Like every other time in the Selection series, the ending comes amid a whirlwind of luxury, tension, and raging emotions. The Crown is full of pageantry and adventure, misunderstandings and misguided good intentions.
Kiera Cass remains, as always, a fabulous writer. She does a very good job of getting inside each character’s mind and revealing their individual personalities, as well as thoroughly creating a world so different from yet relatable to our own. It’s a shame, then, that I simply do not like Eadlyn’s character. Besides being spoiled and self-centered, which I could easily forgive in a princess, she is shallow and way too accepting of whatever anyone tells her. Deceiving her is incredibly easy, and watching it happen does not make the reader sympathetic. Instead I quickly became fed up with her constantly ill-informed and barely thought through choices.
Sadly, the romance in The Crown fell short of the standard I had come to expect from Cass. True, she kept me guessing throughout the book until the sudden and complete revelation, but the development and choice were both disappointing to me. There was very little foreshadowing, which I suppose some readers probably prefer, but I found unrealistic and forced. Eadlyn had much more chemistry with at least one other suitor (yes, the one I was rooting for), and the choice she made was so far out of left field that it surpassed having shock value to become virtually unbelievable.
I know that Eadlyn truly does try to do the right thing. She cares about her family, and wants to do what she can to help them and take care of them when they need her. I just don’t think she goes about it in the best way. She is not ready to rule when she takes the throne, regardless of what her father says.As a political science student, I am dissatisfied with Eadlyn’s attitude towards her work and Kiera’s minimal inclusion of actual work for Eadlyn to do when she frequently complains about being so busy with running the country. At one point Eadlyn tells a suitor “You are the only one who has asked me how I am” when literally everyone seems to want to know her opinion on everything and what she is doing and how she is handling each situation. Yes, this boy is the first to put it in exactly those words, but at that point it hadn’t been long at all since a specific plot twist, and anyone who saw her at that point probably would have asked. Yes, she has to “be strong” for her younger brothers and take on more responsibility in order to help her father, but she comes dangerously close to crumbling beneath the slightest increase in pressure. I’m not saying that what she has to do is not hard, but I am saying that the story would be much more enjoyable if she could do it without so much complaining and with a little more deep thought.
As a whole, The Crown was less enjoyable than most of the previous Selection novels, but not a huge surprise after The Heir. It is simply difficult for me to agree with Eadlyn’s choices or appreciate her personality. It is a well-written book, but the difficult protagonist makes it uncomfortable to read. It is with a sad heart that I give The Crown two out of five stars; out of loyalty to Kiera Cass I want very much to give it at least one more, because I have enjoyed the series and her writing style is wonderful. However, I honestly did not like the majority of this book, and I cannot honestly give it anything higher.