Thursday, July 20, 2017

Review: The Heir and The Crown (The Selection Series #4-5)

Twenty 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 always thought.

The Heir, by Keira Cass, is the fourth novel in The Selection series. The Heir is from a new perspective, Maxon's and America's daughter, Princess Eadlyn. Many known characters and new ones appear in the story. Eighteen-year-old 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 to find true love. 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.

Kiera Cass’s #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series has captured the hearts of readers from its very first page. Now the end of the journey is here. Prepare to be swept off your feet by The Crown—the eagerly awaited, wonderfully romantic fifth and final book in the Selection series.

The Crown, by Keira Cass, is the fifth novel in The Selection series. A sequel to The Heir, it is the final full-sized novel in The Selection Series and the end of Eadlyn's Selection. Eadlyn didn’t think she would find a real partner among the Selection’s thirty-five suitors, let alone true love. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising a person. Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more difficult—and more important—than she ever expected. Follow Illéa’s royal family into a whole new Selection—and find out what happens after happily ever after.

I looked forward to learning what happened in these next installments of the Selection series. The last two books follow the journey of Princess Eadlyn Schreave. The book begins with Eadlyn explaining that she was born seven minutes before her twin brother, Ahren. Previously, it would be his right to be the heir to the throne of Illéa, but their parents King Maxon Schreave and Queen America Schreave changed the law and made it possible for Eadlyn to be the first female ruler of the country, something that often overwhelms her, but also makes her feel powerful. Maxon and America have two more sons: Kaden (14) and Osten (10). Yeah, I know what you're thinking -- the novel not only promotes women empowerment and women in leadership roles but also tries to hype up the possibility of the first female U.S. president--which, to this day, is still a dream rather than reality. Her father has eliminated the castes, but although people were initially relieved, many citizens begin to riot all over the country due to post-caste discrimination. To distract the attention of the public until they can figure out a way to fix the situation, her parents suggest that Eadlyn should go through her own Selection. In this way, public support will focus less on the social inequities since everyone will focus on the budding fairy-tale romance on their televisions and radios.

Overall, I felt somewhat disappointed with the story of Eadlyn. She came across as a pompous, irritable know-it-all. As a result, her world outlook is narrowed within the confines of the castle with a general understanding of the people in her kingdom. She knows that she has to appear confident in front of the camera, but she has no clue how the people live or struggle outside the halls. What was so refreshing about the America character was that she was outspoken and realistic to the prince. She wanted positive change for the people. While the novel implicitly highlighted reforms under King Maxon, the couple realize how much harder it is to change the hearts of conformists and enact policy reforms. I also thought the finale was rushed because everything was crammed into the fifth novel. Sadly, the couple--America and Maxon--that fans adored in the first three novels appeared stiff and exhausted--even though they were in their early 40s! While the twist was innovative (I wasn't spoil the ending), I wasn't rooting for Eadlyn the same way I felt optimistic for America. This series was in general very good but the last two books could have been hit-or-miss novellas given the lukewarm reaction from fans.

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