By Marissa Meyer


Welcome to the exciting world of Scarlet by Marissa Meyer! πŸŒŒπŸš€ This book is the second installment in the acclaimed Lunar Chronicles series, a collection of science fiction and fantasy novels that retell classic fairy tales with a unique, futuristic twist. Released in 2013, Scarlet continues the adventure with a fresh take on the story of Little Red Riding Hood, intertwined with elements of romance, action, and intrigue.

Marissa Meyer, an American author, has gained a legion of fans thanks to her ability to blend the familiar with the new, creating engaging narratives that capture the imagination. Before Scarlet, the series kicked off with Cinder, a creative reimagining of Cinderella set in a dystopian future. Meyer’s work is celebrated for its strong characters, imaginative world-building, and fast-paced plots.

The genre of Scarlet cleverly crosses over between young adult (YA) fiction, science fiction, and fantasy, making it a hit with readers of all ages who are looking for a thrilling story that defies expectations. πŸŒβ€οΈβ€πŸ”₯

Ready to dive into the world of Scarlet? Let’s embark on this journey together! πŸ“–βœ¨

Plot Summary

Scarlet is a tale of adventure, mystery, and romance that expertly weaves together the stories of two distinct characters: Scarlet Benoit and Cinder, the lunar cyborg from the first book of the Lunar Chronicles.

Exposition β€” The story kicks off in France, where Scarlet Benoit is worried about her missing grandmother. Determined to find her, Scarlet crosses paths with a street fighter named Wolf, who is more than he seems.

Rising Action β€” Concurrently, Cinder escapes from prison with the help of Captain Thorne, a charming rogue. As Scarlet and Wolf embark on their quest to find Scarlet’s grandmother, they uncover secrets about Wolf’s past and his connections to a dangerous lunar gang.

Climax β€” The paths of Cinder and Scarlet converge when they discover that Scarlet’s grandmother holds vital information about Princess Selene, believed to be the lost lunar heir and Cinder’s true identity. In a thrilling confrontation, they face off against lunar operatives and local thugs.

Falling Action β€” In the aftermath of the battle, Cinder fully embraces her identity and powers as Princess Selene. Meanwhile, Scarlet and Wolf’s relationship deepens, but Wolf’s affiliations and the truth about his nature put a strain on their burgeoning connection.

Resolution β€” The book concludes with Cinder deciding to rally support against Queen Levana’s tyrannical rule over Luna and Earth. Scarlet and Wolf reconcile, committing to each other and the greater cause. Cinder’s journey continues as she aims to reclaim her throne, setting the stage for the next book in the series.

Throughout Scarlet, Meyer expertly balances the tension and development between the personal journeys of Scarlet and Cinder, making for a compelling narrative that sets the groundwork for future installments in the Lunar Chronicles.

Character Analysis

In Scarlet, Marissa Meyer introduces us to a cast of characters, each with their own unique personalities, motivations, and arcs. Here’s a closer look at the main characters:

Scarlet Benoit β€” A fierce and determined young woman who lives in France. Scarlet is passionate about finding her missing grandmother and will stop at nothing to ensure her safety. Her loyalty, courage, and capacity for love define her character.

Wolf (Ze’ev Kesley) β€” A mysterious street fighter with a complicated past. Initially enigmatic and intimidating, Wolf is revealed to have deep connections to the lunar people and a personal struggle with his identity. His relationship with Scarlet helps him find humanity and purpose.

Cinder (Lin Cinder) β€” The cyborg mechanic from New Beijing, revealed to be Princess Selene of Luna. Cinder’s journey of self-discovery continues as she escapes from prison and learns more about her true origins and potential. Her resilience, ingenuity, and growing confidence mark her development.

Captain Carswell Thorne β€” A charming and roguish American pilot who becomes Cinder’s unlikely ally. Thorne provides comic relief but also shows depth through his loyalty and bravery.

Queen Levana β€” The primary antagonist of the series, Levana is the ruthless lunar queen who seeks to control Earth. Her ambition, cruelty, and use of bioelectric manipulation to enforce her will make her a formidable foe.

Michelle Benoit β€” Scarlet’s grandmother, a former military pilot who played a crucial role in hiding Princess Selene. Her disappearance sparks the events of the book.

