What worked: Everything! There is so much to love about this book. Meyer is able to effortlessly weave the backstories from the previous three books in such a way that I feel those new to this series will have no problem following along.
I love how all the characters finally come together. Cinder is now accepting that she is in fact Princess Selena and rightful heir to the Lunar throne. She gathers her friends and others for a bloody show down with Queen Levana.
Each of the characters arc in this book. Cinder's determination to fight for her rightful crown means she comes face to face to her deadliness enemy, Queen Levana. Winter stands up to her stepmother with deadly consequences. Scarlet doesn't back down either, even when Levana strikes back through Wolf. I think the one character who shows the most growth has to be Cress. No longer is she the 'shell' that is in outer space and at Levana's command but rather an important ally in Cinder's quest for her throne.
The build up to the final battle is filled with tension, action, and drama. Even at over 800 pages, this book is a real page turner. I couldn't wait to find out what happened when Cinder and Levana had their final confrontation. It's a real nail biter!
This twist on fairy tales cumulates into one satisfying conclusion. The only issue I have is I want to know what happens next!