Review: "The Heir" by Kiera Cass
Its finally time to review the next exciting book in Kiera Cass' The Selection Series. As always, I am offering a courteous spoiler warning for those who may not yet have read this book and plan to. Beneath this is the book's summary for your convenience before the actual book review begins.
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 the 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 escaper 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 heat, 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.
Eadlyn is an easily relatable character any young girl can connect to on an emotional level: she's head strong, confident, everything a groomed princess should be. Although this is true, Eadlyn does come with her own reasonable and frankly charming flaws of a spoiled, entitled nature her selection definitely shakes up. She's quite a different protagonist than her mother, America Singer (Queen now, that is) but under the surface shares much of her mother's willingness for everything to be fair. This is perhaps my favorite aspect of Eadlyn's character, although I will always adore America, it is reassuring to see Cass refuses to rely on the same kind of character to continue to tell her exciting story.
The major criticism I have mainly has to do with this gender-switched selection. Although following along Eadlyn's journey of sifting through a bunch of rowdy boys is entertaining, at times it feels rushed. In comparison to Cass' first book, Eadlyn's journey through the first stage of her selection feels brushed over in comparison to that of her mother's. That has to do in large part with the vastly different personality Eadlyn boasts throughout the novel, but I remain unable to admit that I am as emotionally invested in the candidates of the selection as I had been in the previous books.
This criticism does not distract the tear-jerking ending of this book however, as tragedy (or it is more accurate to say almost-tragedy) strikes Eadlyn's family when her brother Arhen makes a selfish choice shocking enough to haunt the family with an incident similar to the one that haunted America's. I won't elaborate in case you're wanting to see for yourself. All in all, The Heir was an enjoyable ready that leaves me ready to read to read the final book in the series: The Crown.