The instant #1 New York Times bestseller from the bestselling author of the Selection series!
Kiera Cass is back with a glittering royal romance sure to captivate her legion of loyal readers and lovers of courtly intrigue alike.
A would-be queen. A handsome young king. A perfect match…or is it?
When King Jameson declares his love for Lady Hollis Brite, Hollis is shocked—and thrilled. After all, she’s grown up at Keresken Castle, vying for the king’s attention alongside other daughters of the nobility. Capturing his heart is a dream come true.
But Hollis soon realizes that falling in love with a king and being crowned queen may not be the happily ever after she thought it would be. And when she meets a commoner with the mysterious power to see right into her heart, she finds that the future she really wants is one that she never thought to imagine.
Lady Hollis Brite, a charming member of the Coroan royal court, is ordered around by her overbearing parents and attended by her best friend, outcast Delia Grace. Having captured the heart of the handsome young Coroan king, Jameson, Hollis suddenly faces the very real prospect of being Coroa's next queen, despite her family's inferior social standing and her own lack of political interest. Jameson is smitten with Hollis's honest stories and optimism, but the Coroan nobility is not. When the Eastoffe family arrives seeking asylum from the neighboring rival nation of Isolte, Hollis is captivated by the oldest son, Silas, and questions both her feelings for Jameson and her desire to be queen. Cass's trademark love triangle is set against the fictitious 16th-century kingdom of Coroa and its elaborate customs, and the threat posed by the insidious Isolte king adds some needed danger. Though Hollis begins with an unfortunate deference toward Jameson that at first makes her seem timid, she has found both her voice and her spine by the end of this duology opener, becoming a headstrong heroine whom Cass's loyal following will champion. Ages 13 up. \n
Customer ReviewsSee All
This is a really good book, although I will say it’s extremely depressing, as for age....I would honestly say around 11 or 12
I agree with the other reviews, it did feel rushed. I feel like months passed at the castle all building up to her big moment. But then her time comes and the feeling and thoughts were left out. Wedding next, death next, grieving next... And as for the romance, the depth was missing. I believe in those love at first sight feelings. But to throw away a life’s worth over a handful of conversations and a kiss? Then when they’re on their own we don’t get to hear one thing about the relationship evolving or the feelings on their wedding day. It almost felt like a great outline that needed to be filled in. And another thing that felt very unbelievable was the backstory not coming to light. If you ran away with a man and his family you’d want to know everything there was to know about them. They left their country, their home, under duress and you never think to ask why? I loved the outline, the premise, the world building, Hollis’ character, Valentina and more. I believe that book two has the potential to live up to the Selection. But the detail has to come out, the depth needs explored. I will read book two because I’m invested in the story line. I just hope that it’s more satisfying!
Haunted by the ghost of Eadlyn 👻
*IN MY OPINION*
It is more important to make your characters likable, rather than relatable. Likable characters are unique and fleshed out people with their own little quirks and personality traits that could easily be seen in the real world. When authors try to make their characters more relatable, it's always in an attempt to include as many readers as possible. This leads to characters becoming many shades of gray, and emotional blank slates that cause readers to project their own personality on to the character, and trick themselves into thinking the main character is just like them (no, that's just bad character development).
This was a huge issue at the end of The Selection series, and it seems to have continued into this one. For further elaboration, see my review of The Crown.
The bottom line is that Hollis is boring and bland, and I don’t care about her. Delia Grace is easily the best character, simply because she's the most developed. In a single chapter you learn more about her than you do about Hollis throughout the entire book. She has much more personality, depth and drive than Hollis, who is just a blank slate of a character. Hollis has no personality, no nuances, nothing to make her stand out in a memorable way other than just being the main character. Which highlights another trend that continued from the end of The Selection, in that we're given another main character with no goal or purpose.
However, in conjunction with The Selection series, I have formed the opinion that Kiera Cass is weirdly good at world building (while her worlds aren't very original, they're effective 👍). I stopped caring about the romance because it was dull, boring and had a lot of missing pieces that should have been explained, but weren’t. The most interesting part became the political aspects of the story, and how all these relationships, betrothals and love triangles affected the balance of power among the various countries, which the ending only multiplied.
The ending is The Betrothed's saving grace (the fact that I like the ending probably says more about me than it does the book 😈). In an attempt to keep this spoiler free, I will simply say that the book ends on a tragedy. But in terms of character development, it's the best thing that could've happened 👏👏👏👏👏. Our main character has now gone through a tragedy, she now has a defining moment that is unique to her, one that should shape her for years to come (SHOULD). Equally as important, Hollis no has motivation and purpose going into the next book.