Book Review: The Heir by Kiera Cass (#4 In The Selection Series)

This review is part of Melody’s Summer Reading: Diversity Spotlight. Enjoy!

The Heir by Kiera Cass
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Romance
ISBN: 978-0062349859
Source: Bought
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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.

I really enjoyed the first three books in The Selection series (you may remember my review of The Selection here and The One here), so I knew that I definitely would be reading whatever came next from Cass. I was surprised and equally excited to learn with the rest of the fans that the series would be expanding to follow America’s children, Princess Eadlyn to be precise.

And wow. What an interesting book! It’s so unlike the first three and not just because we’re following America and Maxon’s daughter. Kiera Cass’s writing has improved tenfold and while her entertaining and emotionally gripping storytelling had me turning page after page in the original trilogy, the writing kept me going this time around. I was so impressed by this piece of work and must say that Kiera should be very proud of this book.

That aside, the story was very intriguing though Eadlyn is quite the princess! So while I understood her limited perspective of the world due to her privilege and lack of interest until recently to open her eyes a bit, I was still quite frustrated with her spoiled, self centered personality. She rubbed me the wrong way the entire book but I love that in all of that, I was rooting for her to break down all of those walls that she built to enable her to continue to be the way that she is.

I had hoped she wouldn’t have been so spoiled given her parents’ backgrounds… I know castes don’t exist but umm humility does and it was lacking in Eadlyn. It’s not a knock on America and Maxon’s part as their other three kids seem to be more level headed and cultured. I’m sure they’re spoiled too but we’re only seeing Eadlyn’s perspective so in regards to her alone, I just hoped she’d especially as the future queen put some genuine thought into the country, the people she’s going to be serving. But then she doesn’t even understand, can’t even comprehend what it means to truly serve someone else and on the streets of her own country, no less. So. Am I asking too much of this, what, eighteen year old? Probably. So I’m not sure what to make of this rambling now…

I will say that I was so proud of how well executed the assault scene was and what came after that. I’m so happy that Kiera put this in because the different dynamics between a male driven Selection and female driven Selection needed to be shown and it was handled so well. Too many books insert assaults without enough thought or sensitivity behind them and Kiera aced it. I also really loved how the setting is the same but it’s changed in twenty years and hearing about the shifts in power…in who has a voice, really made sense and was crucial to the world building but most importantly, believable. I loved, loved, loved the bit about the girl who came from a family of Threes who wouldn’t support her because she wanted to be an artist and art was below them. Oh man, Kiera really knocked it out of the park with the tension in this book from the country of Ilea and the aftermath of the castes being destroyed. Fantastic work.

Being introduced to dozens of new characters in the fourth book of a series is pretty unusual but it worked here and was wonderful. It was thrilling to see some familiar faces from the trilogy outside of America and Maxon as well. Quite exciting to see who remained by America’s side after all of these years. I loved catching up with America and Maxon’s life, even if it was from a distance and a bit odd seeing them as full blown adults. But it was great. I found all of the relationships Eadlyn has with the Selection boys and those around the castle to be very three dimensional and with this grand cast of characters, that couldn’t have been easy to do.

Finally, as someone who is in no rush to get married, I empathized with Eadlyn on quite the level and am not ashamed to say that my heart was softened a bit at the end of this book and maybe the walls I’ve been holding up have been chipped a little too. Great pacing on this part because this definitely doesn’t happen overnight and Eadlyn fought this every step of the way. Of course it usually does take a huge wrench to the gut to realize how important certain things are in life. So, do I like that cliffhanger? Yeah. Oh yeah. America better be okay though! And as I’ve said after reading the previous books, I cannot to read the next!

The Heir by Kiera Cass is available today.