The following article contains spoilers.
Please read at your own risk.
|“||20 years ago, her mother won the crown. Now Princess Eadlyn is ready to find true love.||”|
—Quote from back cover
The Heir is the fourth novel of The Selection Series, released on May 5, 2015. The Heir is from a new perspective, Maxon's and America's daughter, Princess Eadlyn. Many known characters and new ones appear in the story.
Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won Prince Maxon’s heart. Now the time has come for Princess Eadlyn to hold a Selection of her own. Eadlyn doesn’t expect her Selection to be anything like her parents’ fairy-tale love story. But as the competition begins, she may discover that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she always thought.
Back-Cover (Amazon.com) Princess Eadlyn has grown up hearing endless stories about how her mother and father met. Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won the heart of Prince Maxon—and they lived happily ever after. Eadlyn has always found their fairy-tale story romantic, but she has no interest in trying to repeat it. If it were up to her, she'd put off marriage for as long as possible. But a princess's life is never entirely her own, and Eadlyn can't escape her very own Selection—no matter how fervently she protests.
Eadlyn doesn't expect her story to end in romance. But as the competition begins, one entry may just capture Eadlyn's heart, showing her all the possibilities that lie in front of her... and proving that finding her own happily ever after isn't as impossible as she's always thought.
Warning: Spoilers Ahead!
The book begins with 18 year old Eadlyn explaining that she was born seven minutes before her twin brother, Ahren. Previously, it would be his right to be the heir to the throne of Illéa, but their parents King Maxon Schreave and Queen America Schreave changed the law and made it possible for Eadlyn to be the first female ruler of the country, something that often overwhelms her, but also makes her feel powerful. Maxon and America have two more sons: Kaden, who is 14, and Osten, who is 10.
Her father has eliminated the castes, but although people were initially relieved, many citizens begin to riot all over the country due to post-caste discrimination. To distract the attention of the public until they can figure out a way to fix the situation, her parents suggest that Eadlyn should go through her own Selection. Eadlyn strongly opposes to the idea, as she doesn’t feel ready for marriage and she doesn’t want to love and be married with a stranger. However, she reluctantly accepts to have a three month Selection, for the sake of the country's entertainment, and of her parents, who agree that it’s all right if she doesn’t choose anyone in the end.
Eventually, 35 men are randomly selected, among them Kile Woodwork, son of Carter and Marlee Woodwork. He strongly rejects his selection, insisting that he didn’t actually apply for it. However, since his name was announced publicly, he is forced to participate, much to his and Eadlyn’s resentment. The two dislike each other, even though they have been raised together in the palace.
During the first interview with the Selected Suitors, some of the Selected catch Eadlyn's attention, like the polite Hale Garner, the over-confident Ean Cabel and the always-happy Henri Jaakoppi from Swendway who can only speak limited-English, and participates in the Selection with the help of his translator, Erik. To impress the country, she organizes a parade through the city, so that people can admire her and the Selected Men. The parade is ruined when some people from the crowd throw food to her, insulting her and demanding jobs. Eadlyn starts to realize that part of the population dislikes her, so Ahren suggests that she should not appear so distant and scowling, especially in the photos of the Selection.
To pique the people’s interest, Eadlyn publicly eliminates 11 of the Suitors, a rather drastic cut. Unfortunately, the papers criticize her again as a smug, strict princess, uninterested in her own Selection. Deciding then to give some romance to the public, even if she isn’t interested in these men, Eadlyn asks from Kile, the only Selected Man she knows, to kiss her in front of a hidden photographer. The kiss leaves her unsettled, as she didn’t expect to like it so much.
Eadlyn then goes on a date with Hale. They talk about his life and family, but when he asks about her fashion sketches, a hobby of her, she is afraid of opening herself to him and she leaves. She has another date with Baden Trains, playing music together. She asks from Kile one more time to kiss her, insisting however that she doesn’t like him and she won’t choose him. She later goes on a movie date with Jack Ranger. When he touches her inappropriately against her will, she panics and kicks him out of the Selection.
During a horse riding date with Ean, he understands that Eadlyn doesn’t actually want the Selection. He proposes to her that, if she finds no one suitable in the group, she can choose him. While he can settle in a comfortable life as her prince consort, she will be free to reign however she wants without ever loving him, as he believes love to be overrated.
Later, Eadlyn cooks in the palace kitchen with Kile, Burke Renn, Fox Wesley, Henri and Erik. However, Burke gets angry when Henri, being a professional cook, makes an exceptional dessert, while Burke's appetizers with Fox were mediocre. He punches Fox and accidentally pushes Eadlyn to the floor during the fight, while Kile and Henri try to suppress him. Erik takes Eadlyn away from the brawl and into her room. He reveals that his given name is Eikko. She thanks him for his help and as they bond their hands, she realizes his kind nature.
