The Heir by Kiera Cass
Princess Eadlyn has grown up hearing endless stories about how her mother and father met. Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won the heart of Prince Maxon—and they lived happily ever after. Eadlyn has always found their fairy-tale story romantic, but she has no interest in trying to repeat it. If it were up to her, she’d put off marriage for as long as possible.
But a princess’s life is never entirely her own, and Eadlyn can’t escape her very own Selection—no matter how fervently she protests.
Eadlyn doesn’t expect her story to end in romance. But as the competition begins, one entry may just capture Eadlyn’s heart, showing her all the possibilities that lie in front of her . . . and proving that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she’s always thought.
Upon finding out The Heir existed, I fully expected this review to be mainly lamenting the fact that Cass didn’t quit writing after book 3 and scolding myself for continuing to read. But I was pleasantly surprised at how much better this book was than the last two.
Twenty years or so after the Selection trilogy ends, we follow America and Maxon’s daughter, Eadlyn, as she goes through her own Selection process. However, Eadlyn, who has been raised to be Queen and is fiercely independent, vows that she doesn’t need a man and the Selection will end with all the boys being sent away. Yet as the process goes on, she finds her mind slowly changing as she gets to know the boys, her parents, and herself.
I found Eadlyn’s character a refreshing change from America, who never seemed to know what she wanted. Eadlyn’s spunk and attitude was cliche but still interesting to read. Really the entire plot was a little on the cliche side, a good mix of the Lion King 2 and the Little Mermaid 2, and really any other princess sequel. But at least it wasn’t another tired love triangle.
I appreciated that Cass seemed to realize that her ending left plenty to be desired and used this sequel series to tie up a few loose ends. However, Cass did not suddenly become a better writer. The ridiculous names, over-the-top reactions to dialogue, predictable plot twists, and awkward culture continued in to The Heir. Still, reading about the Selection from the selector’s point of view was interesting, and although I still think the whole Bachelor/Bachelorette concept is completely unrealistic, at least I can understand a little better why people might be able to convince themselves that it will work for THEM.