Here’s a summary of their character development:

Scarlet BenoitFierce, determinedFind her grandmotherLearns the truth about her family and embraces a larger fight against Luna.
Wolf (Ze’ev Kesley)Mysterious, conflictedProtect ScarletOvercomes his lunar conditioning to choose his own path.
Cinder (Lin Cinder)Resilient, ingeniousDiscover her identityAccepts her role as Princess Selene and vows to fight Levana.
Captain Carswell ThorneCharming, roguishAdventure and survivalShows loyalty and bravery, becoming a true ally to Cinder.
Queen LevanaRuthless, ambitiousDominate EarthContinues her dark schemes, setting up further conflict.
Michelle BenoitBrave, protectiveProtect Princess SeleneHer past actions reveal the depth of her courage and foresight.

Each character’s journey in Scarlet not only drives the plot forward but also adds layers to the rich tapestry of the Lunar Chronicles universe.

Themes and Symbols

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer weaves a complex tapestry of themes and symbols that enhance the narrative and deepen the reader’s engagement with the story. Here are some of the major ones:


β€” Identity and Self-Discovery β€” Central to both Scarlet and Cinder’s journeys is the theme of discovering one’s true self. For Cinder, this means accepting her identity as Princess Selene and embracing her lunar heritage. For Scarlet, it’s about uncovering the secrets of her family and understanding her place in the larger conflict.

β€” Freedom vs. Control β€” The struggle against Lunar control, exemplified by Queen Levana’s manipulations, contrasts with the characters’ fight for autonomy and freedom. This theme explores the value of independence and the fight against oppression.

β€” Loyalty and Betrayal β€” The characters navigate a world where loyalty is both a strength and a vulnerability. Scarlet’s unwavering loyalty to her grandmother, Wolf’s divided loyalties, and Cinder’s growing band of allies highlight the complexities of trust and betrayal.

β€” Love and Sacrifice β€” Romantic and familial love are powerful motivators throughout the story. Scarlet’s love for her grandmother and her developing relationship with Wolf, as well as Cinder’s burgeoning feelings for Kai, showcase love’s ability to drive action and sacrifice.


β€” The Red Hood β€” Scarlet’s red hoodie is a nod to the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale and symbolizes her bravery and the journey she undertakes. It marks her as a target but also as a beacon of hope and resistance.

β€” Cyborg Parts β€” Cinder’s cyborg parts represent her struggle with identity and society’s acceptance. They are a constant reminder of her uniqueness and the prejudice she faces, but they also symbolize her resilience and the merging of human and lunar qualities.

β€” The Wolf β€” Wolf is both a character and a symbol, representing the dual nature of humanity: the capacity for violence and tenderness. His struggle with his lunar conditioning and his protective instincts towards Scarlet highlight the theme of fighting one’s darker impulses.

β€” The Spaceship Rampion β€” As Cinder’s means of escape and travel, the Rampion symbolizes freedom and the journey towards a better future. It becomes a gathering place for Cinder’s allies and a tangible representation of their rebellion against oppression.

These themes and symbols enrich the narrative of Scarlet, adding layers of meaning that resonate with readers and contribute to the overall depth of the Lunar Chronicles series.

Writing Style and Tone

Marissa Meyer’s writing style and tone in Scarlet play a crucial role in transporting readers into a world that is both futuristic and familiar, blending elements of fairy tales with science fiction and adventure. Here’s a breakdown of key aspects of her writing in Scarlet:

β€” Engaging and Accessible β€” Meyer’s prose is notably engaging, making the complex world of the Lunar Chronicles accessible to a broad audience. Her ability to distill intricate plot lines and character arcs into understandable and compelling narratives is a hallmark of her style.

β€” Balanced Descriptive Language β€” Meyer employs a balanced use of descriptive language that vividly paints the settings, from the rural farms of France to the bustling streets of New Beijing. This detailed backdrop serves as the perfect stage for the action-packed story and the development of its characters.

β€” Multiple Perspectives β€” The novel alternates between the perspectives of its main characters, including Scarlet, Cinder, and occasionally other key figures. This narrative technique allows readers to gain a multi-faceted understanding of the story’s events and the motivations driving each character.

β€” Fast-paced and Plot-driven β€” The tone of Scarlet is dynamic and fast-paced, reflecting the urgent quests of its characters. Meyer masterfully builds tension and excitement through short, impactful chapters that propel the story forward, making it hard to put the book down.

β€” Emotional Depth β€” Despite the action-oriented plot, Meyer doesn’t shy away from exploring the emotional landscapes of her characters. The tone shifts seamlessly to accommodate moments of introspection, romance, and heartbreak, adding depth to the thrilling narrative.

