Warning! There will be spoilers
She has gotten everything handed to her from her birth: comfort, luxurious clothes and jewelry, beautifully prepared food and more wealth than any of us could wish for. The only thing that her parents have not let her have is finding her own path to love. And while she has been having fun with the Selected boys and is considering some of them to be her future husband, she is not happy.
Now America has fallen sick and almost died, her twin has abandoned her and she has the son of the competitor to the crown trying to get her to back out of her reign. Madrid, pretending as an old family friend to try and help Eadlyn in her decisions as regent only has his eye on one thing: her title. Maybe his exposure has come as a surprise to some people but I was always a bit wary of his appearance, especially when the rumors of him being in love with her began popping up in the newspapers and magazines.
Despite the fact that America has managed to recover from her heart attack, we can see that this takes a big toll on Eadlyn and she begins to take a lot of things less for granted. She really tries to make an effort with the Selection, but as time goes on we can see that her heart lies only with one person: Erik, or Eikko.
The struggle between doing what she wants most in the world and what is expected of her becomes an everyday burden for her.
I have to say, I am absolutely thrilled about Eadlyn being crowned queen. It was so selfless and sweet of her to offer taking up the crown to her father so that he may have a happy life with America while she got better. I cried tears of happiness as she took up the vows. Eadlyn has definitely turned into a strong, powerful but also compassionate young woman whom we had hoped to see in the first book.
This is where I have to call out a bit to the people who were bitching to an almost extreme level about Eadlyn’s behavior. No, I didn’t like it any more than most people did. However, I also prefer to read about characters who aren’t perfect, who have flaws and still need to learn something. That’s what books are for, anyway: to learn and grow with the characters, and Eadlyn is no exception to that. Seeing her take up her role with a grace and beauty that only a selfless and kind-hearted person could manage was so rewarding for me as a reader and it made me feel so proud of her.
I was also extremely surprised to learn about Lady Brice’s place in the royal family and it felt really nice to learn that small detail about King Clarkson that we had not seen in the original Selection books and adds another layer that we have now uncovered.
More surprising however was the reveal of Ean and Hale’s relationship. As a complete LGBT supporter it felt really nice to see that love between them and see how Eadlyn was gracious and accepting of that. She sets a great example that a lot of people should follow and I hope it shames and slams some homophobic readers. What brings me even more joy is knowing the Kiera is a Christian woman herself (like me) and that you can be a Christian and be accepting of the LGBT community.
I also thought that turning Illea into a constitutional monarchy felt like the perfect balance to the caste problem that the series has been battling with since the beginning (although I do have to admit that I had to Google what that meant) and felt like an elegant solution and a mature decision on Eadlyn’s part.
Overall, it was an amazing conclusion to the entire Selection series. It was bittersweet and heartbreaking (especially the part with Kile getting his dream) and I am pleased with Eadlyn’s decision and would hope for maybe one of two novellas (I am personally addressing you, Kiera *nudge nudge*) to give us a few details about Eadlyn and Eikko’s wedding and life as a married couple. The only thing that made me a bit sad was the fact that Lucy and Aspen still didn’t get any luck with having any children of their own but it was sweet to see that they were accepting of it in the end, since they had a big extended family.