Burke is sent home. Eadlyn talks with Fox and after learning about his poor background, she decides to let him stay, as he wasn’t really responsible for the fight. Eadlyn has one more make out session with Kile, but this time she talks with him about the Selection, realizing that it’s easy to share her thoughts with him and admitting that she is glad he was selected.
Eadlyn learns that people in the poorer provinces are uprising to end the monarchy, as they didn’t benefit from the caste dissolution and they think that the King doesn’t care about them. Later that night, Eadlyn finds Henri cooking in the kitchen. After cooking together, they share a hesitant, romantic kiss. However, Eadlyn is still afraid of falling in love, although she finally realizes that she really likes some of these men.
Baden announces to Eadlyn he wants to leave from the Selection, feeling ignored by her and displeased that she didn't pay attention earlier to his date invitation. He accuses her of being pushy and selfish. Hurt by his words, she cries in her room, realizing that probably a lot of people have this opinion of her. At that moment, Erik appears and comforts her. He mentions that Henri thought she was upset by their kiss, but Eadlyn assures him that Henri is one of the kindest people she had ever met. Erik reveals that Henri admires her and desires to be her husband, but then he adds that Henri’s language barrier will be a long-term obstacle if she develops feelings for him, too. He offers to be her friend and she happily accepts.
Eadlyn talks with Kile who comforts her, both of them admitting that they now want to participate in the Selection, even though she is still afraid to open herself to the boys. As he is studying architecture, he reveals to her a design idea to create small houses for industrial workers in the poorer provinces.
Eadlyn invites to the palace the French princess Camille, daughter of Queen Daphne and heir to the throne of France. Camille is in a relationship with Ahren, the two of them have been completely in love for years. This makes Eadlyn uncomfortable and slightly jealous that she has never felt such love, and that Camille holds an equal standing to her in Ahren's life. Even more, Camille is always and effortlessly kind and cheerful and people love her, exactly the characteristics that Eadlyn wishes to have.
During a party made in honor of Camille, Eadlyn finds Erik, looking handsome in his formal suit. After confiding to him her thoughts about Camille, he reassures her that she shouldn’t want to imitate the French princess, because being herself is more than enough. Holding her hand and hesitantly stroking it, he admits that he didn’t put his name in the Selection, because he is not someone important, but Eadlyn insists that “he is Eikko”: being himself is enough too. She later dances happily with Henri, noticing though that Erik watches them with a sad smile.
Eadlyn advises Ahren to break up with Camille, stating that maybe she is not the one for him, making him sad. During the dinner next night, Gavril Fadaye announces to Maxon, America and Eadlyn that Ahren eloped with Camille: they had left Illéa and secretly got married in France, after Queen Daphne gave them her official approval. Eadlyn runs to her room, where she finds a letter from Ahren.
In the letter, after begging for her and their parents’ forgiveness, Ahren explains that he decided to marry Camille, after Eadlyn told him to leave her. He realized that his sister disliked his girlfriend only because she was afraid that Camille would "steal" Ahren from Eadlyn. Eadlyn wanted her brother so much in her life, asking so many things from him that she would maybe even force him to take the throne for her sake. So, much as he loved his sister, he eventually chose his soul mate. He points to Eadlyn that while Camille is open to her people and handles her power with humility, Eadlyn keeps people at distance and wields her power like a sword. As a result, many provinces don’t want her as their future ruler and she is one of the reasons they are now in a riot. Thus, Ahren advises her to open herself to her people, to be brave and feminine at the same time and above all to find love in her life.
Eadlyn is angry and hurt by his words and his departure, but when she goes to her parents’ room to inform them about the letter, she finds photos of them during their own Selection, their wedding and the birth of their children. Eadlyn recognizes that her father had modeled this room as a shrine of his love for her mother. Fully realizing now the love her parents share, she can understand why Ahren chose his girlfriend over his family.
At that moment though, she learns that her mother has had a heart attack, after hearing about Ahren’s elopement. She runs to the hospital wing, where she finds her father crying and General Leger comforting him, both of them hoping for the best. Marlee, Kaden, May and the Selected Men also come to pray for America’s recovery. Afraid of losing her mother and after seeing all those people around her and the bonds they share with each other, Eadlyn finally realizes the importance of love in her life. She decides that she wants to find in the Selection someone who will love her, stating that at the end of the Selection, she "will have a ring on her finger."
