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The Heir (The Selection) Hardcover – May 5, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Cass draws us back into the world of "The Selection" (HarperCollins) with this latest series installment. Taking place 20 years after The One (2014), this entry focuses on the lives of Queen America and King Maxon's four children, specifically Princess Eadlyn, who is the heir to the throne. The castes have officially been dissolved, but not without recurring issue, including riots among the people of Ilea. To distract the country and buy time for King Maxon and Queen America to formulate a plan to stop the riots, it's decided that another Selection will take place. Princess Eadlyn is initially not fond of the idea because she is not ready to get married; however she respects her parents' wishes, and wants to do right by her people. She has two caveats: a three-month commitment and an understanding that she may not find a husband in the end. Fans will simultaneously root for and despise Eadlyn. She is powerful, bossy, and vulnerable. While life looks perfect from the outside, readers learn that things are not what they seem. Physical fights break out among the Selected, and secrets are kept only to be revealed at the very end. The cliff-hanger conclusion sets the stage for future volumes. At times the work feels like a retelling of the first book, but with a different cast of characters. However, readers will enjoy seeing the courtship rituals through the eyes of Eadlyn, her date mishaps, and how things have evolved over two decades. VERDICT A great addition for collections that have a high demand for "The Selection" series.—Erin Holt, Williamson County Public Library, Franklin, TN
PRAISE FOR KIERA CASS: “A real page-turner. Romance, royalty, and revolution in a reality-show format serve Cass’ boldly rendered heroine well in her quest for justice and love.” (ALA Booklist)
“Reality T.V. meets dystopian fairy tale in Kiera Cass’s delightful debut. Charming, captivating, and filled with just the right amount of swoon!” (Kiersten White, New York Times bestselling author of Paranormalcy)
“An engrossing tale reminiscent of Shannon Hale’s Princess Academy and Ally Condie’s Matched. Fairy-tale lovers will lose themselves in America’s alternate reality and wish that the next glamorous sequel were waiting for them.” (School Library Journal)
“Deliciously entertaining.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Cass’s immensely readable debut novel is a less drastic Hunger Games, with elaborate fashion and trappings. The fast-paced action will have readers gasping for the upcoming sequel.” (ALA Booklist)
“A cross between The Hunger Games (minus the bloodsport) and The Bachelor (minus the bloodsport), this trilogy launch is a lot of fun. Cass deftly builds the chemistry between America and Maxon, while stroking the embers of America’s first, forbidden love.” (Publishers Weekly)
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Top customer reviews
I must admit, Eadlyn is a frustrating, annoying, and bratty protagonist who I often found myself wishing I could slap, but by the end of the novel, I realized that somewhere along they way she had matured and developed into a tolerable main character who I could root for.
Now, after reading about 35 women chase after 1 man, I was extremely excited to see it play out the other way around. Kiera Cass did not disappoint. I cannot decide which of the several main male characters that I want to be with Eadlyn. I absolutely loved Kile, Henri, Fox, and Hale. And Erik as well but I don't know if he counts as being in the running for her hand.
My absolute favorite part of this novel was, of course, Maxon and America. They were still just as adorable as they were in the first three books. Maxon is still completely devoted to America while America adores Maxon with all of her being. I loved the references to their selection and the shenanigans that occurred.
I desperately need the sequel, especially after that god awful cliff hanger. Seriously, give me more now.
The Heir was a solid 4/5, which is surprising considering it had so much to live up to due to it following the amazing first three Selection books.
I was curious to see where Kiera Cass would take this series with the next generation… I have a love/hate relationship with these books, issues with the characters and their attitudes, but love the complexity of plot and tabloid allure. However, ‘The Heir’ failed to deliver on all of these counts.
I did not connect with Eadlyn as much as I did with America. I found Eadlyn entitled, and we never get to find out - due to the nature of the narrative - if she indeed has a worldly view as expected of her in the role of monarch. Her ‘work’ is always alluded to but never completely explained. It left me thinking Eadlyn as shallow, protected and scared. It builds great tension, but left me not all that invested in her future. I put it down to how she was written – educated, aloof and separate from everyone else. Eadlyn herself mused on this, how she had intentionally isolated herself in order to become a better ruler – it also made her hard to relate to, cold, and somewhat bitchy.
