America and Maxon's romance is no longer in the front seat. Now, it is their oldest daughter (Eadlyn) who is about to get shot with a couple of arrows (ouch!). She is the girl in line to the crown. But all is not well in Illéa. The people are unhappy, even though the castes are gone. The rebels (who are much different from the rebels of the previous three books) are hating on the monarchy. Maxon, the king, is stressing out under the kingdom's weight. What seems to be the HEA (Happily Ever After) for America, Maxon, and the rest of the kingdom is a nightmare. Now, the next generation has to deal with the mess. Eadlyn is first in line to inherit, not just a kingdom, but also a hot mess.
Eadlyn is an absolute darling, despite her pride, haughtiness, and mostly unlikable ways. She is the future queen, and she has her strengths. She has her intelligence, she has her understanding (mostly), and she has time (that is running out). Through the book's progress, the ice queen (I mean, princess) melts. Convinced by her parents, she goes through her own Selection process and has three months to pick whoever she likes (or loves). Of course, she has a third option of not choosing a husband entirely. But when the heart (and boys) is involved, not everything is rainbow, gold, and sunshine.
It is different to be on the other side of the Selection. Eadlyn must prepare the rooms, look over the plans of the Selection, and make sure that everyone (and by that, I mean everyone in Illéa) is focused on the Selection instead of the country's problems and deep prejudice. Lots of issues, and Kiera Cass will have a couple loose ends to tie up in the last installment.
The ending of THE HEIR is one of the most surprising parts of the novel. I'm practically screaming and the book and wondering why it has to be cut off so unexpectedly. The sequel's release date is terribly far away.
Overall, THE HEIR is a startlingly good insight into Eadlyn's mind. Though the world building (especially in politics) isn't strong and revealing as it could have been, the story is wild and the conflict is seductive. There are a group of men waiting to be Eadlyn's future prince consort, which is a good opportunity for a betting game. (Who is up with me for Erik/Eadlyn?) I can't wait for the sequel, and I totally recommend THE HEIR to those who love The Selection and ABC's BACHELOR/BACHELORETTE.
Rating: Four out of Five