The Selection Stories: The Prince & The Guard
by Kiera Cass
Published: 1st May 2014
Publisher: Harper Collins
Before America Singer was chosen to compete in the selection…
She was in love with a Six named Aspen Leger…
And there was another girl in Prince Maxon’s life.
This book contains novellas that are a companion to The Selection Trilogy, and because they’re set at different points in the trilogy, I will aim to avoid spoilers for those that haven’t read the trilogy. I have written and review for the trilogy, if you’re interested you can find that here: The Selection Trilogy.
I should mention that this book was released in between The Elite and The One, and so the events that take place in the novellas are from the first two instalments. This book, I believe, was designed to introduce the reader to another side of the two love interests for the series – and also reveal content from the final novel. However, I’d began reading the trilogy once it was all released, and I read these novellas after the series was over.
Out of the two novellas in this book, this is the one that I enjoyed the most. When I read The Selection, I found myself wanting to know more about the world and how the process works. I was intrigued by the ins and outs of this reality TV style contest that Prince Maxon was hosting. I loved seeing the process from one of the contestant’s eyes, and I really wanted to see it from the host’s perspective. Without a doubt, I thoroughly enjoyed this novella and I raced through it very quickly. What I appreciated about it is that not only did we get to know Prince Maxon in a more personal way, but we saw what his parents were like behind the scenes. It really developed the characters further for me, and I had a better insight into their world.
Sadly, I really could have lived without reading this novella. This novella is from the perspective of Aspen, the boy that American knew before she entered into the selection process. In my review of The Selection Trilogy, I explained that I felt Aspen and Prince Maxon where essentially the same character – however, their surroundings and caste restrictions have affected their lives and their personalities. Despite me thinking that they’re similar characters, there was something about Aspen that didn’t click well with me. This is probably because I didn’t like him around America, and I was rooting for Maxon. I just didn’t care for him that much, and so this novella bored me really. I can’t say I gathered anything more from the characters or the world from this one like I could the other.
I was surprised to see so much added content in this book. Some of this content includes: a Q&A with Kiera Cass, a detailed family tree for America, Maxon and Aspen, and what I appreciated the most – a complete list of the caste system. I really enjoyed the bonus content in this book, and found them very interesting. I thought it was a perfect collection of additional information for fans of the series, and it deepens the world building for me. Especially because I love falling into dystopian worlds and developing a greater understanding of how it works.
Overall, this collection is perfect for fans of the The Selection trilogy and I’d really recommend it.