The following article contains spoilers.
Please read at your own risk.
The Prince is a novella in The Selection Series that is in Prince Maxon's POV and takes place before the Selection began and a few days after it began. It was released on March 5, 2013. It was also released on October 13, 2015 in a hardback bind up containing an extended version of it, together with other novellas like The Guard, The Queen, The Favorite, three scenes in Celeste's POV and more.
Before thirty-five girls were chosen to compete in the Selection . . .
There was another girl in Prince Maxon's life . . .
Don't miss this thrilling 128-page original novella set in the world of the New York Times bestselling novel The Selection.
Warning: Spoilers Ahead!
Prince Maxon is nervous about the Selection. He visits his father, King Clarkson, in his study and receives cuff links from him for Maxon's 19th birthday, but Maxon remembers getting the same gift on Christmas from him. Maxon assumes that his father was too consumed with his job to realize he already gave him the same present.
Maxon's nervousness for the Selection is acknowledged by the king, and he tells Maxon he should be excited, not nervous. Maxon assures his father he is excited, but he's just nervous about how fast it's happening. The king laughs and says that while it seems fast to Maxon, the king has been working on it for years. Maxon asks what he means, but is interrupted by his mother, Queen Amberly, entering the room.
The queen wishes Maxon a happy birthday and whispers to him that his gift is coming. The king and queen then leave the room with Maxon following them in their shadows—"like always," he adds.
Maxon is then interviewed by people. After answering questions in a joking manner, he excuses himself, but is stopped by his father. The kings tells Maxon that he can't answer everything sarcastically, because he is the crowned prince and they need him to lead. Maxon apologizes, telling his father that since it was a party, he thought he could joke around. However, the king interrupts him, saying he should take it seriously. Maxon agrees with his father and says that it was just a temporary lapse in judgement. The king says he tends to have a lot of those.
Maxon takes a glimpse at Daphne, his childhood friend from France. The king follows the prince's gaze and says that she's pretty, which is a shame because she couldn't be in the lottery. Maxon says that she's nice, but never had feelings for her. The king is glad, saying it would've been stupid of him to. Maxon quickly changes the subject, saying that he's looking forward to meeting his true options. The king is happy that Maxon is making real choices in life, but Maxon thinks to himself that he has tried to make choices, but the king doesn't trust him to.
Daphne confronts Maxon, asking why he didn't dance with her. He admits that he didn't dance at all, but would have with her. After a few minutes, Daphne confesses that she has a date back home, and asks Maxon if he approves, and this leads to them talking about the Selection. Daphne begs to be in it, saying that she loves him, but Maxon politely rejects her and she storms off.
A few days later, King Clarkson shows Maxon the applications of the Selected. Maxon declines to look over them in detail because his father already did so.
Before the interview, Maxon and his mother are getting ready. He jokes a bit, and then the announcement starts. Maxon attempts to stay calm while the names are announced. When it's over, the royal family goes to have dinner.
When the Selected girls arrive at the palace, Maxon becomes stressed and hides in his room until the night. When he comes out, he still has doubts if he ever manages to find a suitable woman that he will love and that will love him back, but he convinces himself that one of these girls must be a perfect match for him. Going downstairs, he notices that the guards on the door stop a girl with red fiery hair from going outside. Seeing that she is on the verge of collapsing, he intervenes and orders them to let her go out in the gardens. He comes after her to check if she is all right, but she shouts at him not to call her "my dear" and accuses him of being shallow and responsible for the ridiculous Selection. He explains that it is his only chance to find a wife, as he has never had any relationship before. The girl admits that she is in the Selection by mistake and she only wants to enjoy the food, not to compete for the Prince. Amused and intrigued by her and admiring her honesty and strong will, Maxon asks her name and the girl answers that she is called America. At that moment, he sees clearly her face under the moonlight and he is floored by her dazzling beauty. He decides to make her to like him, no matter her initial hostility.
The next morning, Maxon meets officially and talks with all the Selected girls. America apologizes to him for scolding him the previous night. He asks her if there is any possibility of her having any loving feelings toward him. She denies it, revealing that she is in love with someone else, but she doesn't actually want to leave the Selection. She offers to become his friend and help him during the Selection and he gladly agrees, still wanting to pursue her.
In the extended version of the book, after this talking, Maxon announces to eight girls that they will leave from the Selection, apologizing to them about this decision. During the breakfast, he "forces" America into a bet: if her sister cries from happiness while eating a strawberry tart from the palace, she will be allowed to wear pants for a week. If her sister doesn't cry, America will go on a date with him. Later, he asks one of his servants to go and buy pants for her either way, no matter of the outcome of the bet. His servant notes that he must really like this girl, leaving Maxon skeptical and smiling.
After winning the bet, Maxon takes America out in the gardens of the palace, his first date ever. She talks about her family. He also wants to open up to her and talk about his life, but as he comes closer to her, she misunderstands his intentions and knee-jerks him in the groin. Physically in much pain, humiliated and angry when he understands what she was thinking about him, he leaves for his room, wanting to send her home the next day. However, after thinking about this incident again and again, his anger turns into admiration in front of her fearless and proud nature. Hoping that these characteristics will rub off on him, if he is around her, he decides to let her stay in the Selection.
- Maxon Schreave
- America Singer
- Kriss Ambers
- Celeste Newsome
- Elise Whisks
- King Clarkson
- Queen Amberly
- Marlee Tames
- Ashley Brouillette
- Lyssa Bow
- Hannah Carver
- Clarissa Kelley
- Mia Blue
- Sosie Keeper
- Gavril Fadaye
- Aspen Leger (mentioned)
- "You're too stupid to see love when it stands right in front of you." — Daphne to Maxon Schreave
- "Advisors ran around the palace with stacks of entry forms for the Selection, smiling at me like they knew something I didn't." — Maxon Schreave about palace and its servants.
- "All I knew was, even if she wasn't mine, I wanted to leave her with a smile." — Maxon Schreave about America Singer.
- "[America] stood up for herself. I genuinely admired that. It was a trait I wished I had myself. Maybe if I was around her enough, some of that would rub off on me. Damn it. I had to let her stay." — Maxon Schreave about America Singer and her courage.
- "If she didn't want me and she didn't want him. What the hell did she want?" — Maxon Schreave about America Singer and her confession of a past romance.
- An extended version of The Prince is available in The Selection Stories and Happily Ever After: Companion to the Selection Series.