Read a full The One summary, book #3 in Kiera Cass’s Selection series. This page is full of spoilers, so beware. If you are wondering what happened in The One, then you are in the right place!
Special thanks to Mudita for providing this The One summary! Check her out on Goodreads.
***** Everything below is a SPOILER *****
What happened in The One?
The story starts with a quick and peaceful rebel attack. Upon returning to her room, America discovers a letter from her sister May, sharing the news of their niece Astra’s birth, who is the daughter of Kenna and James.
During King Maxon’s absence on a business trip to France, two leaders from the Northern rebels, a man named August Illéa and his ancée Georgia Whitaker, arrive at the palace. America recognizes Georgia as the girl who spotted her during a previous rebel attack. August, being a direct descendant of Illéa’s founder, Gregory Illéa, has no interest in the crown. Instead, he and the Northern rebels support the monarchy, particularly Maxon, and advocate for nominated officials and an end to the castes. On the other hand, the Southern rebels aim to eliminate the royal family, seize control of Illéa, and leave the lower castes unchanged despite making promises of improving their lives.
When Maxon inquires about their intentions, August clarifies that they don’t seek money but rather want him to select America as his wife due to her courageous actions, which they deeply admire. However, Maxon refuses to be coerced into making this choice. While America supports the rebels’ objectives, she is upset that they view her as a mere pawn in their plans. In The Report, the King publicly announces that the rebels are now targeting people based on their caste, starting with the Twos and descending down to the Fives, including the four Elites’ castes. In response, America urges the people of Illéa to resist and fight back against the rebels.
During a date with Maxon, he takes her to the palace roof, where they both get drenched in the rain. They open up to each other, sharing secrets and forming a deep connection. Dancing in the rain, they share a passionate kiss. America comes to realize that she genuinely loves Maxon but chooses not to admit it to him at that moment. One morning, America discovers Celeste in the library, crying in solitude due to America’s sudden rise in popularity after The Report. Celeste confesses her jealousy and fear for her own future, as her modeling career will eventually end with age. She admits that she values the crown’s fame more than Maxon’s love. Apologizing for her past actions during the Selection, Celeste and America gradually develop a friendlier relationship with each other.
America seeks Aspen’s assistance to arrange a meeting between her, Maxon, and August. Disguised as Sixes, they are accompanied by Aspen and Ocer Avery to August and Georgia’s residence. August shares alarming news of three hundred Twos killed by the Southerners across the country. He requests Maxon to provide weapons for the Northern rebels to fight back, a decision that Maxon must carefully contemplate. After leaving the meeting, their group is attacked by Southern rebels armed with guns. Fortunately, they all manage to escape and return to the palace, but America sustains a non-fatal gunshot wound to her right arm. Anne and Marlee help clean and stitch up her wound to aid in her recovery.
During the tea party planning, America discloses her strategy to Maxon, inviting the Italian princess Nicoletta and Georgia as her guests. Once they all meet, Georgia takes the opportunity to explain the
Northern rebels’ objectives to Nicoletta and asks for funding to procure weapons to fight the Southerners. After careful consideration, Nicoletta agrees to support their cause, seeing potential benefits in aligning her country with the future of Illéa as a possible ally.
Maxon gives as a present to America a set of earrings and a matching bracelet. It’s tradition for the prince to present the Elite with jewelry that they wear in the Convicting. In this event, the Elite must publicly and in front of the royal family condemn some criminals to jail instead of whipping. The other Elite send the criminals to jail for some years, but when America faces a thief who is punished to jail for life for only stealing some clothes for his children, she is unable to do this. She realizes that this was the King’s plan to make her appear either disobedient or merciless to the public. As an only solution, she offers her earrings, her bracelet, and her father’s necklace to the man to pay off his debt to the king, thus releasing him from jail.
King Clarkson angrily forces Maxon to kick America out of the Selection, but Maxon insists that she is now too popular to leave. The King calls America and Maxon some days later to his office and informs them that the Italian royal family has invited the King’s family to Italy, also asking for America to accompany them. He asks her how she became so friendly with them and managed to make the two countries almost allies, something that Illéa hasn’t managed for decades. Realizing that America is too valuable and popular, the King decides that she can stay.
