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Interview: Kiera Cass Lets Her Characters Take the Reins in 'The Betrothed'

'I'm super into the six wives of Henry VIII. I kind of love them.'
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  • The Betrothed
  • 'I'm super into the six wives of Henry VIII. I kind of love them.'

Publisher's Summary

A would-be queen. A handsome young king. A perfect match...or is it?

From the number-one New York Times best-selling author of the Selection series comes The Betrothed, a glittering royal romance sure to captivate her legion of loyal fans and lovers of courtly intrigue alike.

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. 

©2020 Kiera Cass (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers

Editor's Pick

A new series to escape into
Since quarantine began, YA romance has become my ultimate comfort. I’m re-listening to old favorites, and basking in the hope (and drama) of new love stories. Kiera Cass’ The Selection series has always been a fun one to dive back into, and now that I’ve finished re-listening to it for the umpteenth time, I’m so grateful Cass is back with a brand-new series for me to get lost in. The Betrothed follows Lady Hollis Brite, girlfriend to King Jameson, and likely future Queen of Coroan. But the future she can see so clearly is called into question when a young man from a neighboring country shows up at court and (literally) catches Hollis’ eye. Narrator Jasika Nicole is a new voice for me, and I’m eager to listen to how she handles the drama and glamour of court alongside the angst of young love. And, of course, if I’ll wind up on Team Jameson or Team Silas.

What listeners say about The Betrothed

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Sadly Disappointing

Let me preface this by saying, I’ve adored every book I’ve read by Kiera Cass... until this book. The Selection series is one of my all time favorite series! 💕 I also loved The Siren. This book didn’t even seem like it was written by her! Or if it was, it seemed like a rough draft at best. I feel absolutely traitorous writing this, but it’s how I feel. 🤷🏻‍♀️
***SPOILERS***
First off, I’m sorry but I could hardly listen to the narrator. Her voice and the way she read really grated on my nerves. The way she spoke for the main character reminded me of Snow White. 🥴 At first I thought the reason I wasn’t enjoying the book was entirely because of the narrator. It turns out, that wasn’t the case. 😬
Second, I genuinely thought I had missed a preface or a chapter, the way the story launched right in, as if the reader already knew the characters and their entire backstories. Also there wasn’t much description of any of the characters, nor did any of the characters seem to have much depth. 🤷🏻‍♀️
Third, I didn’t really like Hollis. It’s hard to read a book when you don’t really like the main character. 🤦🏻‍♀️ She’s spoiled, self-absorbed, naive, and generally annoying. King Jameson at least had hints of being shady, and I was hoping there would be more on that, but alas, there wasn’t. Silas seemed sweet, but kind of dull and one-dimensional. She barely knew him as they entered into their forbidden “romance.” Hollis seemed to be in love with his family the most. 🤷🏻‍♀️
Probably not last, but most importantly, THERE WAS NO PLOT. Literally no conflict. Not even really a love triangle. I kept hoping Jameson would at least fight for her or SOMETHING. I could sum up the entire story in one sentence: Hollis is unhappy because of her first world problems, and doesn’t understand politics. The end. 🙄
I truly was so excited for this book, and wanted so badly to love it, but I just couldn’t. I’m so disappointed! With that said, I’m still a fan of Kiera Cass, and will continue to read what she writes! 💕Hopefully the next book will be better. Honestly nothing could be worse, so there’s that! 🤣

14 people found this helpful

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Boring

I was expecting a lot from this book, but it turned out to be boring. Honestly the plot made no sense and the characters were so annoying that I wanted to stop listening. In short the book is a waste of time

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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very enjoyable storytelling

if you are looking. for a story to entertain yourself this will do the job.

2 people found this helpful

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Shocking. Shattering. Spectacular.

I knew Cass was going to defy all of my expectations. But I could never have imagined by how much! Once again, a new voice to get used to in Jasika Nicole, but then Hollis is a brand new character who should stand out on her own.

⚖️ Plot: I had no idea what I was getting into. Twist upon twist takes you to a place you never expected to be. So much heartbreak, yet satisfying nonetheless. That’s a great talent of Kiera Cass.

🗺 World: A wonderful era of lords and ladies, whilst being one where many injustices could be gotten away with. Truly well balanced with a whole cast of characters who are light and dark at the same time.

💑 Characters: Let’s take a moment to appreciate the names in this book. Hollis, Jameson, Delia Grace... so unique and full of charm. I never trusted Jameson, but I still want him to be happy. I can’t wait to see what Hollis does next. So many possibilities now that she is royalty on the other side of the realm!

2 people found this helpful

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Another great book by Kiera Cass

I really enjoy all of Kiera Cass's books. this book does not disappoint and I look forward to another book in the series!

1 person found this helpful

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great book!

I was on the fence about reading it but soooooo glad I did! it is so good. I can't wait for a sequel!!!

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Okay story

My overall thought on this is that it's okay and that's the best I can say.

I'm sure it's hard to follow up after having huge success on a previous series, but it's hard for me to reconcile that this was written by the same author as The Selection. The characters were bland and not relatable, Hollis in particular is boring and naive. I get that she's been so sheltered growing up at court and knows nothing of the real world, but at some point you think she'd start to realize that something is up. I didn't think either romance was compelling and the ending, while not something I exactly saw coming, wasn't enough to save 300 pages of boring.

For the pros, I did enjoy Valentina and would love to know more about her. I also like the female friendships, even if they don't make sense because characters do a 180 with their personalities. This was a quick read and the ending does have a little hope that maybe book two will be better.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Cute but predictable

I really enjoy K. Class’s books. She is able to tell a nice story that is easy to relate to. This one was predictable but very cute. I enjoy a good love story.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Meh at best.

It was too rushed. No real character development, no real connection to any single person, and no real reason behind the love interest. Best friend was a back-stabbing B, King was described as young (as were a lot of these characters but I legit have no clue how old they are), parents were evil for no real reason, and the narration stilted and really uninteresting. Gave it three stars only because the main point of interest was the friendship between Isolte queen, and the intrigue behind the riders of death.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Wait for the sequels

This ends on such a cliffhanger that it is a very unsatisfying end. The story isn’t the sweet romantic romp I had expected. The narrator gets better as the story progresses. Either that or I got used to her.

1 person found this helpful