Buy The Heir
Special price $14.90 Regular price: $18.99
Publisher: Harper Teen
Reviewer: Melissa on July 3, 2015
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection, against her better judgment, but over the course of the contest, she fell in love with Prince Maxon. Since then, they’ve lived their happily ever after together. Princess Eadlyn has always thought that her parents’ love story had a fairy tale quality to it, but it’s never been the path that she wants for herself. Unfortunately for her, King Maxon and Queen America think that she should lead the first ever Selection where a woman chooses her husband in the fourth novel in the Selection Series, Kiera Cass’ The Heir. Eadlyn is certain that she won’t find love among the thirty-five eligible guys presented to her. However, as the competition begins, possibilities that she never imagined may capture her heart and prove that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she always believed it to be.
When we meet Eadlyn, she’s very ambivalent about the place in which she finds herself. She has mixed feelings about being the heir to her father’s throne, a situation that came about by being a mere 7 minutes older than her twin brother Ahren. In part, her ambivalence stems from the overwhelming amount of work that has been heaped upon her and the decisions that she knows she’ll have to make on her own once she becomes Queen. When her parents suggest holding a Selection, independent Eadlyn is completely against the idea. She’s only 18 years old, and she’s definitely not ready to be married. In fact, if she had it her way, she would never have to settle down with anyone. However, after a conversation with Ahren and a little planning, she comes up with a deal for her father that she thinks will allow her to work the Selection to her advantage as long as she really “tries” to give the experience a chance.
Much of the negativity that Eadlyn voices toward the beginning of the novel inevitably sets her up to be called spoiled and somewhat ungrateful by many readers. I understand where they’re coming from and agree that she’s spoiled to an extent. For example, I’ll admit that she goes a little too far when whining about Josie taking yet another one of her tiaras. She claims that it’s inappropriate for Josie to pretend to be a royal, but I couldn’t help but give a little eye roll considering the fact that most little girls would do the same thing if they could. That said, I also believe Eadlyn is a modern woman with dreams that, understandably, go beyond her duties of getting married and producing an heir for Illéa. This box that she’s forced into, whether she likes it or not, is one of privilege, but it also means that she’s the only citizen of Illéa who is locked into a role now that the castes have been eliminated. As the plot unfolds, however, it becomes increasingly clear that eliminating the castes didn’t magically make everyone happy, and simultaneously, Eadlyn realizes that maybe she could have feelings for one or more of the Selected.
While I didn’t love The Heir as much as The One, which is my favorite book in the Selection Series so far, I have a feeling that the as of yet untitled fifth book in the series will be more satisfying. While Eadlyn is sorting through her feelings, particularly for Kile, Henri, Hale, the other remaining Selected guys, and even the one guy she shouldn’t have feelings for, Erik, I think most people will be, Team Kile, like I am. This is, in part, because of the way the book is set up. Cass doesn’t mention most of the Selected by name until late in the novel and due to circumstances beyond her control, Eadlyn doesn’t even have one-on-one dates with all the guys over the course of the first book.
However, what I found most interesting about Eadlyn were the ways in which her negative attitude blocked her from really seeing who was around her, including Kile who lived in the castle with her all her life. Up till now, she’s always seen young men in one way, and one way only, because she didn’t intend to be married for some time, so she never gives them a chance to make an impression on her. In distancing them, she also distances herself from seeing them in any depth. Instead, she seems only the shallowest parts of who they are. From this perspective, it’s no wonder that she had no interest in any of the guys who crossed her path before the Selection and why it takes her a long time to accept that maybe she could end up with a ring on her finger.
In addition to Eadlyn’s distancing behaviour, there are other factors to consider, including issues that never came up when Maxon was looking for a wife. This time around it seems as though Cass is trying to give readers more than just a fluffy, romantic story. For example, Eadlyn comes up against the sexism of her patriarchal society in much the same way that female celebrities do. While Maxon could sneak a kiss or two in a dark corner with several of the young women in the first three books in the Selection Series, when Eadlyn shares an innocent kiss with one of the selected, she is criticized publicly by the press. In other moments, Eadlyn’s vulnerability as a woman is another point of difference from the first three books in the series, and speaks to how ill prepared King Maxon was for this new Selection. Finally, the changing class dynamics and the problems that this has created throughout Illéa is important, and will likely become even more important in the last book. In other words, you’ll really be seeing the Selection from a whole new perspective in The Heir.
If you’re as much of a fan as I am of the first three books in the series, then don’t wait – pick up The Heir today and be sure to tell me who you hope makes Eadlyn agree to ring the wedding bells!
Buy The Heir today and benefit from 21% off the regular price!