Despite King Clarkson’s anger and pressure to remove America from the Selection, Maxon firmly stands by her side, emphasizing that she has become too popular to be dismissed. A few days later, the King summons America and Maxon to his office to share significant news. He reveals that the Italian royal family has invited the King’s family to visit Italy and specifically requests America’s presence as well. Intrigued by her ability to foster friendship between the two countries, the King asks America how she managed to achieve this rare alliance, something Illéa has struggled with for decades.
Recognizing America’s immense value and popularity, the King eventually decides to let her stay, understanding the potential benefits of her continued involvement in the Selection and her diplomatic efforts with Italy. On Christmas Day, Maxon gives America a tour of his room, and she is astonished by his photo collection, with hundreds of pictures of her displayed on the wall. Maxon takes the opportunity to inquire once again about her feelings for him, and in a moment of intensity, he kisses her passionately, hoping to encourage her to confess her love. However, before this moment can fully unfold, a guard arrives and delivers the devastating news of America’s father’s passing. He had suffered a heart attack, leaving her in a state of profound grief and shock.
Upon returning to her home in Carolina for the funeral, America’s mother asks May and Gerad to leave the room, requesting Kenna, Kota, and America to stay. She then presents each of them with a letter from their late father, written before his passing. America’s letter contains heartfelt words of love and reveals a surprising revelation. During his visit to the palace on Halloween, he had come across Gregory Illéa’s diaries in her room and had shared this discovery with others, acting in her best interest. He advises her to “look unto the North Star.”
As America ponders over these words, she recalls the resemblance of her father’s signature to the North Star, as well as memories of the stars on Georgia’s jacket and other instances. From these clues, she realizes that her father was involved with the Northern rebels. This revelation brings a new understanding of her father’s actions and motivations, deepening the significance of her connection to the Northern cause.
Upon America’s return to the palace, she discovers that all the Selected girls are gathered to celebrate Maxon’s impending engagement to one of the last two remaining Elites: Kriss and herself. Maxon has decided to conclude the Selection and will announce his chosen partner the following morning. During the gathering, America notices that the necklace Kriss wears bears the emblem of the North Star, indicating that she is also a member of the Northern rebels. Confronting Kriss about her allegiance, America learns that Kriss initially entered the Selection as a rebel, but her feelings evolved over time. She admits that witnessing America and Maxon’s argument after Marlee’s caning presented an opportunity for her to get closer to Maxon, leading her to fall in love with him. This revelation adds complexity to the situation, further intensifying the emotions and uncertainties surrounding the engagement announcement.
After leaving the party and retreating to her room, America is later joined by Maxon. He shares the joyous news that he has decided to choose her as his wife and future queen. Both of them openly express their love for each other, nally acknowledging the depth of their feelings. The moment is filled with happiness and excitement as they embrace their future together. They spend time sharing their dreams, aspirations, and the beautiful journey that lies ahead. The connection between them grows stronger, and they bask in the warmth of their affectionate bond.
The situation becomes tense the next morning as Maxon playfully tickles America, leading to an embarrassing moment when Aspen unexpectedly enters her room and witnesses the interaction. Feeling ashamed, America later talks to Aspen, trying to explain the situation while placing her hands on his chest. Unfortunately, Maxon reappears at that moment with Kriss, catching them in an awkward position. Upon seeing this, Maxon realizes that Aspen was the man America had in mind all along. Heartbroken and hurt, he confronts her and concludes that he can no longer marry her after this revelation. Maxon orders Aspen to leave his sight, even threatening to send him to New Asia to face a severe punishment.
America desperately attempts to explain the truth to Maxon, but he refuses to listen and leaves with Kriss, leaving America devastated and in a state of turmoil. The situation becomes emotionally charged, and the future of their relationship hangs in uncertainty. The engagement ceremony takes a tragic turn as chaos erupts, with Southern rebels disguised as guards unleashing a deadly attack. The shooting claims the lives of several individuals, including Celeste and Anne, leaving everyone in shock and horror. America finds herself targeted, but Maxon valiantly intervenes, taking a bullet below his left shoulder to shield her from harm.
