Gr 7 Up—In this sequel to The Betrothed, Hollis has fled the kingdom of Coroa after an attack that killed her husband. She flees with members of his family to Isolte. Among the family is her late husband's cousin Etan Eastoffe, who believes Hollis married his cousin to gain status. She, in turn, sees him as arrogant and condescending; they are always at odds. When the family finds their power to the throne is in jeopardy, they must work together to ensure the safety of both Coroa and Isolte, and Etan and Hollis must find a way to cast their differences aside. Though the plot is predictable, the characters are more developed than in the first book and readers will find that Etan and Hollis are charming and can reconcile their differences when needed. Action is slow but picks up at the end, leaving readers content. Characters are fair-skinned. VERDICT A satisfying sequel for fans of the first book.—Karen Alexander, Lake Fenton H.S., Linden, MI
Lady Hollis flees her country after her new husband is killed.
In The Betrothed (2020), Hollis fell in love with Silas, the son of an Isolten family who sought asylum from their cruel king, and chose him over her intended match, King Jameson. Since Silas, his father, his brothers, and her parents have been killed, she decides to travel to Isolte with her mother-in-law and sister-in-law. Formerly primarily interested in dresses, dancing, and romance, Hollis now proves her mettle. Etan, Silas’ cousin, arrives to escort the family, and he clashes with Hollis from the moment they meet. The society they live in, modeled after medieval Europe, with castles, tournaments, kings, queens, and nobles, generally follows traditional gender roles, but Hollis sometimes breaks through the accepted boundaries. When Etan wants to lead a revolt against his own King Quinten, who is just one of the novel’s major betrayers, Hollis uses her wits to get the evidence needed to convince others that he is guilty of crimes against his own people. She bravely returns to Coroa to confront King Jameson when she finds out that he, too, has carried out unspeakable crimes. Hollis and Etan’s verbal wars are fun, predictably leading to love, but the political intrigue sometimes drags the novel down. Characters default to White.
Fans of the previous entry will enjoy following the story of a young woman who changes the fates of two countries. (Historical romance. 13-16)
PRAISE FOR THE BETROTHED: "Fans of The Selection series will anxiously await the second installment of this duology to learn Hollis’s fate." — School Library Journal
"A headstrong heroine whom Cass’s loyal following will champion." — Publishers Weekly
PRAISE FOR KIERA CASS: “A real page-turner. Romance, royalty, and revolution in a reality-show format serve Cass’ boldly rendered heroine well in her quest for justice and love.” — ALA Booklist
“America has the right mix of sass and heart, and her over-the-top royal treatment is enough to make any reader who has ever played dress-up envious. Cass wisely keeps readers on the edge of their seats to find out who Maxon will finally choose as his bride.” — Publishers Weekly
“An engrossing tale reminiscent of Shannon Hale’s Princess Academy and Ally Condie’s Matched. Fairy-tale lovers will lose themselves in America’s alternate reality and wish that the next glamorous sequel were waiting for them.” — School Library Journal
“Deliciously entertaining.” — Publishers Weekly
“Cass’s immensely readable debut novel is a less drastic Hunger Games, with elaborate fashion and trappings. The fast-paced action will have readers gasping for the upcoming sequel.” — ALA Booklist
“A cross between The Hunger Games (minus the bloodsport) and The Bachelor (minus the bloodsport), this trilogy launch is a lot of fun. Cass deftly builds the chemistry between America and Maxon, while stoking the embers of America’s first, forbidden love.” — Publishers Weekly