Read: June 1-2 Verdict 4.5 stars
Note: This review contains spoilers for The Selection series and minor spoilers for The Heir (just names and some personality traits etc. Why I think they'd be good or bad choices).
UGH THIS BOOK.
Okay, now I have that out of the way. I absolutely adored this novel! The Heir follows on from events 20 years after The Selection series. Now, the new Princess/ Queen in waiting is Eadlyn, the 18-year-old daughter of King Maxon...and Queen America. Eadlyn will be the first ever Princess to become Queen before her brothers, her parents changed degree following her birth, a whole seven minutes before her brother Ahren.
But things in Ilea are not as well as you would hope. Despite the castes being eradicated, uprising and rebellions are still rampant and getting worse. Under persuasion from her parents, Eadlyn agrees to take part in a new Selection - inviting 35 men into her home, and allow them to try and make her fall in love with one of them.
From the start, Eadlyn comes across straight-laced, haughty and rather cold. And it's not too much of a surprise. Even though she was brought up in a loving family, Eadlyn always knew she would be Queen of Ilea someday, and had a different kind of education and instruction than her brothers, and was taught to look at things a different way. I also feel a lot of her coldness and loner tendencies, comes from always believing she would, at least start of her reign alone with no help from a male companion.
So it's especially hard for Eadlyn to welcome the new boys - despite some of them being genuinely lovely and caring and even one being a boy she grew up with - Marlee's son Kile (this isn't technically a spoiler, as soon as he's mentioned it's obvious he will end up there). While Eadlyn has been surrounded by the true love of her parents, and the love Ahren has for the French princess Camille, it's never something she desired for herself. So she makes a few mistakes along the way...and comes across even worse to the public and downright terrifying to the lads.
One of the huge differences between The Selection and The Heir was the feelings for those in the Selection. With the original series, everyone rooted for America, and we only had two choices - Aspen or Maxon. With The Heir, we're suddenly seeing first hand how amazing each strong contender is - Hale with his perfect clothes, Fox with his determination and sweetness, Henri simply being Henri and Kile with his history and chemisty with Eadlyn. On both sides, you could see where each strongest contender would be both right and wrong for Eady. I may be called judgemental, but there was a point where I believed Hale might be gay as he's so overly into fashion, but maybe not. Kile would be wrong as a Prince, he can barely stand the Palace now, it would be wrong of Eadlyn to expect him to do it for the rest of his life. And Henri, beautiful Henri...who doesn't speak a word of english. Though considering there's clear Swendway connections in Ilea, why doesn't Eadlyn speak Finnish? Or in that case, more languages than just English and Spanish?
One of the other different between the original series and the spin off, was that while Maxon was very alone during his choice and didn't have much people to turn to - Eadlyn has her three brother. The post-Jack scene when Maxon and America walked in on them all snuggled in the bed was so sweet and one of favourite scenes in the whole book (plus a certain midnight kitchen scene)
Ugh but Kiera!!!! How could you leave us with an ending like that! Just how and why!!! I think my heart literally stopped and I was screaming, "That's it!!!!!" And then I frantically went online searching for another book. The only reason this is 4.5 rather than 5 stars was that I really thought this was a standalone spin-off, I was very surprised and almost irritated to discover there would (hopefully) be one more. Just because I wasn't expecting it.
Overall, I've one thing left to say.... #TeamHenri
Let's pretend Erik doesn't exist.