β€” Humor and Wit β€” The introduction of characters like Captain Thorne infuses the story with humor and wit, providing a counterbalance to the more serious themes of freedom and oppression. This light-hearted tone enhances the characters’ likability and relatability.

Overall, Marissa Meyer’s writing style and tone in Scarlet are integral to its success as a captivating continuation of the Lunar Chronicles. Her ability to blend genres, coupled with a knack for storytelling, ensures that readers are engaged from the first page to the last.

Literary Devices used in Scarlet

In “Scarlet,” Marissa Meyer skillfully employs a variety of literary devices to enhance the storytelling, deepen character development, and enrich the thematic content of the novel. Here are the top 10 devices used:

  1. Metaphor β€” Meyer uses metaphors to draw comparisons between characters and ideas without using “like” or “as,” adding depth and insight into the narrative. For example, Cinder’s journey is often likened to a phoenix rising from ashes, symbolizing rebirth and transformation.
  2. Simile β€” Similar to metaphors, similes compare two different things to add emphasis or paint a vivid picture, but they use “like” or “as.” An example is describing Wolf’s movements as quick “like a predator,” highlighting his dual nature.
  3. Foreshadowing β€” Meyer plants subtle hints about future events or revelations throughout the narrative, building suspense and keeping readers engaged. The early mention of mysterious lunar operatives hints at the impending conflict and connections to the larger plot.
  4. Allusion β€” The novel is filled with allusions to the classic fairy tale “Little Red Riding Hood,” from Scarlet’s red hoodie to her grandmother’s peril, enriching the story by linking it to familiar themes of danger and bravery.
  5. Irony β€” The use of irony, particularly situational irony, underscores the unpredictability of the characters’ journeys. For instance, Cinder discovers her true identity in a way that contrasts sharply with her previous life as a mechanic.
  6. Imagery β€” Vivid imagery is used to create sensory experiences for the reader, making the world of “Scarlet” feel tangible. Descriptions of the futuristic landscapes and technology immerse readers in the unique settings of the Lunar Chronicles.
  7. Personification β€” Giving human qualities to non-human elements, Meyer personifies certain aspects of her world, such as the menacing presence of the lunar ships, to enhance the atmosphere of tension and danger.
  8. Symbolism β€” Objects, characters, and actions in the novel often symbolize larger concepts. For example, Scarlet’s red hoodie is not just clothing; it symbolizes her courage and connection to the legacy of “Little Red Riding Hood.”
  9. Parallelism β€” The story draws parallel lines between characters and situations, such as the mirrored experiences of Cinder and Scarlet. This device emphasizes the themes of unity and the interconnectedness of their struggles.
  10. Hyperbole β€” Exaggeration is used for emphasis or effect; for example, when characters describe the impossible odds they face, it highlights their determination and the dramatic stakes of their mission.

These literary devices contribute significantly to the richness of “Scarlet,” adding layers of meaning and enhancing the reader’s engagement with the story.

Literary Devices Examples

For each of the top 10 literary devices used in Scarlet by Marissa Meyer, here are tables providing 3 examples and explanations of how they are utilized in the book.


Cinder’s identity as a lost princess is a “phoenix rising from ashes.”This metaphor suggests Cinder’s transformation and rebirth from a despised cyborg into a powerful leader.
Wolf’s association with the lunar operatives is likened to a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.”It highlights Wolf’s deceptive nature and the danger he poses, while also nodding to his literal name and character role.
The relationship between Earth and Luna is often referred to as a “ticking time bomb.”This metaphor underscores the tension and impending conflict between the two worlds, suggesting an inevitable confrontation.


Scarlet moved “like a leaf caught in a storm” when reacting to danger.This simile emphasizes Scarlet’s vulnerability and the chaos surrounding her, enhancing the reader’s emotional connection to her plight.
Wolf’s eyes are described as “sharp as knives,” focusing on his predatory nature.This comparison enhances the danger Wolf represents, while also foreshadowing his role as both protector and potential threat.
Cinder’s escape is “like a bolt of lightning,” signifying her swift and unexpected actions.It highlights Cinder’s agility and the shock her actions bring to those around her, emphasizing her defiance against her enemies.


Early mentions of a missing lunar princess hint at Cinder’s true identity.These hints prepare readers for the revelation of Cinder’s royal heritage, building anticipation for the climax.
Scarlet’s unease with Wolf foreshadows his complex loyalties.This early distrust hints at Wolf’s intricate background and the eventual disclosure of his lunar connections.
References to unrest on Luna set the stage for future rebellions.These mentions foreshadow the larger lunar society’s discontent and the coming conflicts that will be central to the series’ plot.


