The Heir (The Selection #4) by Kiera Cass
Roughly 20 years after the events of The Selection, Princess Eadlyn, the first female heir to the throne in Illea, must go through her own Selection, but for reasons other than finding a husband.
King Maxon changed a lot when he ascended the throne, including the dissolvement of the caste system that had been in place. Although the people were happy about it at the time, now they’re lost and unhappy, and blaming the palace.
Princess Eadlyn, born just a few minutes before her twin brother Aaron, has a heavy weight on her shoulders. Her parents changed the rules, allowing her to become Queen, but she is a resentful, narcissistic brat who refuses to let anyone in her world. Now, to help her parents distract the people, she must court 35 strange gentlemen and pretend she’s falling in love.
Except Eadlyn sucks. Seriously. A lot of people complain about America in the first three Selection books, but Eadlyn is so much worse. She’s closed-off, spoiled, and cold. Her country doesn’t connect with her or respect her, she’s cruel at times to the boys, and she’s very, very selfish. While listening to her whine on my commute home from teaching teenagers, I found myself yelling at her to grow up and stop being a bratty bitch.
Having heard a similar complaint from many readers, I listened to the audiobook in hopes her brattiness would be somewhat less, but I was disappointed. The narrator did a good job with her – she reminded me of a mix between Jasmine, Ariel, and Kristen Bell as Veronica Mars – but her portrayal of the guys did anything but make me swoon. And I used to find Maxon so dreamy… well, sort of.
I liked seeing Maxon and America as adults, as King and Queen, and still so deeply in love. Without the love triangle of the first three, America is even likeable!
I love the boys (even if Eadlyn treats them like crap); they were definitely the best thing about this installment. They’re personable and creative, though I wish some of them were developed past what Eadlyn sees at face value.
Throughout the course of reading, I was under the impression this was only going to be a one book spinoff, so the ending cliffhanger took me by surprise. I kept waiting for things to be wrapped up, for Eadlyn to choose a winner, but no such luck. I guess I’ll have to wait for The Crown to find out which of my predictions comes out correct.
This book seems to be about Eadlyn’s stubborness to change and her struggles with accepting her role and learning to allow others in, but it isn’t until the last chapter that she realizes it, that she starts to accept it, and hopefully The Crown will bring her growth. Because right now, I don’t want her as Queen either.
I felt about The Heir the same way I felt about The Selection: it’s fluffy, with annoying but manageable main characters and a cute love story, and I couldn’t put it down.