The Heir is the fourth Selection novel, sort of a spin off for the Selection series, by Kiera Cass. It is a wonderful, engaging dystopian series and I give this amazing new installment ten stars! I recommend it to fans of Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard and Graceling by Kristin Cashore. You can check out my review for a series novella, The Queen, here https://mollyeyablog.wordpress.com/2015/05/27/the-queen-a-selection-novella-kiera-cass/
Warning: The goodreads summary alone will spoil The One, so do not continue unless you are up to date on the Selection series!
Summary (Goodreads): 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.
Non spoiler review: I really did love this book, although I had my problems with it. Eadlyn Schreave was almost as annoying as her mother, although for very different reasons. However, that didn’t stop the first part of the series from being as amazing as it was, and I warmed up to Eadlyn as the series progressed. This story is very different than the previous part despite the seemingly similar premise, and the main characters are very different as well. I love them both, but prepare for a plot you never expected and characters that will shock you. I thought of it as a good thing, and I’m sure you will too. We got insight on the selecting process, as well as what Maxon and America do to their country and how their daughter plans to lead it. It is definitely recommended to fans of the series, but it can also stand on its own by being just a great story. Although, there are references to the first part of the series that are just fun to read when you know all the secrets.
How annoying was Eadlyn?
Towards the end I did warm up to her a little bit, but she is annoying, self-centered and stuck up. She lives in a world of her own self pity and refuses to come out for one second. She has a fear of any sort of attachment, and I think a part of her enjoys hating people and enjoys being frustrated that no one understands her. I was practically cheering when her brother gave her that reality check when he reminded her that it’s just a job, and it doesn’t mean that she’s better than everyone else.
What redeems her, though, is when she begins to understand this about herself and wants to change. When America gets that heart attack (I’ll talk more about that soon) she really decides to pick a husband, which I think is what she should have done in place or else the whole thing would have looked like a joke and everyone would hate her (if they didn’t already), but better late than never and it led to a very powerful ending.
I think we all know America Singer is the most annoying protagonist to evert exist, but Eadlyn and America are very different people and they are annoying for very different reasons. America was annoying because of how she treated Aspen and Maxon – playing with them, refusing to decide between them, keeping changing her mind about them, refusing to admit how she feels about them and keeping one of them is backup in case one of them doesn’t work out. On the other hand, Eadlyn knows exactly what she wants and how to get it, and she will never play with anyone. She may say a lot of shit about people, but if you ask her she will say it. The reason Eadlyn annoyed me was she was mean (she dismissed the selected publically with a wave of her hand) and self-centered (this is so hard on me I can’t believe I have to be nice to boys for a whole three months why does everybody hate me). I think it’s pretty clear why everybody hates her.
Despite the fact that I think Eadlyn is very selfish and idiotic for making such a big deal out of the selection –and despite the fact that she repeats over and over again how hard it is on her I never really saw how it was hard on her –I supported her one hundred percent when she didn’t want a selection in the first place. She doesn’t need to choose a husband that way, it wasn’t a very fair position to put her in, and I am very disappointed in America and Maxon. Honestly, I expected more of them. I would think America would never force someone into a selection after what happened to her, and Maxon would never force someone to choose a husband like he was forced to choose a wife. Clearly, I was wrong.
Besides the whole forced-selection fluke, Maxon stayed the character I already knew very well and I was happy about that. I liked seeing the grown up Maxon. On the other hand, although I didn’t see much of her what I did see about America felt less like the passionate, stubborn America and more like the weak, passive Amberly I remember. I was disappointed about this, because I really did want to see her grow up. But I am glad I got to see them together, and I thought it was so cute how they have all of their friends living with them. A little cheesy, maybe, but very cute.
And how about that ending? I hadn’t expected Ahren to run off with Camille, but I’m glad he did. I was not happy with Eadlyn’s selfish request, and I was glad he did what he wanted. But I was so sad about what happened to America. To be honest I had already known thanks to the internet, but that didn’t stop me from wanting to cry when I actually read it. But I do think it was for the best (as long as she doesn’t die): Eadlyn needs to take this seriously, and now she finally will. The entire country hates her and hates the monarchy because of her. But a consultant prince won’t cut it; she needs an equal partner or she will be thrown out for sure. As of right now, she thinks she is so much better than everyone else and therefore she can’t share anything or get close to anyone. But it will be very good for her once she lets someone in, and I’m sure she will. It will make her a better person and a better queen, and it’s the only way her monarchy will survive.
Despite my rant on her character, I really did enjoy this book. Eadlyn is nothing if not hilarious; she has the funniest lines and the best combacks that fit her sassy personality perfectly. That’s a part of her that I don’t mind and actually admire. She is truly a badass, and that’s something that’s good for any YA book. And the boys, some were annoying, most were hilarious at some point, and there are a few I wouldn’t even mind her ending up with.
These are my top candidates: Henri – he is so cute and friendly and sweet, but my problem with him is the language barrier. I know more about his translator than I do about him, and I’m even wishing Erik was a candidate.
Hale – I have to admit, my first impression of Hale wasn’t the best. I didn’t like how he talked about him being a two like that was so special, when he did nothing to deserve that title and that was exactly what the Schreave’s were trying to eliminate. But he really won me over. He turned out to be very sweet, very warm, fun and hilarious, and I think he will make a great king.
But my favorite of all of these has to be Kile. I had shipped them before I even opened the book because I loved the idea of Marlee’s son and America’s daughter getting together, but I still came in with an open mind. Both characters are very different than what I expected them to be, but I really think they are warming up to each other and that they will be great together. But even though Eadlyn isn’t still wondering how his name got in there, I am. I’m really hoping that comes out later.
These are my favorites, but there are some I rooted for in the beginning but then realized weren’t who I thought they were. For example, Ean. I loved him at first. I thought he was funny, charming, and sexy. Turns out, he doesn’t want romance any more than Eadlyn does in the beginning. He would be perfect for Eadlyn in the beginning of the book, but I have high hopes for her now. I predict she will keep him around in case she doesn’t really ever feel happy, but I have faith in Kiera Cass to change this character. She’s already starting out well.
The last thing I have to discuss is Josie. With all of Eadlyn’s faults, she is absolutely right about Josie. Josie is a very entertaining part of the novel and I am so happy she is in it, although I may have been even happier if Lucy got the bratty kid as opposed to Marlee. A bratty kid is so unlike Marlee, but Aspen and Lucy deserve a kid in general and Aspen deserves to deal with Josie (Aspen felt very Maxony in this book, but don’t think I forgot his childhood for one second). Josie is a little bitch too, very full of herself and delusional because she wants to be. I refuse to believe she looks up to Eadlyn, I think she enjoys getting close to her because it makes her feel special So maybe Eadlyn has been bad for many years, but Josie will always be worse. My theory is that she’ll pull a Celeste and change in the next book, revealing a soft I-just-want-to-be-loved side. I wouldn’t mind if that happened.
It’s hard to believe that after this rant about Eadlyn this is still one of my favorite books, but honestly it is. It was compelling, exciting, and it had me itching to know what happened next. I swallowed each page, eager to get to the next one. I was laughing the whole time, and despite the character’s many faults they were all intriguing.
Sorry this is a little long… there’s a lot to say about Eadlyn Schreave.