Scarlet’s red hoodie directly alludes to “Little Red Riding Hood.”This visual cue links Scarlet to the fairy tale character, framing her journey as one of bravery against hidden dangers.
The presence of a grandmother in peril echoes the classic tale’s themes.By incorporating this element, Meyer deepens the connection to the original story, emphasizing themes of family and loyalty.
Wolf’s character as both protector and potential threat mirrors the wolf in the fairy tale.This allusion adds depth to Wolf’s character, playing with the familiar trope while giving it a new, complex twist in the narrative.


Cinder, once seen as worthless because she is a cyborg, is actually the lost lunar princess.The irony of Cinder’s situation underscores themes of identity and prejudice, challenging assumptions about worth and heritage.
Scarlet’s search for her grandmother leads her into greater danger, rather than safety.This situational irony reflects the unpredictability of Scarlet’s world, where seeking protection results in vulnerability.
The feared lunar operatives are ultimately defeated by a ragtag group of rebels.The irony here highlights the power of unity and determination against seemingly insurmountable odds, subverting expectations of strength.


Descriptions of the futuristic Paris and its blend of old and new architecture.This vivid imagery helps readers visualize the unique setting of the novel, blending the familiar with the futuristic.
The detailed portrayal of the lunar surface and its stark, eerie beauty.Such descriptions immerse the reader in the lunar world, emphasizing its alien nature and the isolation of its inhabitants.
The chaos and color of the marketplace where Scarlet first meets Wolf.The sensory details of this scene bring the setting to life, highlighting the vibrancy and danger of Scarlet’s world.


The lunar ships “hovered like vultures,” waiting for the right moment to strike.Giving the ships predatory characteristics amplifies the sense of threat they pose to Earth, enhancing the tension.
The city of Paris is described as “breathing” under the night sky.This personification adds a sense of life and dynamism to the setting, making the city seem like an active participant in the story.
Cinder’s cyborg interface “whispers” information to her.By

personifying the technology, Meyer highlights the intimate connection between Cinder and her cybernetic enhancements, suggesting they are a part of her identity. |


Scarlet’s red hoodie symbolizes her courage and connection to her namesake fairy tale.The hoodie is a constant reminder of Scarlet’s bravery and the legacy she carries, echoing the themes of danger and protection.
Cinder’s cyborg parts represent her struggle with identity and societal acceptance.They symbolize the blending of human and machine, questioning what it means to be truly human and the value of individuality.
The wolf tattoo signifies Wolf’s connection to his past and lunar origins.This symbol serves as a physical reminder of Wolf’s internal conflict and his struggle between loyalty to his origins and his feelings for Scarlet.


The parallel journeys of Cinder and Scarlet highlight their shared destinies.This device underscores the connection between the two characters, despite their different backgrounds, uniting them in a common cause.
The mirroring of Scarlet’s search for her grandmother and Cinder’s search for her identity.This parallelism emphasizes the theme of self-discovery and the lengths one will go to uncover the truth.
The use of dual narratives to draw parallels between Earth and Luna’s political unrest.By showing the struggles on both worlds, Meyer highlights the universal themes of oppression and the desire for freedom.


Characters often exclaim they would “move mountains” to achieve their goals.This hyperbole underscores the intensity of the characters’ motivations and their willingness to face great obstacles for their beliefs.
The description of Queen Levana’s beauty as “beyond human comprehension.”This exaggeration emphasizes Levana’s otherworldly allure and the power she holds through her lunar abilities to manipulate perception.
Wolf’s strength is sometimes described in exaggerated terms, likening him to a machine or beast of legend.Such hyperbole highlights Wolf’s formidable nature, both as a fighter and as a protector, enhancing his character’s impact within the narrative.

These examples showcase Marissa Meyer’s adept use of literary devices to enrich the narrative of Scarlet, adding layers of meaning, enhancing thematic depth, and creating a more engaging and immersive reading experience.

Scarlet – FAQs

What is the main plot of Scarlet?
Scarlet is focused on the intertwining stories of Scarlet Benoit, who is searching for her missing grandmother in France, and Cinder, a cyborg mechanic from New Beijing discovering her true identity as Princess Selene. Their paths cross as they both confront and unveil secrets about their past and the looming threat of the lunar queen, Levana.

Who are the main characters in Scarlet?
The main characters include Scarlet Benoit, a determined young woman looking for her grandmother; Wolf, a street fighter with mysterious origins; Cinder, a cyborg who is actually the lost lunar princess; and Captain Carswell Thorne, a charismatic fugitive. Other key figures include Queen Levana, the antagonist, and Michelle Benoit, Scarlet’s grandmother.

