Read a full The Heir summary, book #4 in Kiera Cass’s Selection series. This page is full of spoilers, so beware. If you are wondering what happened in The Heir, then you are in the right place!
4.1 stars on Amazon
4.1 stars on Goodreads
Add The Heir on Goodreads.
Special thanks to Mudita for providing this The Heir summary! Check her out on Goodreads.
***** Everything below is a SPOILER *****
What happened in The Heir?
The story opens with 18-year-old Eadlyn, born moments before her twin brother Ahren, discussing the unusual circumstances of her birth. Despite the historical norm of her brother inheriting the throne, her parents, King Maxon Schreave and Queen America Schreave, altered the law. This allowed Eadlyn to potentially become Illéa’s first female ruler. This responsibility both overwhelms her and empowers her. King Maxon and Queen America have additional children: Kaden, aged 14, and Osten, aged 10.
Although her father has eradicated the castes, unrest brews due to discrimination after the caste system’s abolition. To divert public attention while they search for a solution, Eadlyn’s parents suggest she hold her own Selection, mirroring the past. Eadlyn resists feeling unprepared for marriage and unwilling to marry a stranger. Eventually, she reluctantly agrees to a three-month Selection to appease the nation and her parents, who accept her decision not to choose anyone if she so desires.
After a random selection, 35 men, including Kile Woodwork, son of Carter and Marlee Woodwork, are chosen. Despite Kile’s vehement objection that he never applied, his public announcement compels him to participate, much to his and Eadlyn’s mutual resentment. Despite growing up together in the palace, the two have a strained relationship.
During the initial interview with the Selected Suitors, a few catch Eadlyn’s attention: the polite Hale Garner, the overcondent Ean Cabel, and the perpetually cheerful Henri Jaakoppi from Swendway, who speaks limited English and relies on his translator, Erik. To make a favorable impression on the country, Eadlyn arranges a city parade where people can admire her and the Selected Men. Unfortunately, the parade turns chaotic when some in the crowd hurl food at her, expressing their discontent and demanding employment. Confronted with this hostility, Eadlyn realizes a portion of the population holds animosity towards her. Her brother Ahren suggests she appear more approachable and less stern, particularly in the Selection’s publicity photos.
To generate public interest, Eadlyn takes a bold step by publicly eliminating 11 of the Suitors, a substantial reduction. Regrettably, this action prompts criticism from the media, portraying her as a conceited and stern princess disinterested in her own Selection. Deciding to inject some romance into the public narrative, even though she isn’t genuinely interested in these men, Eadlyn approaches Kile, the only Selected Man she knows, and asks him to kiss her while a hidden photographer captures the moment. The unexpected intensity of the kiss leaves her unsettled, as she didn’t anticipate enjoying it so much.
Subsequently, Eadlyn goes on a date with Hale. Their conversation touches on his life and family, but when he inquires about her passion for fashion sketches, she hesitates to open up, ultimately leaving the date early. Another date follows this time with Baden Trains, during which they bond over playing music together. Eadlyn asks Kile once more for a staged kiss, emphasizing that she doesn’t hold genuine feelings for him and won’t choose him.
Later, she goes on a movie date with Jack Ranger. However, his inappropriate advances make her uncomfortable, and she responds by removing him from the Selection due to his behavior.
During a horse riding outing with Ean, he astutely perceives that Eadlyn isn’t genuinely invested in the Selection process. In response, he offers a proposition: if she doesn’t have a suitable partner among the Selected Men, she can choose him. He suggests a unique arrangement where he’d be content as her prince consort, allowing her to rule freely without the constraint of romantic love, which he considers to be overrated.
Subsequently, Eadlyn engages in a cooking session in the palace kitchen alongside Kile, Burke Renn, Fox Wesley, Henri, and Erik. Trouble brews when Burke becomes furious over Henri’s exceptional dessert-making skills, contrasting with Burke’s mediocre appetizers prepared with Fox. The situation escalates into a brawl, during which Burke punches Fox and inadvertently knocks Eadlyn to the floor. Kile and Henri intervene to restrain Burke. Erik, who reveals his name to be Eikko, takes Eadlyn out of the chaotic scene and to her room. In this vulnerable moment, Eadlyn appreciates Erik’s compassionate nature as they bond, and she realizes his inherent kindness as their hands touch.
Burke is dismissed and sent home due to his aggressive behavior. After conversing with Fox and discovering his difficult background, Eadlyn decides to spare him from blame for the fight and allows him to remain in the Selection.
Subsequently, Eadlyn engages in another intimate moment with Kile, during which they discuss the Selection itself. She recognizes her comfort in sharing her thoughts with him and acknowledges her contentment that he was chosen.
Eadlyn became aware of uprisings in the poorer provinces aimed at ending the monarchy. These areas didn’t benefit from the caste dissolution and believed that the King was indifferent to their plight.
