Books that inspired author Kiera Cass’s “The Betrothed”

Seira Wilson on May 13, 2020
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Kiera Cass, photo credit Suzanne Plafcan

Kiera Cass is the bestselling author of The Selection series, and ever since she announced a new duology coming our way this year, we've been eager to take a look. In The Betrothed, a king falls in love with a young noblewoman, Lady Hollis Brite, which should be everything for her. But is becoming queen really a dream come true? Add in a mysterious stranger who may be Hollis's real destiny of the heart, and you've got a page-turning novel of love and fate.

I think readers will quickly devour The Betrothed, and wondered what books Cass would recommend to her many fans. Here are a few of the books that inspired Cass's new historical romance, and how they fit into the story—a little something to tide us over while we wait for book two....

The Betrothed is an editors' pick for May for the best young adult books of the month.



Kiera Cass's book recommendations

What can I say? My heart bleeds YA. There is something about going through the first of everything that still rings out in my heart. The First Kiss. The First Betrayal. The First Heartbreak. The First Adventure… Seeing people go through them in real life and on the page never gets old for me. Though the worlds I write about take place in the future or the past or happen to contain an Ocean that eats people (long story, read the book), I still hope to always convey enough of the truth about those moments that a reader could connect to them right where they are in life. And that is still my goal with The Betrothed.

The Betrothed was born out of my love for several other stories and eras in history. Though the world itself is made up, the moments in history that I pulled from are very much real. As an added bonus, there are countless books about many of these times and the women in them who inspired me so much. If you enjoyed The Betrothed, you might enjoy the following books:


The White Princess by Philippa Gregory

The War of the Roses (1455-1487 AD)

After a time in England when the crown changed hands seven times in three decades, this depicts the end of the war. Elizabeth of York and Henry Tudor join together the two warring sides of the family, uniting them through marriage. But, of course, that doesn’t mean the peace goes smoothly. I’ve always been intrigued by the way things played out, and the tension and power moves of the time bled into The Betrothed.


Fatal Throne: The Wives of Henry VIII Tell All by Candace Fleming, M. T. Anderson, Stephanie Hemphill, Linda Sue Park, and more

Tudor era England (1485-1603 AD)

Remember how I said peace didn’t go smoothly? After the War of the Roses ends and a new line is established, things stay as dramatic as they were before. People remember Henry VIII for having six wives. But those six women are unique and brave and intelligent. The rules, expectations, and fashion from this time definitely show up on the pages of The Betrothed.


The Book of Ruth by The Holy Bible

The Time of the Judges (1375-1040 BC)

Besides being a religious text, the Bible is also a historical document. The leaders, locations, and events that take place in it are recorded across many other texts. That’s one of the reasons I’m so drawn to Ruth. By any standard, she was ordinary. But her loyalty and faithfulness earned her a place in history. And not just any place! One that begins a royal line. Ruth very much inspired Hollis, who is a sweet girl but has no great expectations for herself.

I hope you get a chance to check out these books, and I hope you enjoy The Betrothed!—Kiera Cass

Author photo by Suzanne Plafcan


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