The Crown by Kiera Cass is the much anticipated “finale” for Princess Eadlyn as she chooses the man she will marry. I’ve been a fan of the series since The Selection simply because I have an obsession with The Bachelor/Bachelorette and this is as close as I can get in the offseason. (Sidenote: I am sooooo pumped that the Bachelorette begins today!)
Unfortunately, I was deeply disappointed in this book. Let me try to break this down.
When Eadlyn became the first princess of Illéa to hold her own Selection, she didn’t think she would fall in love with any of her thirty-five suitors. She spent the first few weeks of the competition counting down the days until she could send them all home. But as events at the palace force Eadlyn even further into the spotlight, she realizes that she might not be content remaining alone.
Eadlyn still isn’t sure she’ll find the fairytale ending her parents did twenty years ago. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you…and soon Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more impossible—and more important—than she ever imagined.
- Eadlyn spends ZERO face time with her potential suitors.
I don’t know if it’s because The Crown arrived from the Amazon Gods along with Sarah J. Maas’s massive The Court of Mist and Fury, but The Crown was a tiny book (only 279 pages). With Eadlyn only going on one, maybe two(?), dates in the entire novel, this book should have been longer or filled with more face time for the suitors. I understand she’s a princess and has responsibilities blah, blah, blah, but I was unable to root for a potential suitor when there was no face time to understand the characters and fall in the love with them. From the previous book to this one, I forgot who was who and struggled to create an already vague connection.
- The ending was rushed.
I feel like this book had a hidden agenda. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not judging the things that caused a certain number of suitors to “bow out,” but the group of suitors started to drop like flies in way too bizarre and oh-so-convenient ways. Again, they were falling out of the competition before I even fully understood who they were, how they felt about Eadlyn or how Eadlyn felt about them. It was tied together too neatly. How do you dump 34 guys and not break someone’s heart? Why wasn’t Eadlyn’s heart breaking? She was too cool about everything. She didn’t show enough emotion.
- The events that moved the plot were a bit ridiculous.
I feel like I’m full-out hating right now, but I couldn’t get past how the entire novel is about Eadlyn being a princess who didn’t let anyone tell her what to do but she was rushed into making a decision by a lowly peasant. Ugh!
- For a book based on dating, there was no love.
The frontrunner for this novel comes out of nowhere. Usually, I’m a fan of the underdog, but this was totally out of left field. I do agree with her choice, but as a reader, I can only base my feelings on a few short interactions. Eadlyn was so logical and emotionally withdrawn that I hated how there was never a “follow your heart” moment. I had no idea how she was feeling about anyone until the last 20 pages. It was frustrating. I had hoped with the continuation of this series with Eadlyn’s story that we could jump on the roller coaster ride of emotions from one suitor to the next, witnessing her falling in love with multiple people. This simply did not happen. This is evident in the apathetic way each one left. Even one who “proposed” was indifferent.
- The Selection was just way better.
It hurts my heart to say it because, ya know, feminism, but there is a reason people prefer The Bachelor to the Bachelorette. Women fighting over a man is just more interesting. Eadlyn’s parent’s story in The Selection was great because a) you were rooting for one person, America b) there were multiple interactions plus rebels to propel the plot and c) you understood what America was feeling unlike Eadlyn. Plus, America was tasked with things to do to win the Prince’s heart. In Eadlyn’s selection, the men hang in the “parlor” all day, every day and don’t compete in anyway. There were no challenges, party-planning events or duels to the death. (Just saying, a duel would have been EPIC!)
Overall, I really wanted to like this book, but the most positive thing I can say is that at least I have closure on who she ultimately chose.
STARS: 2 out of 5