Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Heir

**Important note: the following review will contain names, character descriptions, and limited events from the books. It will not include any devastating spoilers.**

Kiera Cass does it again. She is an absolutely brilliant author. Her books are filled with such lovable, relate-able characters. The entire Selection series is filled with swoon-worthy suitors and impenetrable friendships. Cass' writing style involves limited flowery descriptions, and the perfect amount of character insight. Readers finish her books feeling as if they've met new friends (or enemies, depending.)

The Heir is set twenty years after the previous books, Princess Eadlyn is asked to participate in a Selection of her own. Thirty-five eligible young men from around the country are brought to the palace to compete for her hand. The princess agrees to the Selection only to appease her parents. The entire thing is a joke to her, she has no intention to marry, no desire for romance. Overall, the beautiful Eadlyn is a very selfish and mean girl. She's been raised to run a country on her own, and she's very hesitant to show any sign of weakness. Nothing about love or romance appeals to her.

Quite the opposite of Eadlyn in both looks and personality is her twin brother, Ahren. Where she is dark toned and cold, he is blonde and genuine. He's a hopeless romantic, deeply in love with a princess of his own. He's the only person who truly understands Eadlyn, and he tries desperately to break her out of her shell. He's so kind and loving, he's able to convince her to give the boys a chance. Which, of course, terrifies her to no end.

Of her suitors, there are several stand-outs. First, there's Kile. A very close friend of the family, Eadlyn has known (and despised) him her whole life. Being forced into this game against their will, the two make an unlikely alliance to get them through the whole ordeal. Their forced friendship starts to be come something more as time wears on. Eadlyn starts to warm up to Kile, but is he simply acting the part for the cameras?

Hale is an extremely handsome, well-dressed boy who seems to genuinely care. He's been through some difficult things in his life, but he's come out the other side with a great attitude and charisma. While Eadlyn hasn't had the opportunity to get to know him well, she knows he has potential, and they've got a great deal in common.

The sweetest guy award goes to Henri, who only speaks Finnish. While the language barrier is a definite problem, his kind nature and sincerity make him a front runner. He so obviously cares about Eadlyn, it's obvious he would do anything for her. On top of all of those great qualities, he's also an amazing cook!

The unexpected addition to Eadlyn's suitors is a boy who is not a part of the competition itself. Erik. He is actually Henri's translator, only in the palace to do a job. But he seems to understand Eadlyn on a deeper level than expected. He knows what to do to make her comfortable without even asking. He's certainly someone to watch, though not technically a beau.

Eadlyn's mother and father are so in love, it's refreshing. Their romance is told in the first three of the Selection series. Nothing about their passion faded over time. They were clearly meant to be.

These books simply grab you and suck you in. There's no escape once you've been lost in the words of Kiera Cass. She is a talented wordsmith. She is so wonderful and keeping a reader guessing about what comes next. I know I've picked favorites from the list of suitors, but it's hard to say which one Cass has chosen for her main character. These boys have such great qualities, but there are also valid reasons that Eadlyn would not choose any of them. Kile wants nothing more than to leave the palace and start a life on his own. If she truly cares for him, she would let him go, rather than keep him confined. Hale is interesting and classy, but she has barely learned anything about him at all. Henri is perfect in every way, but it's so difficult for Eadlyn to communicate with him. And he's almost TOO nice, I feel like he's hiding something. Then there's Erik, who is probably perfect for her, but she couldn't choose him because it would devastate Henri. Neither Erik nor Eadlyn could do that to such a wonderful guy.

The choice is difficult, the possibilities are endless. Speculation is such sweet torture. What do you think? Who are your top picks? And what do you think of Eadlyn? Is she unnecessarily severe, or is her cold attitude a requirement for her job?

Kiera Cass will leave you wanting more.

Wasting away slowly until Book 5 is released in 2016,

Jackelyn Stange

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