Katie Reads: The Heir and The Crown

The Heir:

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 they 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 escape 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 heart, 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.

The Crown:

When Eadlyn became the first princess of Illéa to hold her own Selection, she didn’t think she would fall in love with any of her thirty-five suitors. She spent the first few weeks of the competition counting down the days until she could send them all home. But as events at the palace force Eadlyn even further into the spotlight, she realizes that she might not be content remaining alone.

Eadlyn still isn’t sure she’ll find the fairytale ending her parents did twenty years ago. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you…and soon Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more impossible—and more important—than she ever imagined.

(Katie why do you always use the summaries instead of writing your own? Because I suck at summaries. I am much better at vaguely coherent rambling).

I didn’t know if I would keep reading Kiera Cass’ The Selection series after finishing America’s arc, but then the library had a copy of The Heir available so I had to. That’s how it works.

As I said in my review of The Selection, I liked it fine in a it’s like eating candy kind of way. The Elite and The One were objectively worse because suddenly love triangle, and Maxon and America decided that clearly not being honest with the person you “love” is a good idea. Also apparently it’s romantic to be super in love with someone who you don’t actually trust. It’s fine whatever.

So imagine my surprise when The Heir and The Crown turned it around! They focus on (spoiler not really a spoiler) America and Maxon’s daughter, Eadlyn, as she holds her own selection. I figured we were in for a pretty similar ride to the first three in the series. Love! Angst! So many beautiful people! Yes, there was plenty of that, but Heir and Crown had something to them that the first three didn’t. Eadlyn begins the duology selfish and self centered, but over the course of the two books gradually changes. Instead of the drama coming from WHO WILL SHE CHOOSE, the focus was on Eadlyn maturing and fully coming to understand what it means to put others before yourself. Eadlyn starts out as pretty unlikable, which actually made me like her as a character, because it’s so rare to find a female character who is kind of prickly.

While some of the cat fighting in the first three was fun, it was refreshing for Heir and Crown to portray the male candidates in the selection having a different chemistry. Yes there were some fights, but once we kicked out the losers, we had a group of guys who were great for different reasons. I liked getting to see them genuinely support Eadlyn, and help her learn to open up to people by becoming her friends.

I am now telling myself that I’m done with the series and to read something else, but then I start eyeing the side sides that are available. We’ll see what I end up reading next.

Would I recommend these to students? Sure! But also it took my sixth graders a full period to get through the second chapter of The Selection because my students had to giggle every time America and Aspen kissed (hint: a lot in that chapter), so YMMV.

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