Book Review – The Queen

The Queen (The Selection, #0.4)The Queen by Kiera Cass
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

“It’s more than that. You’d take a bullet for him if you had to.” I didn’t answer. “You would! Oh, my goodness!” I stood. “I’m going to grab some of those dresses. I’ll be right back.” I tried not to be afraid of the thoughts in my head. Because if it was a choice between him or me, I didn’t think I’d be able not to put him first. He was the prince, and his life was invaluable to the country. But more than that, it was invaluable to me. I shrugged the thought away. Besides, it wasn’t as if it would ever happen.”

 

Well, then.

Queen Amberly has been one of those characters that I really liked, and figured that once I learned more about her, I’d just adore her more. So, when I saw that one of the novellas was from her perspective, the story of her own route through The Selection, I was stoked! Awesome, I’d get to see more of this kind-hearted, quiet, gentle soul that seems to be the heart of the royal family!

Except…

Yeah, Queen Amberly, I’m pretty disappointed in you.

It does explain a lot, especially about why King Clarkson is such a jerk. Because [SPOILER ALERT] he can be. Because she’s a total pushover without a spine, and that’s the whole point of why she was chosen, because she’d just roll over for him. Because she fell in love with an image on a TV screen when she was a kid and didn’t seem to give a damn about the reality of who the man was, and therefore became the perfect doormat partner for him. Also, it’s not clear that he actually loves her. More like just was looking for this doormat, and *poof* she appeared.

“Not love, maybe not even affection, but something a degree or two beyond basic concern.”

 

I’m so disappointed.

I hoped that there would be a more evolved explanation. Like Clarkson was a really good-hearted guy who got caught in a generational cycle of abuse and she was actually a softening influence or something, anything other than this.

She’s also sickly, which is hinted at in the main books, and that is explained a (very) little bit more here. Not enough to make much sense, but it does explain that she knew about her upcoming fertility woes before she married, and that Clarkson knew of her frailty. Possibly she was also clinically depressed.

“But shouldn’t there be a least? Shouldn’t there be a bare minimum that life should give you? Is it too much to ask for a job you don’t hate, or for someone to truly have and hold? Is it too much to ask for one child? Even one some would call flawed? Couldn’t I at least have that?”

 

It won’t stop me reading the series. She isn’t actually a major character, and I can deal with my disappointment in her. And this isn’t badly written, though it is very brief and abrupt and seems to rush in many places. It’s not nearly as good, writing-wise, as the full-length books in the series. I kind of wish I hadn’t read it.

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