Review: The Queen (The Selection #.4) by Kiera Cass

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Title:  The Queen
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher/Year: Harper Collins 12/2/14
Length: 72
Series: The Selection #.4

Overview

Before America Singer’s story began, another girl came to the palace to compete for the hand of a different prince….

Don’t miss this digital original novella set in the captivating world of Kiera Cass’s #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series. This prequel story takes place before the events of The Selection and is told from the point of view of Prince Maxon’s mother, Amberly. Discover a whole new Selection with this inside look at how Maxon’s parents met—and how an ordinary girl named Amberly became a beloved queen.

My Thoughts

I love when we get novellas from this series since they do a really good job of giving us a new perspective on characters.  I know that i’m not alone in wishing that i knew more about Queen Amberly and her journey through her own Selection and this was a great introduction to that.  The little downside that i’ll add is that it only teased a few things – and didn’t give us the full story – but definitely enough to make the full series make sense.

In this novella installment we meet Amberly after several of the girls have already gone home, with only herself and another Four remaining.  She’s really counting down her days until she’s sent home since it seems like it’s a caste thing at this point.  The background here which is different from America’s Selection is that we learn that Amberly has been ‘in love’ with Clarkson since she was seven, so this is a dream come true for her where as America really was ambivalent for her own Selection.

Similar to what we see in America’s story, there are close friendships that are formed – and i believe that some of those girls even appeared in The Selection.  Amberly is forced to deal with several of the same struggles that we saw prior as well, never knowing where she stands with the Prince, having to fight for her place among those that are more polished and we also get to see that Amberly has to really cope with her own share of health issues -which we learn is a result of where she’s from.

So in this short story – we see the love begin to develop between her and Clarkson, which makes him more human since he’s quite the bull in The Selection.  We also see that the way that he is as a grown man and the King is a direct correlation of how he was raised since his parents have at each other in a harsh way.  It’s like the best intentions aren’t quite met here and that’s something that was passed onto Maxon.

What i miss though is that we dont see Amberly’s journey to the end – we only get close-ish.  We see what Clarkson is willing to do to keep her around and what tests he’s laid out, what secrets he’ll keep – but still, we don’t really get to see that culminate in his choice and ultimately the birth of Maxon.  I’d love that bit of the story.

Nevertheless – i think that it’s great that we got this bit, and it’ll hold me over until we get to read The Heir which will be nice since it’s the continuation of America and Maxon’s story i believe.  Enjoy!

Review: The Guard (The Selection Trilogy #2.5) by Kiera Cass

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Title: The Guard
Author:  Kiera Cass
Publisher/Year:  HarperCollins2/4/14
Length: 87 Pages
Series: The Selection Trilogy #2.5

Overview

Before America Singer met Prince Maxon . . .
Before she entered the Selection . . .
She was in love with a boy named Aspen Leger.

Don’t miss this digital original novella set in the captivating world of Kiera Cass’s #1 New York Times bestselling Selection trilogy. This brand new 64-page story begins just after the group of Selected girls is narrowed down to the Elite and is told from Aspen’s point of view. The Guard also features a teaser to The One, the thrilling conclusion to The Selection trilogy.

My Thoughts

I always appreciate the novellas as supplements to the trilogy, hoping that it’ll keep me ‘warm’ so to speak until the next installment comes along.  What i have to say though is that the high that i was riding from The Prince – Maxon’s novella – well it seems to have fallen here.  I’m not Team Aspen, and even after reading this, i’m still not team aspen.

We are seeing things from his perspective for a while – we know of the struggles that America has been having with Celeste by this point and we know of the rebel attacks just before the German and Italians come….so it’s nice to get a glimpse from the other side – but i have to say that there wasn’t really much there to satiate me. We also get to hear the retelling of the caning that America tried to stop and hear what the staff and palace think of what she’s done.  all from Aspen’s ears though.

The good thing though is that we get to see a sweeter side of Lucy and Mary and Anne even.  I really have a soft spot for the maids and it seems like Aspen does as well.  i guess we’ll have to see where that goes in The One – the conclusion to the series – not out soon enough.