Review: The Betrothed

Title: The Betrothed
Author: Kiera Cass
Release date: May 5th, 2020
Rating: ⭐️


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.”


You had me in the first half, not going to lie. Then everything crashed and burned.

This book started off intriguing, and I wanted to learn more about Hollis and court life, and the politics of the world, but that all quickly went downhill.

Hollis? Undeveloped. One-dimensional.

Court life? Every time we were about to learn something, Hollis tuned out and talked about something frivolous.

Politics of the world? Let’s let it all happen behind closed doors while we send Hollis away to talk to Delia Grace, or complain about something that’s barely been developed. Like her parents? All we know is they exist to make Hollis miserable, but really nothing about them.

The characters were all flat and had no appeal. I had started intrigued, but halfway through the book I knew I wouldn’t be feeling anything for them as they remained as flat as the start. We were told a bunch about things, but never really shown. Like how we’re told Hollis’ parents are a pain, but never really shown why. We’re told she loves Silas, but … are we shown how she falls in love? No. It was true instalove and a plot device, without actually developing the substance to make it feel real.

The actions by characters just all felt really weird and their motivations didn’t make sense. The decisions made felt more like hollow actions intended to carry the story along.

As for the plot itself… at that halfway point, it was just thrown out the window. The pacing was atrocious and I felt so disconnected to everything that happened in the second half of the book due to bad pacing and undeveloped characters. With an ending like that, you’d think I’d have felt something, right? Meanwhile it didn’t evoke any emotion in me other than maybe confusion?

Honestly I think the only part of this story that stood out to me was Valentina. We could’ve trashed this whole story and been given Valentina’s story and it would’ve been much more intriguing.

I want to note that I also had pretty low expectations for this series. I had binged The Selection series a couple years ago as audiobooks and as much as I was hooked and devoured them, I didn’t think of them as quality content. It was totally a guilty pleasure read. But, there was pleasure in reading it, and I was invested in the characters because they seemed to be more developed than these ones. If Hollis had just been a bit more developed, this story could’ve been enjoyable through its flaws.

*ARC received at OLA Superconference*

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