“The Heir” by Kiera Cass
4 out of 5 stars.
Two decades ago, America won the Selection and the heart of Maxon Schreave. Now the time has come for Maxon’s and America’s daughter, Eadlyn, to hold a Selection of her own. But there’s just one problem: Eadlyn doesn’t want to a husband.
Raised to be a capable and powerful ruler, Eadlyn has never given marriage a serious thought, but both of her parents are adamant about her having a Selection. Determined to not find a husband during her Selection, Eadlyn attempts to avoid entanglements with the 35 male contestants, but Eadlyn soon finds that a few of them have captured her attention, and maybe even her heart despite her resistance. More important than her current relationship status, though, is her precarious political position. Eadlyn is not beloved by Illéa like her mother and father are, and she doesn’t know if she has the heart like them to lead her people. With so much to learn, Eadlyn has to discover what it truly means to be a good leader and earn the trust and love of her people before Illéa erupts into chaos.
I have mixed feelings about “The Heir.” Kiera Cass is one of my favorite authors, and you all know from this blog that I ADORE “The Selection” series because it’s magical and practically perfect! I loved America Singer SO much in the first book, and Kiera did such an amazing job of helping her to grow and blossom into a strong and kind young woman. Adding Maxon and Aspen into that mix didn’t hurt, but I really did love the first three books for how much America grew and evolved while still being America. Ball gowns and charming boys aside, I loved “The Selection” series because of America and her spunky charm and beautiful heart. “The Heir” was just as well-written as Kiera’s other books in this series, but what distanced me a bit from the story was Eadlyn and her perspective.
Eadlyn was a princess with some massive ego issues, and she didn’t treat other people very well in “The Heir.” For me, Eadlyn was nearly the complete opposite of America, and so I felt like that distanced me from the story a bit because I had a hard time connecting with this character. I know that Eadlyn was not really meant to be liked at this point in the story because this book was about her growing into a strong female character; character growth is one of Kiera’s specialities, so I do not doubt that it will happen. I trust Kiera Cass completely with making her characters grow into kind and strong individuals, but it was still hard to like Eadlyn at this point in her story because she was kind of snob. She did have some growth as an individual towards the end of “The Heir,” but by the time I could enjoy her perspective, the book was over and the long wait until book five began. While reading “The Heir,” though, I could see that Kiera wanted to create a character that was the opposite from America, and she totally accomplished that in Eadlyn. One of the main differences between Eadlyn and her mother was how they did or, in Eadlyn’s case, didn’t befriend others. Eadlyn’s lack of constant friends outside of her brother, Ahren, made sense because of the way she acted around people. America, however, was an amazing friend because she was sincere towards other and fearless when it came to protecting the people she cared about, and that was why I loved her character so much in the first three books. Eadlyn, unlike her mother, treated others as if they were below her a lot of the time, and she was selfish and did not think about how her words and actions affected those around her.
All of that being said, however, I do want to note that I get where Kiera was going with Eadlyn as a character, and that I’m sure that there is a lot of growth coming for her in book five. I wish that I could have seen a bit more character growth from Eadlyn in “The Heir,” but despite that I ended up still enjoying this book. What I enjoyed the most about this book, though, was Kiera Cass’s side characters her choice in romantic interests.
I really loved this boy. I loved that he and Eadlyn had been at odds since childhood and that there was no initial romantic connection between these two, yet that they had history, which made their relationship more believable. Out of all of the suitors, Kile was definitely my favorite because he was so charming, sweet, sincere, and he also brought out the best in Eadlyn whenever he was around. Kile challenged Eadlyn and made her think for once about the feelings of others above her own. I loved that Kile wanted more than what the castle walls offered him, and that he didn’t treat his family’s favor with Queen America as something to abuse. I also enjoyed Kile’s presence in “The Heir” because it gave me a slight reprieve from Eadlyn’s cloistering snobbery.
Another reason I liked Kile so much was because he did not belittle others, and his character was also quite smart. I mean come on, the boy carried books around wherever he went, so how could I not love him?Once again, I’m just going to say that I loved Kile because he never acted uppity despite the privileges granted by his mother’s friendship with the Queen. That would go to most people’s heads, but if anything, it drove Kile to do more and be more than just someone who leached off of the royal family and used their favor to get ahead in life. I think that only time I was in question about Kile’s character was when he let Eadlyn use him for publicity, but then I thought about it, and honestly, it didn’t make me like him less. All that the situation did was make me dislike Eadlyn more.
Now that I’ve babbled forever about Kile’s character, I just want to say that what I really wanted from “The Heir” was more time with Kile. I got a lot of time with Eadlyn doing her internal dialog when what I really wanted was more interactions and conversation, with the other characters in this book. I desperately wanted more Kile and the other suitors, so that I could get to know the characters better, but the majority of this book was about Eadlyn’s inward struggle. It bummed me out a bit because I felt like I got to know the characters from “The Selection” so well, whereas in this book I felt like they were more of outlines of characters I could grow to care for (with the exception of Kile, who I already love!).
Another thing that I loved about this book was that Aspen and Lucy made an appearance. All the adults (America, Maxon, Marlee) felt like different people from the ones we got to know in the first three books of “The Selection” series, but not Aspen, not Lucy. They were adults in “The Heir” but they were still the Aspen and Lucy I had grown to love, and reading the parts with them made me want to go back and reread the other three books. I seriously needed more of them in this book!! I MISSED YOU SO MUCH ASPEN!!!
Every moment with Aspen and Lucy just hit me in the feels like no other, and I hope there’s more of them in the conclusion to this series. Another part of “The Heir” that hit me hard was the ending…gosh, I cried a little bit with it.
I did not expect that, and I hope Kiera doesn’t end up ripping my soul out in the next book with a very sad turn of events. Things were just fine as they were, so I am hoping for a happy ending concerning that particularly heartbreaking twist. Please, Kiera, be merciful…
Overall, I enjoyed “The Heir,” I just didn’t love. I am expecting tremendous character growth for Eadlyn in the fifth book, and I know that Kiera can and will deliver, I just have to be patient!