Friday, June 10, 2016

The Crown (The Selection #5)

Title: The Crown (The Selection #5) 
Author: Kiera Cass
Genre: YA Dystopian
Rating: 5/5

Cover: 10/10

The Crown follows the events of The Heir, and we are once again swept up in Princess Eadlyn’s tumultuous life.

Following the Queen Mother’s heart problems, Eadlyn is thrust headfirst into the position of Regent of Illéa. Now not only does she have to navigate her own 
Selection, she also has to rule a country that seems to hold great dislike for her while her father stays by her mother’s side, and her brother has run away to get married.

Faced with the prospect of imminent rebellion in her beloved country, Eadlyn has to make some tough choices — both in her personal life, and in her public one, as Regent, and learn that sometimes in life, compromise is a must... and that others, a firm hand and steely determination is what is needed. Alliances are tested and truths are exposed as she tries to hold on to control of her own life.

I really enjoyed this last instalment to Cass’ series. Eadlyn’s journey felt true and relatable; her struggle to find a viable balance between her duty and work as a monarch, and her own heart and desires is one that is easy to relate to. And the way Cass presented Eadlyn throughout the novel made her an easy narrator to root for — an important factor, considering it’s a first-person narrative.

It was also nice that Cass managed to keep a level of uncertainty regarding Eadlyn’s chosen suitor from the Selection. Until it happened, we are kept unsure of whether or not she will actually go through with what her hearts wants her to — or if she will yield to the responsibility her birth has placed on her.

Cass presents an engaging novel about finding strength in yourself, learning to trust your instincts and be true to your heart. Eadlyn’s age and gender are never a problem in the novel, despite others trying to make it one. Cass’ protagonist is a spunky, take-no- prisoners kind of princess, who has no time for anyone’s thoughts on what she should or should not be allowed to do because of her age or the fact that she is a girl; she takes to her tasks with gumption, and proves that a woman can rule just as well — if not better, in fact — than a man, and be very happy while doing so.

Special mention to Cass’ excellent handling of the LGBT+ community representation in this novel. Until books are no longer advertised as ‘LGBT’ if the main character is queer, there will always be the need for better representation in literature, and especially in Young Adult Lit. The way Cass added it in here was both surprising and tastefully done. The characters weren’t defined by their sexuality, and were allowed storylines outside of it; their romance wasn’t rushed and neither one of them died — always a decided plus. 

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