3 Stars. This is definitely NOT a spoiler-free review so you have been warned!
First and foremost, Eadlyn had such a personality change from The Heir to The Crown that it gave me whiplash. This spoiled, selfish, brat of a girl all of a sudden becomes a kind of decent person, and while I always appreciate some character development, that was a little too much of a change to happen all of a sudden. The Heir leaves off with her still having such an attitude, although she did change a little bit in the process of book four, but when I picked up The Crown, the first thing I noticed was that she was actually kind of decent? Why? What changed that suddenly made her so willing to be nice and generous and care about her country above all else? That left me frustrated during the beginning, but gradually throughout the book I started ignoring it and focusing on the plot which, trust me, had its fair share of plot holes but we'll get into that later.
My main point of reading this book was for the boys, and let me tell you why. While we really don't get to experience much of them because 90% of the story is Eadlyn's internal monologue on what she's possibly going to do to maintain her position of princess without the people rioting (something that she constantly worries about but we never actually see in the book). They all had such potential to be unique and beautiful characters that I wanted to learn more. It's fair to note this first:
Hale is so sweet and kind and he develops so much throughout the book that I would gladly read a spinoff about him and the other remaining Selection candidates. Honestly, he does the bravest thing in the book when he shows Eadlyn his dedication to her but expresses his true feelings, and for me that was great.
Here's where the nonstop spoilers come in.
My overall feelings towards the book are basically summed up as cute, but will never read again. The Selection series was overall an average set of books that honestly should've stopped at book three, but that's fine. I didn't mind this book too much, the fourth I could've completely done without. Am I attached to Eadlyn? Absolutely not. I want to know more about the boys, though, but if anything else does come out attached to this series, I doubt I'll ever read it.