Title: The Selection Stories: The Prince & The Guard
Author: Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection Novellas
Genre: Teen Dystopian (sort of)
Rating: 4/5 stars
The Overview: The Prince and The Guard both offer captivating views into the hearts and minds of the two men fighting to win America Singer’s love. Before America arrived at the palace to compete in the Selection, there was another girl in Prince Maxon’s life. The Prince opens the week before the Selection begins and follows Maxon through the first day of the competition. Raised as a Six, Aspen Leger never dreamed that he would find himself living in the palace as a member of the royal guard. In The Guard, readers get an inside look at Aspen’s life within the palace walls—and the truth about a guard’s world that America will never know.
Reading these novellas was the perfect way to amp myself up for The One – the conclusion to the The Selection trilogy. These short stories show a bit of behind the scenes action surrounding the two love interests within the trilogy. The Prince is from Maxom’s perspective that takes place within the timeline of The Selection (book 1), while The Guard is from Aspen’s perspective and takes place alongside The Elite (book 2). As it had been over a year since I read books 1&2, these novellas were the perfect way to refresh my memory before diving into the conclusion.
My favorite story was The Prince. Reading from Maxom’s POV was totally delightful, and I would especially love it if an entire book was written from his perspective. It was neat getting an inside look to the selection process and experiencing some of the mixed emotions Maxom felt while entering into it. I always liked him, but this novella made me love him even more. While The Prince is not essential to the main story, I still recommend it highly, as I think most Selection fans will enjoy it.
The Guard was an interesting story, but it wasn’t anything profound. You see, in my mind, Maxom is so right for America that I haven’t ever entertained Aspen as a real possibility. I often find scenes America shares with him frustrating, and just don’t agree with many of his decisions. That said, however, it was great to read about his interactions with the other people of the castle and to see what a positive influence he had on all of them – specifically America’s maids. While I recommend The Prince for purely entertainment purposes, I recommend The Guard for certain plot points that will help make The One (the final book) more enjoyable.
What’s next? I am going to hole myself up in a room for a day and completely devour The One. I want to savor it, because it’s the trilogy ending I’ve been most anticipating for the past year, but I know it’s not going to take me much longer than that to read. If you’re like me and are sad to see this series come to an end, keep hope, as Cass is releasing the novella, The Queen (detailing Queen Amberly’s own selection journey) which will be released in early December. I, for one, am stoked to get my hands on that, even though it’s just another novella. Heck, I love the concept behind the story so much I’d be willing to read books about all of the selections within this world – keep them coming Kiera!
If you haven’t read The Selection and want to, now’s your chance – our YA Escape Reality Book Club (which anybody can join, provided they love YA novels), has chosen The Selection for May’s official book, and I can’t wait to talk about it!
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