Happy Saturday, guys!
So... sometimes, you just need to buy a book, just so you can have a complete series on your shelves.
Because in any other situation, I definitely would not have purchased The Heir by Kiera Cass. As pretty as the cover may be, Cass's writing still has not improved between The One and now...
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published May 5th 2015 by Harper Teen
Format read: Finished copy
I know I don't like Kiera Cass's writing. I've thought she was a mediocre writer since purchasing and reading The Selection, yet a weird and inexplicable desire to have the complete series for my shelf, has compelled me to purchase every subsequent Selection book since then.
So when I realized The Heir was coming out, I mentally cursed myself for awhile, and then promptly handed over my money. It's twenty years after the events of The Selection, and Princess Eadlyn has grown up living in the palace, groomed to eventually take her father's place.
However, unrest is growing as the nation continues to struggle with a caste-less society, so Eadlyn's parents come up with the idea of having Eadlyn participate in a Selection of her own. They're hopeful that the process will dually distract the nation from its socio-economic struggles, while also helping Eadlyn learn how to find love...
In theory, the idea of having Eadlyn participate in a Selection to distract the nation from their post-caste society drama is a good one. Royal romances charm nations - just ask Prince William and Kate Middleton. Their wedding arguably helped bring in much-needed interest and global revenue to Britain, as it was still struggling to recover from the recession.
But in practice, this is an absolutely stupid way for Maxon and America to try and fix the problems of their nation. When people are turning against each other, because they refuse to accept that previous societal boundaries no longer exist, one stroppy, reluctant princess flirting with a group of guys is going to do absolutely nothing - as Eadlyn quickly finds out.
And seriously, you really couldn't think of anything other than to pimp out your daughter like a show pony, Maxon and America? Like...maybe trying to actually rule the country?
(Honestly, as I was reading, all I could think was that Maxon and America clearly don't really understand politics, because they would REALIZE that the Selection = a stupid, stupid idea.)
Beyond the fundamental problems of Eadlyn's Selection, Eadlyn herself is no treat to deal with. Like the females of her previous books, Cass has made her into a whiny, snobby caricature of a well-rounded character, and it's exhausting to be in Eadlyn's head. We're constantly told that we should feel sorry for her because she has the weight of the nation on her shoulders and doesn't know how to get along with people, but Cass quickly follows that up by giving us more than enough reasons to continue dislike her.
In the period leading up to and during the Selection, Eadlyn gets childish glee out of terrorising her suitors into submission. She plots the mass dismissal of a number of them with clueless callousness, and seems confused when people lecture her for making the remaining suitors cry. She also has repeated tantrums when people don't approach her with expected decorum, and then wonders why people don't want to be around her, or tell her off.
Throughout the book, Cass seems to fundamentally misunderstand the difference between being a strong woman and a mean woman. Eadlyn frequently confuses coldness with strength, and she's surrounded by women who make the same mistake. E.g. In the second half of the novel, a once-trusted political ally sells Eadlyn out to the press, and it's strongly implied that she did so to advance her own career.
And while Cass frequently makes the argument that Eadlyn wants to change, actions definitely speak louder than words. She keeps having Eadlyn make the same behavior mistakes over and over, until she makes a demand so astounding and so egregious of her brother, that it forces her to realize that the world does not revolve her.
But that's immediately superceded, when Eadlyn decides IN THE MIDDLE OF A FAMILY TRAGEDY, that hey! Love sounds kind of great. And that she wants a ring on her finger after all.
Roll credits, and wait for the next book.
However, if you're looking into reading this book for the story, save yourself the trouble. There are WAY better books out there, and this is just not worth your money or effort.
About the author:
Kiera Cass is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Selection series. She is a graduate of Radford University and currently lives in Christiansburg, VA, with her family. Kiera has kissed approximately fourteen boys in her life. None of them were princes. You can learn more about Kiera’s books, YouTube videos, and love of cake at www.kieracass.com and follow her on Twitter @kieracass.