The novel picks up from The Heir. Eadlyn announces the elimination of the suitors to six Elites; she has also become the regent of Illea whilst her father helps Queen America recover from her heart attack. Madris Illea wants to end the feud with the Schreaves, which occurred due to the changes in the caste system being too slow to change.
Queen America recovers from her coma the next day, and Eadlyn goes out on a date with Kile. She tells him of how the people dislike her and Kile comforts her and tells her of his affection for her, which is reciprocated. Grandmother Singer visits the palace as well.
Eadlyn bumps into Erik and tells him of how she has not fallen in love with anyone in the Selection yet. Gunner also meets Eadlyn and asks for a kiss, which is granted. Neither feels anything for the kiss and Gunner receives Eadlyn’s permission to leave the Selection.
Eadlyn then goes on a date with Henri and Erik, which Eadlyn finds awkward due to Henri’s constant need for translation. She asks them for some lessons in Finnish and Eadlyn and Henri almost kiss but is interrupted by Erik. Later, Marid Illéa speaks with Eadlyn to suggest a broadcast that people from all castes talk directly to Eadlyn with, in order to show that the palace cares for its people. During the broadcast, there are a lot of complaints from people about social stigma and they ask fro more freedoms to be granted to them. Marid backs up Eadlyn and the broadcast is successful.
Eadlyn and her father speak of her taking the throne so he can be free to spend time with his wife. He accepts and gives her his signet ring. People receive the transition to Queen warmly. Eadlyn confesses to Kile that she has feelings for him. Hale reveals that he has feelings for Ean and he fears his homosexuality will cost him his life. However, Eadlyn tells him she will release him from the Selection so that they can pursue a relationship. During the coronation, Erik gives Eadlyn a ring that his family gave him to give to the girl he marries, but he gives it to Eadlyn for good luck. Eadlyn realizes she has feelings for Erik.
Madrid proposes that Eadlyn marry him to unite Illéa and Schreave, and if she refuses then he will spread rumors about her. Edalyn is distraught and runs out to bump into Erik, and they kiss. Later on, Eadlyn decides to shorten the Selection time and choose between Kile and Henri. Eadlyn and Erik kiss again but agree that they are not meant to be.
Eadlyn has a date with Fox the next day and he claims his love for her. Eadlyn decided to choose Kile but he proposes to her. However, she realizes that she can’t make him sacrifice everything for her so she banishes him to pursue his architectural dreams.
Eadlyn proposes to Henri but her and Erik know they love each other and admit it. However, Henri realizes Erik’s love for Eadlyn and refuses to marry her. King Maxon tells them to ignore the rules of a princess to marrying a non-contestant. Edalyn then proposes to Erik and declares Illea a constitutional monarchy.
In the epilogue, Eadlyn and Erik have a daughter and she is expecting another child.