The Crown by Kiera Cass | Book Review

It seems to be relatively well understood in the bookish community that the Selection series is not the greatest piece of literature ever to enter the market. However, and this isn’t the first time I’ll admit this, there’s something about this series that is just really intriguing – meaning that it has won the covetous spot of Miss Abigail’s favourite guilty pleasure read. It’s a series I just love to hate (okay, hate is a strong word – it’s a series I love to get really annoyed with). No matter how much I tell myself that I’m done with it, and I can’t possibly take it any further… somehow I always end up coming back for more.

Since I read the Heir long before I started this blog, let me summarise my thoughts quickly so you know where I’m coming from. After finishing The Heir I hated Eadlyn as a character (this time the strong word is called for) I thought she was bossy and spoilt and infuriating – even more so than her mother. This was made even worse by the fact that I had no strong feelings (neither good nor bad) for any of her potential suitors. All in all, it just didn’t live up to the original trilogy, so I finished it, let out a long sigh, and thought that would be that.

However, I had a leftover audiobook credit, and this popped up, so I thought ‘what the hell’ and downloaded it. I listened to the whole thing in half a day and am pretty happy with my decision to stick with it. The Crown really got back to the roots of why I loved the original series, and gave me some of the warm fuzzy feelings I remember from the first book. It was never going to be a 5/5 star read (especially with Eadlyn at the helm) but I liked it nonetheless.

First of all, I must acknowledge Cass’ sense. I always said that the first trilogy should have been a duology and that The Elite and The One could have quite easily been merged. Obviously, Cass heard my request and compressed Eadlyn’s Selection into 2 books – kudos Kiera!

One thing that didn’t ring true for me, was the feminist nature of this series, and Eadlyn as a character. I always got the impression that Cass was really, really trying to create a strong female lead – but it just fell a little flat for me. Instead of the Illea equivalent of a Girl Boss, Edalyn was bratty (not strong) and naïve (not tough). All in all, just a total pain in the ass. But this analysis is nothing new… I never seem to like Cass’ female characters.

However, on a more positive note, she does write swoon-worthy boys really well. From the very beginning of this installment I was in love with her suitors (I had a particular fondness for Erik and Kyle – they were my standouts). Not only is Cass great at writing swoon-worthy boys, but she’s also fantastic at steering the plot so that the boy you liked ends up being the logical and romantic choice all at once, it’s impressive – I guess that’s why this is such a guilty pleasure.

The only other thing I can really think to comment on in this novel is America and Maxon. What can I say, I’ve always loved Maxon, and I’ve never really liked America. However, this novel did help to mend some of my hatred. I’m so glad that America grew up into the image of poise and royalty, especially since this novel is set so many years after her own Selection. Although it didn’t ring true to the character she was in her own trilogy, I’m quite glad because that was a character I never got on board with – the new and improved America is much more up my alley.

All in all, I don’t have a lot of feelings about this book – which is strange for me to say. I enjoyed it enough to escape the dreaded 2/5 star zone, but not enough to join its friends from the original trilogy in the upper ranks. For that reason, it’s settling on 3/5 stars. It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t good, but ultimately it was nostalgic – and I really enjoyed that. Perhaps, if I’d read it at a different time I’d like it more or less – I guess we’ll never know.

Ultimately, my advice would be:

If you liked The Heir, this is a good continuation.

However, if (like me), The Heir left you a little disappointed and longing for the pleasure the first trilogy brought, I wouldn’t take this one off your TBR, it’s much better than it’s predecessor in my eyes.

What did you guys think of this installment? Did you like it? Did you hate it? Please let me know what you think down below, I still have a lot of feelings I need to sort out!

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