There was also a lot less going on in this novel in comparison to the Selection trilogy. We were aware of the caste systems, the politics and the plotting and planning of all the characters involved. In ‘The Heir’ we lost most of that and instead were dealt up a dish of Eadlyn’s self discovery. I wanted more about the rebels, more conniving politics, more entwined storylines – like The Selection.
Even though this effectively re-booted the story line, it left me with much of the feeling of a middle book in a trilogy, setting things up, moving the story forward a small amount, but resolving little.
The ending was brilliant. A cliff hanger I did not see coming. Not in a million years. It is the one thing that has me wanting to read the next in the series. Plus, I feel as though I’m going to get more of what I want from this new generation of royals.
It was an easy read, but I ended spreading it out over a week, consuming the last half in a day; as I mentioned, there didn’t feel like there was enough going on to hold my attention. It was fun, and enjoyable, but a little flat. Though not the best book of the series, it certainly has set things up for an explosive ending and I can’t wait to find out what is going to happen.
We get glimpses of Maxon, America and Aspen, and many of the other characters from the first three books: it was entertaining to see how they had grown over the last few decades. There was less explained about the world and political landscape than I would have liked, and Kiera Cass seemed to spend a lot of time describing clothes more than anything… But the Selection series has been a guilty pleasure of mine, though I find many faults in the characters and tropes, the novels are undeniably compelling to read. I just can’t stop. So Cass must doing something right.
* Seeing a selection for the 3rd time but from a WHOLE new perspective. We saw Clarkson's selection through The Queen novella, we saw Maxon's selection with the original 3 books, and now we get to see Eadlyn's selection, the first with a female heading it.
* The characters brought in as supports. They had such a wide variety of characters that I felt that it was nice seeing the change in how the gentlemen handled themselves as members of the Selection.
* I loved seeing the family interactions with the Royal Family. Seeing how happy they were with the 4 children, just made me happy knowing that Maxon was able to move past his horrible childhood with Clarkson and become the strong father he was meant to be.
* Ahern and Camille... Did anyone else laugh with this relationship after reading Maxon's novella with Daphne?!? hahaha
* I liked the Jack storyline... just because it was realistic. It showed that in a book it is not always perfect, there is a Jack A** who tries to hurt someone. It brought a bit of realism... I almost wish he had gone a bit further and tried to kiss her etc just to make the whole idea of no means no a little stronger... I think it would have added more to her as a character as well ( I feel really wrong wishing something had 'happened' more to her, NOT RAPE, just something a little stronger than grabbing her arm).
*It was so so hard to like Eadlyn... she just seems like a spoiled brat that always gets her way... massages, bathes, drinks, etc.
*I disliked Eadlyn's attitude regarding the Selection process... she was so negative to it and was outwardly hostile to these people! The gentlemen were nothing to her to start. She just infuriated me with her attitude.
*America was not as strong of a character... she seemed very meek in this book, not the vibrant red-head from the original 3 stories!
*That ending....... oh no no no.... Don't you DARE do that to me
*Josie just seems really annoying, I just couldn't get behind her as a character and wanted to just say 'grow up'.
* Really big con was just Eadlyn's character... so 1-dimensional and stuck up. Huge attitude of being better than the rest because she was the princess by 7 minutes.
OK, and now the reason why I shift from 3 to 4 stars after reading book 5.... The character development in Eadlyn. While this book was showing her as so stuck up and a snobbish attitude, it did set the stage for her to change and develop more as a character in book 5 (The Crown). I wish some of that started more in The Heir (we see it literally in the LAST sentence of the book) but in all honesty, I can see why Miss Cass had Eadlyn remain impersonal to start the book.
Overall, I would probably give this book a 7 out of 10 on the scale. I enjoyed it, not my favorite in the series, but definitely not my least favorite :)