In his vulnerable state, Maxon shares his heartfelt love for America, expressing regret for almost not choosing her. He declares that his heart belongs to her, even in his final moments, urging her to break it if she wishes. With his last strength, he instructs Aspen to prioritize America’s safety over his own, entrusting her protection to him. Aspen complies, leading America to a secure room with the intention of returning to save the Prince. The situation becomes dire as the fate of Maxon hangs in uncertainty. The intensity of the
moment leaves America overwhelmed with emotions as she desperately hopes for a way to save the man she loves and grapples with the gravity of the events unfolding around her.
How did The One end? – The One Summary
The tension remains high as America tries to escape the safe room with the gun she found, attempting to shoot through the door without success. In her desperation, she makes a promise to herself that if Maxon survives, she will let him call her “my dear.” Thankfully, help arrives when August and Gavril, both revealed to be Northern rebels, come to rescue her. The Northerners successfully fought back the Southerners using the weapons provided by Nicoletta and America. August and Gavril take America to the hospital, where she is finally reunited with Aspen, who is seriously injured but alive. Aspen informs her that Maxon is also alive and has now become king after both his parents were killed by the rebels.
In a heartfelt conversation, Aspen confesses that he still cares deeply for America but is no longer in love with her. At that moment, Lucy enters, and the two share a passionate kiss. America nally understands and approves of their relationship, recognizing that they are meant for each other. As the events unfold, emotions run high, and the impact of the day’s events leaves America reevaluating her feelings and relationships while also holding onto hope for Maxon’s survival and the future of Illéa under his rule.
In the aftermath of the turmoil, America visits Maxon in his room, where he is recovering from his wound. He reveals his decision to dissolve the castes, starting with the Eights merging with the Sevens and proceeding from there. With this important revelation, Maxon presents America with a stunning engagement ring, formally asking her to marry him. Filled with joy and love, she happily accepts his proposal.
In the epilogue, America prepares for her wedding with Maxon, with Marlee as her only bridesmaid. Marlee and her husband Carter are named the first casteless citizens and become attendants to the royal couple. The wedding also doubles as the coronation ceremony, where Maxon and America will be crowned as the new King and Queen of Illéa. Aspen, who will soon marry Lucy, plays a significant role in the wedding. He walks America down the aisle, showing respect and friendship to Maxon. The two men have come to terms with their feelings and established a strong bond of mutual respect.
During the wedding ceremony, Maxon affectionately calls America “my dear,” and they exchange heartfelt wedding vows. With smiles on their faces, they embark on this new chapter of their lives as they unite to lead Illéa together. With the promise of a new era full of love and hope, America and Maxon stand together, ready to face the challenges and responsibilities that come with ruling the kingdom as a united and devoted couple.
In the bonus epilogue, two years have passed since Maxon and America’s wedding. To celebrate Maxon’s birthday, America organizes a joyful party. During the gathering, they catch up with their friends. Marlee and Carter have a one-year-old son named Kile, adding more happiness to their lives. May has successfully adjusted to royal life and has become a beloved figure in the media.
As the party continues, Maxon and Aspen nd a moment to chat about married life. Maxon admits that he and America still have occasional disagreements, though they have become much less frequent. Understanding Aspen’s feelings of being overwhelmed as a newlywed, Maxon suggests that he and Lucy should have their own home outside of the palace, a thoughtful gift from the royal couple to support them in their married life.
Later, America shares a private moment with Maxon, presenting him with his birthday gift. With tears of happiness, she reveals to him that she is expecting their baby. Overwhelmed with joy, they both shed happy tears and rush inside the palace to continue celebrating and savoring the news of their upcoming parenthood.
The epilogue paints a picture of a joyous and harmonious life for Maxon and America, surrounded by loved ones and eagerly anticipating the arrival of their new family member. It’s a perfect ending to their love story, with the promise of a bright future ahead.
There you go! That’s what happened in The One. We hope you enjoyed this The One summary with spoilers.
Special thanks to Mudita for providing this The One summary! Check her out on Goodreads.
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