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It felt so great to be stepping back into Illéa and revisiting some beloved characters. I couldn’t wait to see America, Lucy, Marlie and the rest of my favourites all grown up. But first I had to meet Princess Eadlyn.
I would like to say that I liked her, but she ruined the entire book. Considering her parents, and what we know of their personalities, it shocked me that they could have raised such a self centred, spoilt brat!
From the very beginning she does nothing but whine about how she is being forced to be queen because she was born before her twin. In fact, she complains constantly about literally everything. The work she has to do towards becoming the ruler of her country, the fact that she cannot have a normal life or that parts of her life are not her own and even the fact that she might have to tidy her room with her maid.
It isn’t that Eadlyn is completely selfish. She does see the problems that people around her are facing, but she does nothing about them. For example, when she learns that Lucy is unable to have children. She mulls it over a few times and even gossips with her mother about it. But not once do we see her care enough to sit down and try to find a way to help. The girl is all over the fact that she is going to be a powerful woman, yet she has no inclination to use that power to help?
The fact that she bemoans the crown so much is laughable in itself. Because as soon as she is told that she should consider having a selection to distract the public from rioting and uprisings (more on that little snipe later) she suddenly decides that she doesn’t want to share with a husband!
As for the selection itself:
1. I find it a little embarrassing that anyone would think a selection, basically reality TV, would distract a whole nation from all of their problems. Really? If anything I would think that this would cause even more anger at a monarchy who doesn’t try to help the people, but instead throws money around. Do they really want to starve whilst watching the big lavish parties or to see Her Royal Brat choose a husband she quite obviously does not want.
2. We don’t meet enough of the selected, and what we do get is a smattering seemingly random dates between massive amounts of Eadlyn’s never ending whining inner monologue.
And wow do we get monologue. Nothing makes this girl happy. Well, one scene makes this girl happy, but it gives her room to complain later.
America and Maxon? Well, this book is 20 years later. These two were eighteen in the original series. So they’re what? 40 almost? And yet they are written as being old, fragile and tired. I am sure with the access to food, healthcare and the best of everything that they are afforded as royalty they would be in their prime at that age.
I am disappointed. This whole book left me dissatisfied. There wasn’t enough story to keep me interested. I simply kept reading to see if Eadlyn ever grew as a person… she didn’t. The book didn’t even really end. It just created enough loose threads to keep the Antarctic in sweaters, then ran out of pages.
So why two stars and not less? Kiera Cass has confirmed another sequel to finish the series. The book is as yet un-named, but I would like to hope that it will contain Eadlyn’s personality transplant, more story that we actually care about, and something that saves this series for me. I’ll give it two stars, because it deserves the chance.
Oh and Kiera… Bring back Celeste. She may have been the original brat, but at least she was classy about it.