapters 11-15

As the deadly plague worsens, Cinder finds herself embroiled in a dangerous mission that could have far-reaching consequences for both Earth and the Moon. The stakes are raised as she confronts Queen Levana, the formidable ruler of the Lunar colony, and begins to understand the extent of her own abilities.

Chapters 16-20

Cinder's journey takes unexpected turns as she confronts the truth about her past and embraces her unique identity. Her bond with Prince Kai deepens, even as the political turmoil threatens to tear them apart. The novel builds towards a climactic confrontation that will shape the fate of both Earth and the Lunar colony.

Main Events

  1. Cinder Meets Prince Kai: Cinder's encounter with Prince Kai sets the stage for their intertwined destinies and the unfolding political intrigue.
  2. Revelation of Cinder's Identity: The revelation of Cinder's true identity as a Lunar princess sparks a personal and political crisis.
  3. Escalating Tensions: The escalating tensions between Earth and the Lunar colony create a backdrop of uncertainty and danger.
  4. Confrontation with Queen Levana: Cinder's confrontation with the ruthless Queen Levana forces her to confront her own strengths and vulnerabilities.
  5. Embracing Identity: Cinder's journey towards embracing her identity as a Lunar princess and harnessing her unique abilities forms a pivotal turning point in the story.

Themes and Insights

Identity and Self-Discovery

The novel explores themes of identity and self-discovery as Cinder grapples with her dual nature as a cyborg and a Lunar princess. Her journey towards accepting and embracing her true self resonates with readers, highlighting the universal struggle for self-discovery and acceptance.

Power and Politics

The political tensions between Earth and the Lunar colony serve as a backdrop for the story, delving into themes of power, manipulation, and the consequences of unchecked authority. The complex dynamics of political power and its impact on individuals and societies are woven throughout the narrative.

Love and Sacrifice

The budding romance between Cinder and Prince Kai unfolds amidst the backdrop of looming threats and personal sacrifices. The novel explores the complexities of love and the sacrifices individuals are willing to make for the greater good, adding depth and emotional resonance to the story.

Reader's Takeaway

"Cinder" offers readers a captivating blend of futuristic world-building, political intrigue, and a reimagined fairy tale. The novel's strong themes of identity, power, and love resonate with readers of all ages, making it a compelling and thought-provoking read. Marissa Meyer's skillful storytelling and engaging characters create an immersive experience that leaves a lasting impression on readers.


In conclusion, "Cinder" by Marissa Meyer is a captivating blend of science fiction, fantasy, and romance, offering a fresh take on the classic Cinderella story. The novel's richly imagined world, compelling characters, and thought-provoking themes make it a must-read for fans of young adult fiction and fairy tale retellings. With its gripping plot, engaging narrative, and resonant themes, "Cinder" is a standout addition to the genre, leaving a lasting impact on readers long after the final page.

Cinder FAQ

  1. What is the genre of 'Cinder' by Marissa Meyer?

    The genre of 'Cinder' is young adult science fiction with a blend of fantasy and romance.

  2. Is 'Cinder' part of a series?

    Yes, 'Cinder' is the first book in 'The Lunar Chronicles' series by Marissa Meyer.

  3. What is the setting of 'Cinder'?

    The story is set in a futuristic world where Earth is plagued by a deadly plague and there are tensions between Earth and the moon.

  4. Who is the main character in 'Cinder'?

    The main character is Cinder, a talented mechanic who is also a cyborg.

  5. Is there a fairy tale element in 'Cinder'?

    Yes, 'Cinder' is a futuristic retelling of the classic Cinderella story.

  6. What are some key themes in 'Cinder'?

    Some key themes in 'Cinder' include identity, prejudice, love, and the fight against oppression.

  7. Are there elements of political intrigue in 'Cinder'?

    Yes, the story involves political tensions between Earth and the moon, adding an element of political intrigue.

  8. Is there a strong romantic subplot in 'Cinder'?

    Yes, 'Cinder' features a strong romantic subplot that adds depth to the story.

  9. What age group is 'Cinder' suitable for?

    The book is suitable for young adult readers and older teens, but can also be enjoyed by adult readers who appreciate YA fiction.