Later that night, Eadlyn encounters Henri cooking in the kitchen. They collaborate on a meal and share a hesitant yet romantic kiss. Despite her lingering fear of falling in love, Eadlyn acknowledges her genuine fondness for some of the men involved in the Selection process.
Baden informs Eadlyn of his desire to exit the Selection, expressing his feeling of being neglected by her. He’s also upset that she didn’t respond earlier to his invitation for a date. He accuses her of being overbearing and self-centered. His words deeply wound her, leading her to retreat to her room where she cries, recognizing that this perception of her might be widespread.
In her vulnerable state, Erik appears and provides solace. He mentions that Henri assumed her distress was due to their kiss, but Eadlyn clarifies that Henri is one of the kindest individuals she’s encountered. Erik reveals that Henri holds her in high regard and wishes to become her husband, but he acknowledges the language barrier as a potential impediment to any developing feelings. He offers his friendship, a gesture Eadlyn warmly accepts.
Eadlyn condes in Kile, who offers her comfort. Both admit their newfound willingness to engage in the Selection, even though Eadlyn remains apprehensive about opening up to the contestants. Kile, studying architecture, unveils a design concept to build small houses for industrial workers in the poorer provinces, showcasing his altruism and creative ideas.
Eadlyn extends an invitation to the palace for Camille, the French princess and heir to the throne, who is in a romantic relationship with Eadlyn’s brother, Ahren. Their deep and enduring love leaves Eadlyn feeling uneasy and slightly envious, as she has yet to experience such intense emotions. The fact that Camille holds an equal position in Ahren’s life adds to her discomfort, and Eadlyn can’t help but wish for the same kind of love. What’s more, Camille effortlessly embodies qualities like kindness and cheerfulness that Eadlyn aspires to possess.
During a party honoring Camille, Eadlyn encounters Erik, who looks dashing in his formal attire. She confides in him about her feelings regarding Camille, and he offers reassurance. Erik encourages her not to attempt to imitate the French princess, emphasizing that being herself is more than enough. He takes her hand and gently strokes it, admitting that he didn’t enter the Selection because he doesn’t consider himself important. Eadlyn counters by arming his value as “Eikko,” reminding him that being true to oneself holds significance too.
Later, Eadlyn joyfully dances with Henri, though she notices that Erik watches them with a wistful smile.
Eadlyn, believing that Camille might not be the right match for Ahren, advises him to end their relationship, causing him sadness. During the following night’s dinner, Gavril Fadaye announces a surprising revelation to Maxon, America, and Eadlyn: Ahren and Camille have eloped, getting married in secret in France after receiving official approval from Queen Daphne. Overwhelmed by the news, Eadlyn retreats to her room, where she discovers a letter from Ahren.
In his letter, Ahren implores his family’s forgiveness and explains his decision to marry Camille. He admits that Eadlyn’s suggestion to leave Camille had a profound impact on him. He realizes that Eadlyn’s disapproval of Camille stems from her fear of losing Ahren’s presence in her life. Ahren acknowledges that Eadlyn had placed numerous demands on him, perhaps even pressuring him to ascend the throne for her sake. Despite his deep affection for his sister, he ultimately chooses his soul mate.
Ahren points out that while Camille embraces her role with openness and humility, Eadlyn maintains a distance from her subjects and wields her power as a weapon. This approach has led to unrest in the provinces, with many opposing her potential rule and contributing to the ongoing riots. Ahren advises Eadlyn to connect with her people, embody both courage and femininity and, most importantly, seek love in her life.
How did The Heir end?
Eadlyn experiences a mix of anger and hurt in response to Ahren’s departure and his words. Seeking solace, she heads to her parents’ room to share the contents of the letter with them. However, she discovers a collection of photographs that chronicle their journey from Selection to marriage to parenthood. Witnessing the deep love her parents have for each other, Eadlyn begins to comprehend why Ahren prioritized his relationship with Camille.
Suddenly, she receives shocking news that her mother has suffered a heart attack upon learning of Ahren’s elopement. Rushing to the hospital wing, Eadlyn nds her father in tears, with General Leger offering support. The room becomes a gathering place for Marlee, Kaden, May, and even the Selected Men, who come to pray for America’s recovery. Faced with the prospect of losing her mother and surrounded by the bonds that tie these individuals together, Eadlyn grasps the significance of love in her life.
In a pivotal moment, Eadlyn acknowledges the importance of finding someone who genuinely loves her. She resolves to seek such a connection within the Selection process, declaring her determination to have “a ring on her finger” by the conclusion of the Selection.
There you go! That’s what happened in The Heir. We hope you enjoyed this The Heir summary with spoilers.
Ready to read or reread The Selection Series? Click to buy and help us pay for hosting! (affiliate links)
Oh, and share this with your friends who might like to read a recap of The Heir.