The Heir (The Selection #4) by Kiera Cass
Publisher: Harper Teen
Goodreads link: (click here)
What's it about?
Princess Eadlyn Schreave is next in line for the throne of Illea. No one is as powerful as she is. How did this happen? Well, she was born a mere seven minutes before her twin brother, Ahren. Seven minutes made her a Queen. Eadlyn has lived a comfortable life in the palace, but by no means is she sheltered. She's been preparing for her future ruling duties for a long time. She knows that her mother and father, the King and Queen of Illea have spent years fighting to rid the country of the caste system that held so many people back and caused mush strife and discrimination. She also knows how her mother and father met, during a tradition called The Selection. His mother won his father's heart while many other girls were also vying for it. They got their fairy tale ending, but Eadlyn doesn't believe something like that could happen to her. She's just not interested anyway, at least not right now.
When unrest begins to break out in Illea, Eadlyn is approached by her parents about having her own Selection to try to distract the people while they try to work out a way to fix the problems in the counrty. For Eadlyn, it's not just about romance and finding someone to rule beside her, it's her duty and responsibility to her country. She reluctantly agrees to this Selection, but secretly has no intention of choosing anyone. She figures if she makes everyone happy for a little while, a few months, she'll be off the hook and free from this obligation for good. If she treats it like it's just business and doesn't get emotionally involved, it'll be quick and painless.
As The Selection goes on, Eadlyn begins to shed her defenses and she finds herself beginning to care about some of the young men who have come to compete for her heart. It's not all roses and love songs though, because by letting her guard down, she's opening herself up for possible heartbreak and hurt, but perhaps there is a chance to find her own happily ever after through all of this. Every day, Eadlyn learns more about herself, her country and the epic story her parents began so many years ago.
I LOVED IT!
And...this officially gave me a book hangover.
I actually read this a few weeks ago but I've just now gotten the time (and found the right words) to review it. Basically, I am a HUGE fan of this series and I was both excited and nervous to read The Heir. After reading and loving Maxon and America's story, I was afraid it would be a little weird reading about their child finding love. BUT, I was so wrong to be nervous. Right away the story grabbed me and I was so happy to be back in Illea. Many of the characters from the first three books made appearances, but they didn't take the focus away from the story of Princess Eadlyn. I loved being able to check in on familiar faces while meeting a whole bunch of new people to fall in love (or hate) with.
I do have to be honest though, when the book started out, I was kind of thinking that Eadlyn was a bit of a brat and I wondered how her wonderful parents could have raised a daughter like her. The more I got to know her, I started to understand that she wasn't being bratty, it was her surroundings that made her less understanding of people. She also had a lot of responsibility pushed on her at such a young age and she kind of had to grow up faster than a normal girl. The one thing that I absolutely love about this book, is that Eadlyn experiences a great deal of character growth as she lets her guard down and begins to take more notice of the things going on around her. As she learns to listen to her own heart, she's able to listen to the problems of others and have more sympathy for them.
As far as the plot, it is set in a dystopian future, so it's way more than just a fluffy Bachelorette clone. Yes, it's fun and romantic, but there is enough political intrigue and substance to keep it interesting.
If you read the previous books and haven't read The Heir...what are you waiting for? If you haven't read the previous books, I recommend that you do before The Heir, mostly because they are wonderful. If you did pick it up and want to read it, since it's a completely new story/part of the series that introduces new characters, it would actually be ok to read first. It would definitely spoil how the first trilogy ended (like who he picked), but it's still vague enough that most of the BIG moments or plot points for the rest of the story would still be surprises. In The Heir, many moments from The Selection series (books #1-#3) are alluded to, but they are left as more of a mystery if someone hasn't read the story, and a little bit of a chuckle or inside joke for those who have. I think Kiera Cass actually did a good job writing The Heir so that it COULD be picked up by new readers to the series. I just love Kiera Cass! And I love these books!
The only other warning I have is that you will definitely need tissues handy at the end of the book.