I can’t put this series down; the third book felt full of surprises. Many things I said about the second book made me excited to start the next one, and I was right about those things.
I only wanted to see America Singer and Maxon Schreave together because they seemed meant for each other. Maxon even spoke in the last book about how when it came time to choose the Elite, America was his only genuine pick that wasn’t due to public opinion or connections.
America finally knows that she loves Maxon and is willing to do whatever it takes to win his trust and keep his heart, which she has always had. It does start off awkward when she tries to seduce him like Celeste and then learns she can have her own way to impress him instead.
She also becomes increasingly paranoid at times like when the other girls invite her to ogle over some shirtless guards and she’s worried about what Maxon would think of that. But while they are working on improving their relationship, Maxon is determined to make the public approve of America and she ends up being better at winning them over than she thought.
We get to see more of what occurs outside the walls of the palace and the castes in the volume. In the last book when America got briefly lost during a rebel attack, she encountered some fleeing Northern rebels. Two of them, make their debut in this book, including the one she saw: Georgia along with August. The Northern rebels aren’t as aggressive as the Southern in their attacks and only wish to have the castes eliminated like America does.
So she and Maxon form an alliance with the Northern rebels trying to keep it secret from King Clarkson because you know, the more I read this book, the more I hated the king. It wasn’t just when he interrupted the romantic rooftop interlude between them, but when he also continues to scold America for her actions like when she tells everyone on the report to stand up and fight when the Southern rebels (who just want to destroy the whole society), accelerate their efforts. Then there was the Convicting, and America seemed to be the only one who had a hard time with the men receiving long sentences for petty crimes because she knew what it was like to be hungry or not have enough clothes.
I actually take back what I said about Celeste in the previous books, sure, she started off as a bitch, but her vulnerability emerges once America starts winning the public over. Celeste is worried about her fame and feels like marrying Maxon will keep her in that position. Life as a model isn’t as rewarding as you think so I like how America and Celeste are able to find some common ground and a new unexpected friendship after the former encourages the latter that she can find her own way to success in life without having to marry. She becomes a much more selfless person and it’s a pity of what came for her toward the end.
Then I learned a lot more about the Northern rebels when America’s dad died but it also proves that I hate her big brother Kota more and how could I forget after that quarrel that the one secret she’s still kept from Maxon is her past relationship with Aspen. Maxon revealed more of his life to America like the time he finally shows her his quarters in the palace which displays his passion for photography but what private secret had America revealed to him? Nothing yet, but it still made me cry when he found out about Aspen as the night before she finally told Maxon that she loved him.
He was about to break her heart, but then realized he couldn’t stand to lose her when his life was on the line. Sounds cliche when you think about it, but I am happy that America was able to accept becoming a princess because she loves Maxon.
I wish we got some closure with other surviving characters like Kriss too. It would have been nice to see what she does afterward. But I’m glad Marlee and Carter were offered better living conditions once Maxon became king.
Another wonderful book in this series, not perfect, but a great conclusion to America’s story.
There are still two more books for me to read and also a compilation of novellas too in this series, but the next book in my physical collection I really want to read is something I received for an early Christmas present. What is it? You’ll find out soon enough.