- Eadlyn Schreave
- Ahren Schreave
- America Schreave
- Maxon Schreave
- Kaden Schreave
- Osten Schreave
- The Selected Men
- Kile Woodwork
- Josie Woodwork
- Brice Mannor
- Aspen Leger
- Lucy Leger
- Marlee Woodwork
- Carter Woodwork
- May Singer
- Gavril Fadaye
- Milla Warren
- Magda Singer
- Kenna Orders
- James Orders
- Astra Orders
- Leo Orders
- August Illéa
- Leron Troyes
- Jamison Akers
- Amberly Schreave
- "By seven tiny minutes I beat my brother, Ahren, into the world, so the throne that ought to have been his was mine. Had I been born a generation earlier, it wouldn’t have mattered. Ahren was the male, so Ahren would have been the heir. Alas, Mom and Dad couldn’t stand to watch their firstborn be stripped of a title by an unfortunate but rather lovely set of breasts. So they changed the law, and the people rejoiced, and I was trained day by day to become the next ruler of Illéa. What they didn’t understand was that their attempts to make my life fair seemed rather unfair to me." — Eadlyn at the beginning of The Heir
- "You two are practically a fairy tale." — Eadlyn about her parents' love story
- "I'm not sure anyone knows what they're looking for until they find it." — Eadlyn
- "There are some things you don't learn about yourself until you let someone else into the most intimate places of your heart." — Ahren to Eadlyn
- "I'm not sure if fate or destiny is real. But I can tell you that sometimes the very thing you've been hoping for will walk through the door, determined to fend you off. And still, somehow, you will find that you are enough." — King Maxon to Eadlyn
- "Kile leaned down, lips meeting mine, holding them there. Then his lips parted, and closed, and parted again. I drew a breath in the moment between kissing, sensing he would come back again. He did and thank goodness, because I hadn't been kissed like this before and I needed more. The few times I've kissed boys were rushed, sloppy moments hiding in a coat room or behind a statue, but this with so much air around us and no one coming to check on me was different. [...] He pressed his mouth to mine again and I was so surprised to get another kiss like that. It felt like my bones were turning into mush. I wrapped my fingers up into his hair, shocked at myself for having the urge to hold him in that pose all night." — Eadlyn in her kissing scene with Kile Woodwork
- "I closed the distance between us and placed a hand on his cheek. He stared into my eyes as if he discovered something truly valuable, something rare that he might never see again. I nodded slowly and he lowered his lips to mine. I pressed my lips into his trying to tell him without words that this was okay, that I wanted him to hold me. And finally, after a moment of hesitation, he responded. He held me like I was delicate, like if his grip was too tight I'd crumble. His kisses were the same way. Only now instead of being driven by fear they were motivated by what felt like reverence. It was an affection almost too beautiful to endure." — Eadlyn in her kissing scene with Henri Jaakoppi
- "I grew up knowing I would be queen one day. Turns out, it only takes seven minutes to become the heir. That's the difference between my twin brother Ahren and me. After that came Kaden and Osten. Together we're just a normal family, well, except that we live in a palace, and my parents were practically a fairytale. Everyone knows the Selection brought them together, and now it's my turn. I don't know if I can live up to their story, but if I've learned anything from my parents, it's that happily ever after has a way of surprising you." — Eadlyn's narration at the Official Book Trailer of The Heir
- "Kile's hair flopped across his eyes as he looked over at me. He was in desperate need of a cut and a shave, and his shirt was too big for him. I didn't know who I was more embarrassed for: him for looking so sloppy or my family for having seen with such a disaster." — Eadlyn as she describes Kile's look
- "I only have one heart and I'm saving it." — Eadlyn to Gavril Fadaye
- "It was asparagus… He literally punched someone over a vegetable." — Eadlyn to Kile about Burke Renn
- "I started laughing, thinking back to the other night in my room. It had seemed so alien when Kile wanted to talk to me, but I wasn’t completely sure why I thought that now. I could have had a new outlet, a new perspective this whole time." — Eadlyn about Kile
- "Looking over at him, at his hitched-up smile, I was able to push away everything for a minute. It felt like the Selection wasn’t even happening just then. I was a girl with a boy. And I knew what I wanted to do with that boy.” — Eadlyn about Kile
- As a Christmas present to fans of the series, Kiera Cass published the first page of The Heir. It can be read here.
- The first two chapters of The Heir can be read at The Selection Series Sampler found in many ebook stores for free. You can also find it here.
- The Selected Men for Eadlyn's Selection were revealed in 'Cast the Selection for THE HEIR!' Contest by Epic Reads.
- The exclusive edition of The Heir in Philippines includes a love letter from Ahren to Camille. It can be read here.
- The Barnes & Noble edition of The Heir in USA includes a written conversation between Kile and Fox, after they fought with Burke. It can be read here. Also, it has exclusive photos. You can see them here.
- The model on the cover of The Heir and The Crown is Stacey Farnet.
- The model of the cover is Stacey Farnet. She posted a photo from the backstage of the cover video of The Heir. She is wearing though the dress of the next book cover, The Crown, indicating that the two covers were shot in the same day. Another backstage photo can be found here.
- The model/actress in the YouTube video of "The Heir Book Trailer" is Tashi Makh.