How does Scarlet connect to The Lunar Chronicles series?
Scarlet is the second book in The Lunar Chronicles series. It continues the story from Cinder, expanding the world and introducing new characters while advancing the overarching plot against the lunar queen, Levana. The series combines fairy tale retellings with a futuristic setting.

What themes are explored in Scarlet?
Themes include identity and self-discovery, freedom vs. control, loyalty and betrayal, and love and sacrifice. These themes are explored through the characters’ journeys and interactions, set against the backdrop of a looming interplanetary conflict.

Is there a romantic element in Scarlet?
Yes, romance is a significant element of Scarlet, most notably between Scarlet and Wolf. Their relationship develops amidst the chaos of their quest to find Scarlet’s grandmother and battle lunar operatives. The novel also explores the evolving relationship between Cinder and Prince Kai, though indirectly.

How does Marissa Meyer incorporate fairy tales into Scarlet?
Meyer retells the story of Little Red Riding Hood through the character of Scarlet, integrating elements from the fairy tale, such as the red hoodie and the grandmother in peril, into a futuristic setting. Wolf’s character plays into the theme, acting as both protector and potential threat, reminiscent of the wolf in the original tale.

What is the significance of the character Wolf in the story?
Wolf, or Ze’ev Kesley, is significant for his complex identity, straddling his origins as a genetically modified lunar operative and his growing loyalty to Scarlet. His character explores themes of nature versus nurture, redemption, and the capacity for change.

Can Scarlet be read as a standalone novel?
While Scarlet can be enjoyed on its own for its narrative and characters, reading it as part of The Lunar Chronicles series provides a fuller understanding of the overarching story, character backgrounds, and the world Meyer has created. It directly follows the events of Cinder and sets the stage for the sequels, Cress and Winter.


What is Scarlet searching for?A hidden treasureHer missing grandmotherAn ancient artifactLunar secrets
Who helps Cinder escape from prison?KaiLevanaCaptain Carswell ThorneIko
What fairy tale is Scarlet loosely based on?CinderellaSnow WhiteLittle Red Riding HoodSleeping Beauty
What is Wolf’s real name?FelixZe’ev KesleyJasonMark
Who is the ruler of Luna?CinderKaiQueen LevanaPrincess Winter
What significant secret does Scarlet’s grandmother hold?The location of a powerful weaponInformation about Princess SeleneA way to defeat the lunar guardThe key to eternal youth
What object symbolizes Scarlet’s connection to the fairy tale her story retells?A glass slipperA poisoned appleA red hoodieA spinning wheel
How does Cinder discover her true identity?Through a dreamUncovering her past with the help of friendsA proclamation by Queen LevanaFinding her birth certificate
What does Wolf struggle with throughout the story?Finding his lost brotherHis loyalty to the lunar operatives versus his feelings for ScarletLearning to readHiding his true identity from Cinder
What is the name of the ship Cinder escapes in?The Millennium FalconThe Starship EnterpriseThe RampionThe Artemis

This quiz is designed to test your comprehension and recall of key plot points, characters, and elements from Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. Each question focuses on a different aspect of the story, challenging you to remember details about the plot, character relationships, and thematic symbols.


Identify the literary devices used in the following paragraph from Scarlet:

“Scarlet’s heart hammered in her chest as she raced through the forest, the red fabric of her hoodie flapping behind her like a banner of war. The moon hung low and full, casting eerie shadows that danced along the path. She could hear the howls in the distance, a haunting melody that spoke of danger and the unknown. With each step, the ground seemed to whisper secrets of old, urging her to push forward, to find the truth that lay hidden beneath the surface.”

Literary Devices:



  1. Simile β€” “the red fabric of her hoodie flapping behind her like a banner of war.” This simile compares Scarlet’s hoodie to a war banner, emphasizing her determination and the battle she is facing.
  2. Personification β€” “The moon hung low and full, casting eerie shadows that danced along the path.” The moon casting shadows that dance personifies the shadows, giving them life and movement, enhancing the eerie atmosphere.
  3. Imagery β€” The entire paragraph is rich with imagery, vividly painting the scene of Scarlet running through the forest, the moonlight, and the haunting howls. This device helps readers visualize and feel the tension and urgency of Scarlet’s journey.
  4. Allusion β€” The howls and the forest setting allude to the classic elements of the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale, evoking themes of danger and the journey through the woods.