The Heir by Kiera Cass

Posted on 07/13/2015 in Book Review / 0 Comments

The Heir by Kiera CassThe Heir by Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #4
Published by HarperCollins on May 5th 2015
Genres: Dystopian, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
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three-half-stars

Kiera Cass's #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series has enchanted readers from the very first page. In this fourth romantic novel, follow Illéa's royal family into a whole new Selection—and find out what happens after happily ever after.\r\nTwenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won Prince Maxon's heart. Now the time has come for Princess Eadlyn to hold a Selection of her own. Eadlyn doesn't expect her Selection to be anything like her parents' fairy-tale love story...but as the competition begins, she may discover that finding her own happily ever after isn't as impossible as she's always thought.\r\nA new generation of swoonworthy characters and captivating romance awaits in the fourth book of the Selection series!\r\n

WARNING: Spoilers from first three books.  It is impossible not to spoil them while discussing The Heir.\r\n\r\nI did not expect to like The Heir by Kiera Cass.  Maybe it’s because when I read the synopsis, I was disappointed in America and Maxon, who had not righted the Illea culture and biases.\r\n\r\nBut that is actually the charm and meat of the entire story, or – at least part of it.  Now, instead of tackling an outdated caste system, the Schreaves are dealing with the fallout of having successfully removed these castes from society.  Should we expect people to fall in line immediately after having lived entire generations under one way of life?  Just because we put doors in walls doesn’t mean people will willingly walk through them.\r\n\r\nThe Heir reminds me of the current turmoil surrounding racism in the United States.  We desegregated nearly 50 years ago, and yet there are cops on trial for the mistreatment of our Black community in this country.  Even though we dissolved the means with which we may express prejudice legally, we have not removed all of the hate and prejudices.  The Heir showed that prejudice is a learned thing that is passed down through each generation from the one before.  We just have to hope that farther removed the generations, the better with which the newest will be able to embrace humanity.\r\n\r\nDespite feeling that I should probably detest Eadlyn for being spoiled and abrasive, I actually really liked her.  She was flawed from the beginning, and she wasn’t ashamed of that, even though it wasn’t something she was exactly proud of.  Eadlyn kept her walls up and wouldn’t let anyone in, because that is what she thought was expected of her.  In fact, while it’s obvious that she doesn’t exactly love the idea of one day being the ruler of her country, she has begrudingly accepted it as a fact she cannot change.  Her struggle to open up the parts of herself that she keeps closed off was nice to see, because it, too, was imperfect.\r\n\r\nWhen compared to the previous books, I’ve realized I actually like Eadlyn a lot more than I ever liked America.  America spent a lot of time feeling sorry for herself.  Eadlyn is too damn busy for that kind of nonsense.  Sure, she throws a couple of pity parties in the process, but she also kicks herself in the butt for them.  She’s only agreed to the Selection out of a sense of duty, but she’s not interested in love.  In fact, she’s a bit conniving and manipulative, and it’s fun to see how that blows back in her face a little bit!\r\n\r\nHer relationship with her twin brother, Ahren, was typical. They are close, since they shared a womb, but she resents him a little bit.  While she’s mired in the responsibility of being the heir, he’s able to make his own decisions about his life, including who he will one day marry.  Jealousy abounds.\r\n\r\nIt’s interesting to see how Cass has flipped the Selection on its head, Bachelorette-style.  How differently do men act in this competition between each other from women?  As much as society is beginning to embrace shifts from gender norms, biology will still dictate some of our baser thoughts, feelings and actions.  The group of men in the Selection was much different than the group of women in the prior books.\r\n\r\nEach man brings something different to the table for Eadlyn.  Some are confident and sexy, and not afraid to show it; others are quieter, happy and eager to please the princess.  Her relationship with each of them was a pretty fascinating thing, especially given her desire to be in control of her own destiny.\r\n\r\nWhere Maxon was an only child growing up in the palace, he and America have had a whole basketball team of children.  Eadlyn is the only girl and I found it very compelling how having all brothers ultimately determines how she interacts with the men of the Selection.  Also of note: she only had one female “friend” in the palace to play with growing up.  She’s a tomboy at heart.\r\n\r\nI was not a huge fan of the ending, but it didn’t exactly break it for me, either.  I just felt like Cass wanted to wrap it up to get us to the next book.  But will I read the next one?  You betcha!

three-half-stars
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Jennifer became addicted to books when she randomly picked up a Sweet Valley High book in grade school. She never looked back. After blowing through the SVH and SVU series faster than her parents could put them in her hands, she began perusing her stepfather's bookshelves and reading fantasy like Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality series, which she still maintains is some of the best fantasy ever. She collects books like the Duggar family collects kids and began waiting for her Hogwarts letter at the tender age of 33.

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