The Heir

368p. (Selection: Bk. 4). ebook available. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. May 2015. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780062349859.
Gr 9 Up—Cass draws us back into the world of "The Selection" (HarperCollins) with this latest series installment. Taking place 20 years after The One (2014), this entry focuses on the lives of Queen America and King Maxon's four children, specifically Princess Eadlyn, who is the heir to the throne. The castes have officially been dissolved, but not without recurring issue, including riots among the people of Ilea. To distract the country and buy time for King Maxon and Queen America to formulate a plan to stop the riots, it's decided that another Selection will take place. Princess Eadlyn is initially not fond of the idea because she is not ready to get married; however she respects her parents' wishes, and wants to do right by her people. She has two caveats: a three-month commitment and an understanding that she may not find a husband in the end. Fans will simultaneously root for and despise Eadlyn. She is powerful, bossy, and vulnerable. While life looks perfect from the outside, readers learn that things are not what they seem. Physical fights break out among the Selected, and secrets are kept only to be revealed at the very end. The cliff-hanger conclusion sets the stage for future volumes. At times the work feels like a retelling of the first book, but with a different cast of characters. However, readers will enjoy seeing the courtship rituals through the eyes of Eadlyn, her date mishaps, and how things have evolved over two decades.
VERDICT A great addition for collections that have a high demand for "The Selection" series.

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