eARC Review: The Betrothed

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Title: The Betrothed (The Betrothed # 1)
Author: Kiera Cass
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Expected publication: May 5th 2020 by HarperCollins Children's Books


When King Jameson declares his love for Lady Hollis Brite, Hollis is shocked—and thrilled. After all, she’s grown up at Keresken Castle, vying for the king’s attention alongside other daughters of the nobility. Capturing his heart is a dream come true.

But Hollis soon realizes that falling in love with a king and being crowned queen may not be the happily ever after she thought it would be. And when she meets a commoner with the mysterious power to see right into her heart, she finds that the future she really wants is one that she never thought to imagine.

Source: Goodreads

eARC received from Harper Teen via Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review

"The most valuable thing you can own is the assurance of your place in someone's heart."
The Betrothed is the latest book of Kiera Cass after several years. I have only read The Selection and The Elite from her Selection series but I do have the other books on my TBR. Even though I have only read 2 of her books, I do love them. The world and the characters are fantastic! So knowing Kiera Cass released a new book, I'm one of the readers who are eager to see the cover and synopsis. The cover, as usual, is shimmering gold! I am absolutely in love with it and it is intriguing.

Some readers would say that it is identical to The Selection, but once you get into this book, you will see a noticeable difference and how Kiera Cass changed the course of each of its characters. This follows Hollis Brite whose undeniable beauty captured the eyes of King Jameson, a young King. One thing to say about this is Kiera Cass's world-building. It is set in a fictional world with divided countries. Jameson is the crowned King of Coroa and every King needs a Queen. Coroan ladies seek his love to be the next Queen. Most importantly, there is no televised competition here, unlike The Selection. 

"If you wish to stand next to the fire, by all means. You're the one who'll be burned." 
King Jameson and Hollis's love can be your perfect happy ending story. But there's more to it. The Betrothed deepened the conflicts of love and being a part of royalty. It is mesmerizing to see the interiors of Coroa and its tradition. Kiera Cass already made me feel welcomed inside, to be honest. Hollis slowly unravels what's beneath a jeweled crown. A lady is forced to be controlled by a King. Beyond the perfect dress and parties is where Hollis felt a false love.

This is where Silas enters, a man from Isolte. Hollis's first encounter with Silas felt like she was bound to a spell. I love Silas's devotion and protectiveness to his family. I don't typically fall for the soft-hearted character, but Silas is an exception. Jameson and Silas have a different ideology of love. Silas's love is all about devotion and loyalty while Jameson's love is aggressive, controlling, with a bit of obsession. I'm not sure if I can consider it as a love triangle since Hollis, on the course of events, falls truly in love with Silas. I do love seeing these two men approach to love in their own ways.

I have to say the plot is quite predictable here. As I learn the character's personality, I was able to see their next move. But it did not hinder my enjoyment of reading it. Because reaching the climax is the very one thing that I did not foresee in this book and I did not expect that Kiera Cass can flip the tables so hard.

"If you were standing where I am, you would understand. It's terrifying to discover that freedom is not what you thought. That love is not what you thought." 
As Hollis realizes the true picture and sacrifices of becoming a Queen,  Hollis's determination to change her fate is one of the highlights of The Betrothed. Entering the royalty can be hard but leaving it is a series of tenfold obstacles. The Betrothed is surprisingly a kind of book you should read if you want to see the curtains behind every royalty. Kiera Cass's characters are cunning and brave and reaching the end craves me for more events. The Betrothed is your one-stop to a romantic and deceitful royal love story. The love between Hollis, Silas and Jameson is a delight! It's fast-paced and the characters evolved gracefully!