The Heir

The Heir - Kiera Cass "If you didn't like America, wait until you meet her daughter." Or so I was told. Truthfully, I didn't find Eadlyn as unpleasant as America. She still isn't the kind of character that you love and cry when she cries, but at least I'm not rolling my eyes every time she does anything the way I was with America (I still hated a lot of the things that she did, but at least my anger at her wasn't quite as constant as with America.

The reason for the selection was ludicrous. People are unhappy with the monarchy. Maxon decides that a selection would distract people from their misery, and decides to force this on his daughter--despite the fact that he was forced into it and didn't like it (until he fell in 'love' with America) when he was eighteen. Yeah, because watching Louie the XVI and Marie Antoinette live lives of luxury distracted the French, and watching the Romanovs living extravagantly while they were starving to death did not please the Russians. I'm not a history expert, but I believe that the Romanovs at least did this to their people purely because they were not taught how to rule. They didn't know how to take care of their people, and they didn't know how to live without every luxury they could possibly want. Not entirely their fault, but something they could have fixed none the less. But America lived in poverty, and what Maxon didn't learn about ruling from his father, he should have learned from her. You would think that these two could have come up with the idea to stop wearing such extravagant clothing and eating whatever expensive, out-of-season ten-course meals they wanted, and shown their people that they actually understand what they are going through. I know a novel idea right? It's funny isn't it, that even in this book Maxon and America's stupidity manages to bother me. It's also kind of strange that Maxon and America have managed to stay in love all this time, because honestly, I don't think that they had enough trust for one another at the end of The One. I mean, Maxon was about to marry someone else because he had a temper tantrum because America failed to tell him that her (sort of) ex-boyfriend was a guard in the palace, even though he kept claiming that he only wanted her, yet went out kissing scantily clad girls in dark hallways. They were both at fault for the lack of love that I felt at the end of that book, but there was still a weak relationship that I don't think could have lasted very long. They are clearly in love in this book, but I truly cannot see how they got to this point.

Like I said above, I (surprisingly) did not find Eadlyn as hateable as her parents. That doesn't mean that she was an especially likeable one. Her treatment of Josie, while identifiable, bordered on cruel, and her belief that she can't be vulnerable and strong at the same time bothered me. I hated the way that she uses Kile to take her mind off of her problems. I don't like it when relationships are established through lust, which this one clearly is, and this makes Eadlyn's treatment of Kile painfully reminiscent of the Aspen/America one in the other books (I personally think that the first three books were a trilogy and this is a companion book.) The only thing that makes the Eadlyn/Kile better is the fact that Kile is actually a likeable character. Though that might actually make it worse, now that I think of it, since Aspen and America would have deserved each other, almost as much as Maxon and America did by the end of the series. Anyhow, selfish relationship aside, the only time that Eadlyn's decision-making skills were truly worthy (in a bad way) of America's, was when she tried to convince Ahren not to love the woman who he loves (a lot more that I felt Maxon loved America.) Not only was that stupid, it was beyond selfish. There were times when I didn't really like Eadlyn, but that was the only time I hated her the way I hated America in the other series (like I said, in my opinion this is a companion series.) At least, unlike America, Eadlyn seems to realize that she was stupid and selfish, especially with the cost of her selfishness. Possibly her mother, and possibly her brother. I do hope that when she through the glass in rage it was rage at herself and not her brother, since the whole situation was her own fault, not her brothers. I think she (also unlike America) realized how selfish and stupid she was, and hopefully she will behave more maturely that America would have in her place.

My complaints about her aside, Eadlyn was in a bad situation, and sometimes I truly did feel sorry for her. I don't have very much in common with her, so the fact that I could identify with her is a very good thing. The difficult thing with the first trilogy is that I hated America and Aspen, and, while I liked Maxon well enough at first, by the end of the series, I found him to be as detestable as the other two, so I wasn't really rooting for either of the potential love interests. The difficult thing with this series is that, while Eadlyn pretty self-centered, and I sometimes don't like her, quite a few of the boys who are love interests are truly pleasant people. I like Kile, Hale, Henri, Fox and Eric/Ikko (please don't kill me on spelling, I am listening to these books as audiobooks.) Because of the lustful start to Kile and Eadlyn's relationship, I don't think that they should be together. Fox doesn't seem to be a priority as we've only heard a little bit about him, but I really, really liked the single one-on-one conversation Eadlyn had with him. It was sweet. Hale seems to get along with Eadlyn pretty well. I really admire how much chivalry he shows. I like that he opened up to her, and I hope that she will do him the same favor, whether or not they end up together. Henri is just a wonderful guy. He's having trouble learning English, but why doesn't Eadlyn consider trying to learn Swinish? She might be as bad at it as he is at English, but it would help with the language barrier a little bit. I think Henri might be good for Eadlyn because he is so sweet and loving, while she has a forceful personality, and might have to be reminded to be loving. While I really like all of these guys as characters, the one that Eadlyn seems to have the most potential with is Eric. I don't like this because if these two do fall for each other, not only will it be bizarre since Eric isn't actually a part of the selection, but given Henri's earnestness, if Eric and Eadlyn end up together, it will surely hurt Henri dreadfully, and I would hate for that to happen to him. But Eadlyn and Eric truly seem to have the best potential relationship: Their starting as friends instead of trying to force romance before friendship. They're honest with each other (as are Eadlyn and Kile,) but don't have a relationship based on one using the other (unlike Eadlyn and Kile.) Eric softens Eadlyn in a way that I think is good for her, and Henri was the only other one who was able to soften her that way. I actually find it quite distressing to be favoring this relationship because of how much it will hurt Henri if Eadlyn and Eric do end up together. So there you have it. The problem with the original trilogy is that I hated the only two love interests, the problem with this one is that there are two many that I like (and ultimately ended up favoring the one that will hurt the others the most.)

While Kiera Cass actually (and surprisingly) managed to write a main character I don't hate, and a slew of potential love interests that I actually do like, I hope that she will continue to improve in her character writing so that, one day, her characters will be as good as her writing style.

Sorry this review was all over the place. I found it hard to organize how I felt about the characters, and the book in context with the other three.