Lunar Chronicles Wiki
Lunar Chronicles Wiki

Cress is the third book in The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. This book features Cress (based on Rapunzel) and takes place in the Sahara Desert. It was released on February 4, 2014 by Feiwel & Friends.


In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker—unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.


Crescent "Cress" Moon Darnel is a sixteen-year-old girl living in a satellite in space that has been her prison for most of her life. She is contacted by Cinder and her crew on Thorne's spaceship, the Rampion, through the D-COMM chip that had made Nainsi malfunction a couple weeks ago. After communicating with Cinder's crew, she asks them to rescue her from her satellite that she's been imprisoned in for seven years, which they agree to. However, an unexpected visit from Thaumaturge Sybil Mira, who also happens to be Cress's guardian/captor, throws a wrench into their plans as she discovers Cress' intent to run and plans a trap for Cinder's crew. Thus, Scarlet is captured. Jacin Clay, a pilot who brought Sybil to Cress' satellite, decides to join Cinder's side, while the almost fatal wounding of Wolf renders him unconscious. Sybil leaves Thorne and Cress to die after shutting down her satellite, making it hurtle toward Earth without any way to stop it. Meanwhile in Africa, Dr. Erland has discovered that Lunars are able to contract a mutated strain of the letumosis virus which they had previously been immune to.

The crew has now been separated from one another and Cinder is sure that not only are Cress and Thorne certainly dead, but Scarlet will soon have the same fate as will Wolf if she doesn't get him medical attention. Cinder decides to land the Rampion in Africa where she was to meet Dr. Erland. She speaks with him and he reveals that Lunars are able to contract a mutated strain of the deadly virus that has been killing thousands of Earthens for more than a decade.

During this time, Scarlet is being held at an aristocratic Lunar household, forced to be a "pet" for a young boy to practice his gift on. She is brought back to the palace, tried, and forced to cut off her own pinky finger.

After Cress manages to deploy the parachutes of the free-falling satellite, they ensure a safe landing in the Sahara Desert. Unfortunately, Thorne has been blinded after hitting his head during the fall, and Cress must get him and herself out of the desert and somehow communicate with Cinder and the crew of the Rampion. Ever since she had began tracking Thorne on an assignment from Sybil Mira, Cress had been infatuated with him, and believes him to be her perfect hero. Thorne tries to convince her that he is not the hero she imagined, but promises her that if they are about to die, he will kiss her. They nearly die of heat exhaustion, dehydration, and starvation, but are saved by a traveling group of traders (who are later revealed to be Lunar traffickers). They go to a hotel with the group, where Thorne manages to win an escort-droid by winning a card game. Cress, distraught and believing Thorne is "cheating" on her with another woman, decides to leave with the traffickers who had originally saved them. They kidnap Cress and take her to Dr. Erland, her father who didn't know that Cress was still alive, as she was taken away as a newborn to be killed. Cress becomes terrified and runs to hide, unknowingly hiding in the same room that Wolf is being kept in. She is discovered shortly after, and Thorne arrives to come and save her. A little while later, the group is discovered and forced out of hiding. The villagers (consisting of multiple Lunars) assist them in glamouring the military, aiding in Cinder and her group's escape.

Once the entire group is reunited, Cinder plans an infiltration of the palace to stop the royal wedding between Earthen Emperor Kaito and Lunar Queen Levana, even though she knows it'll start a war. She goes back home to see her legal guardian, Linh Adri, and her stepsister, Pearl, and glamours herself in order to steal their invitations. Cress and Wolf sneak into the palace, posing as a couple with said stolen invitations as Cinder and Iko sneak in through abandoned walkways. Thorne and Dr. Erland head to the labs to create stem cell eyedrops to repair Thorne's vision. While Cress and Wolf dismantle the security operations for the wedding site, Cinder and Iko (an android in the form of a human-escort droid body that Thorne won) kidnap Emperor Kaito by tranquilizing him and cutting out his ID chips, with the initially hesitant help of Konn Torin. Dr. Erland manages to repair Thorne's vision, but diagnoses himself with the fatal disease letumosis. After stopping the wedding, Cinder plans to take the crew to Luna, declare herself as the missing Princess Selene, and encourage the Lunars there to rally around her to dethrone Levana.

Dr. Erland quarantines himself after realizing he has been infected with a mutation of Letumosis, telling Cress that he is her father and that he loves her and never wanted to abandon her. Shortly after, Queen Levana and Sybil Mira come to see Dr. Erland as he dies right then. Sybil receives an anonymous tip that the group is headed for the roof, preparing to leave. Before they're able to, they are stopped by Sybil and Lunar soldiers on the roof with Jacin nowhere to be found. During the battle, Thorne kisses Cress, fulfilling the promise he made to her and also hinting that he has started to develop feelings for her. Cinder and Sybil Mira battle it out as Cinder succeeds in breaking Mira's mind, driving her insane which leads to her jumping off the roof to her death. They fly the Rampion en route to Luna and Queen Levana retaliates by openly declaring war on Earth.

Meanwhile, Princess Winter, the stepdaughter of Queen Levana, is currently keeping Scarlet in her zoo-like menagerie. She is mentally unstable (afflicted with Lunar sickness) due to the fact that she refuses to use her Lunar gifts, but tells Scarlet that she's on her side.


Main Characters:[]

Supporting Characters:[]


  • In Cinder, the direct communication chip (D-COMM) from Kai's droid, Nainsi, opened to a girl with immensely long blonde hair: Cress. Dr. Erland also mentioned he had a daughter, known as Crescent Moon. However, due to her being a shell, Queen Levana had her killed. He stated that she would have been around Cinder's age if she were still alive; the girl from the D-Comm chip coincidentally seemed to be the same age as Cinder.

Similarity w/ Source Material[]

  • Thorne came to Cress' rescue only to play right into the trap of Cress' captor, Sybil Mira, who glamoured herself into looking like Cress.
    • The prince tried to aid Rapunzel and escape with her, but was fooled by Rapunzel's captor, the enchantress, who used the hair she cut off from Rapunzel to impersonate her and lure the prince.
  • Thorne and Cress survived a dramatic drop after Cress' satellite lost its anchor and fell to Earth; the same fall caused Thorne to become blind.
    • The enchantress pushed the prince off the tower that formerly held Rapunzel captive; he survived the fall but became blind as he landed on thorns.
  • Cress and Thorne ended up in a desert after Cress' satellite fell. However, the cause of the fall, leading to being stranded in the desert, was a punishment, for Cress' guardian, Sybil Mira, found out about her treachery and her attempts to escape.
    • Rapunzel was banished to a desert because the enchantress (Rapunzel's guardian) who kept her locked up found out she tried to escape.
  • Thorne & Cress as well as the prince & Rapunzel were all in a desert at one point.
    • Thorne and Cress landed in a desert after their fall.
    • Rapunzel was banished to a desert.
    • The prince met Rapunzel in the very same desert she was banished to at the end of the story.
  • Cress helps Thorne get his eyesight back by giving him eye drops.
    • After being reunited, Rapunzel cried into the eyes of the Prince and healed him. 

Foreign Editions[]

Cress is translated & published in the following countries: