Wednesday, May 6, 2015

A Royal Review- 4 out of 5 stars

About 24 hours after my mail carrier Finally delivered my copy of The Heir yesterday, I read the final page. Here are my thoughts:

First Impressions: Disappointment. I wanted so bad to love this story and new characters as much and as quickly as I had the first three stories in the series. But I just wasn't as captivated. The reason is because I couldn't connect with the main character, Eadlyn. I understood why she acted the way that she did, in a way. But I thought that she was a spoiled brat who thought she was better than others. Halfway through the book she hadn't gotten much better, and my hopes of liking this book were falling. 

What I liked: Of course I enjoyed getting to catch up with some of my favorite characters from the first three books and seeing how their lives had changed over 20 years. I liked the relationships that Eadlyn had with each of her family members. It was special to read about the King and Queen and their four children. When tough situations arose they banded together as a family. I liked how Eadlyn finally let some of her walls come down a little towards the end of the story and allowed herself to start caring for someone besides herself. 
I like how each of her younger brothers have unique personalities. Ahren (pronounced like Aaron I think, although I kept reading it as air- hern) and Eadlyn have a close, special bond as twin. Ahren is a level-headed prince who likes to read and write and who loves his soulmate with all of his heart. He looks just as his father did at his age. Kaden studies hard to learn the duties of ruling his kingdom, although he is third in line for the throne. He is very perceptive and I think that he would make a great ruler. Not that I want anything to happen to Eadlyn (even though I'm not her biggest fan) or Ahren for Kaden's rule to be possible. Osten is the youngest prince. (I just realized his name is probably pronounced Austin) He's very mischievous and always keeps things interesting.
I have a few favorite suitors for Eadlyn. I like when she is with Kile and allows herself to open up and talk to him. The chemistry is just there and is right. Henri is very sweet and is all in for Eadlyn. I also like how passionate he is about what he loves to do, cooking! I just don't feel that he is the right match for Eadlyn. Now his translator Eric...even though he was not selected. There is a natural connection between him and Eadlyn. He is a good, honest friend. 
Finally, the story is written so well that it's a fast read.

What I Didn't Like: I was completely frustrated with Eadlyn's character throughout most of the book. I believe readers should be able to connect with the main character; to root for him/her to succeed. But this is the most I have struggled with liking the main character. She was spoiled and acted like she was superior to others. I couldn't believe that beloved characters from the first books were her parents. Although she loved both of her parents, she was very disrespectful and mean to them many times throughout the story. She even gave them the silent treatment. At one point she really needed to talk with her parents but wondered if she had given them a long enough "punisment" of silence. Ugh! Grow up and act like a queen if you want to be one so bad! Other characters called her out on her behaviour several times throughout the story. She never seemed to learn from those occurrences or try to change. She doesn't have to change her true self. The Eadlyn that she is when she is in her room designing clothes. Or those rare moments when she lets her guard down and is just herself. I understand that she has the pressure of trying to be perfect but she is the next ruler of her country. But she choose to do so by being powerful to make others respect her. Her mother and her brother Ahren hits the nail on the head twice in the story. 
Another thing I didn't like was the frantic kisses she shared with one of the selected men. After they kiss, then she starts to give him a chance and finds every excuse to kiss him again.him. The heavy kissing leads to grasping and pulling at clothes. In my personal opinion, light kisses are ok outside of marriage. Anything more could lead to more intimate situations that should be saved for man and wife.
Finally, I felt like readers didn't really get to know any of the Selected guys because Eadlyn didn't try to get to know any of them. She promised her father that she would really try for his sake and for the sake of their country. But, time after time she refused to do just that.

Overall: In the end, I think The Heir is a worthwhile read for fans of the series. If a reader had not read the first three books however, I'm not sure they would enjoy this book. I know I wouldn't have. Had I not known how talented of writer Kiera Cass is, by reading her previous work, I may not have stuck with it. I'm glad I did. I realize that Ms. Cass is kind of a genius. The way she wrote this story is realistic. People can change, but change does not happen overnight. She first introduces us to Eadlyn, explains why Eadlyn is the way she is, and then, over time, allows us to meet the real Eadlyn as her guard slowly comes down. Readers didn't get to know the Selected men until Eadlyn allowed herself to get to know them better. Just when the reader starts to connect, the story ends in a MAJOR cliffhanger that I didn't see coming. I knew I was coming close to the end of the story but when I turned the page and saw it was the last my exact words were "The story canNOT end like this!" Now the wait for the next story. My hope is that Eadlyn will learn from her past and the twist of events. Until the release of the next book,  my bookcase offers many distractions.

P.S. The One is still my favorite Selection book!

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