THE HEIR by Kiera Cass
released May 5, 2015
Rating: It was okay
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 shes always thought.
I wanted to like this book. After feeling a bit underwhelmed by The One, despite finally getting America and Maxon's HEA ending, I was hoping that The Heir would continue the story in a more fulfilling way.
Alas, Princess Eadlyn is a terrible character. This was disappointing on multiple levels - not only is she horrible to read about on her own, but it also means that America and Maxon failed as parents. One would think that America's upbringing would have informed her own parenting style and that she would in no way allow her children to become so spoiled. She certainly made Maxon expand his horizons to think more about those outside the palace walls. Someone on Goodreads has already done the work of pointing out examples of Eadlyn's selfishness and general horrible-ness, so go check out this review for specifics.
It's difficult to talk about The Heir without bringing up the original Selection trilogy. Maxon, for all of his faults, is a gracious host who makes a sincere effort to get to know each of the women competing for his heart. Eadlyn, on the other hands, acts like she has never had guests before and can't even handle basics, like walking around a room to converse with guests who are all there to get to know her. I find it difficult to believe that, even without America and Maxon as her parents, any princess would be allowed to get to Eadlyn's age without being taught etiquette, hosting skills, how to make small talk, etc.
Even accepting that Eadlyn was somehow raised to be a terrible person, it's also difficult to believe that Maxon, master of publicity, would allow his daughter to go into her own Selection without proper preparation. He had to know going in that her inability to act like a normal human being with, you know, empathy, would be a publicity nightmare. Using Eadlyn's Selection to distract people who want to dismantle the monarchy is a stupid idea, as they will get an up close and personal view of just how out of touch she is with her people.
The only bright points in this book are a handful of the guys competing in the Selection. Kile was interesting, although it was a bit difficult to swallow that he and Eadlyn would so easily get past their dislike of each other. Henri and Erik were both sweet, although it seems as though Cass is using them solely as love triangle fodder. To be honest, there were a couple of other guys I liked but am having trouble remembering their names. So many names!
This was a quick read, so most of the time I would just ignore it if I couldn't remember someone's name. It's pretty clear who Eadlyn is going to end up with, so the other guys, while sometimes interesting, were essentially expendable.
I'm running out of things to say here, so let's end with this: Read The Heir if you are a superfan of The Selection and want to know more about Maxon and America's life.