A Thousand Heartbeats

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A Thousand Heartbeats
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
13+
Release Date
November 29, 2022
ISBN
978-0062665782
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#1 New York Times bestselling author of The Selection series Kiera Cass is back with her most epic novel yet—a sweeping enemies-to-lovers standalone romance.
“Love has a sound. It sounds like a thousand heartbeats happening at the same time.” 
Princess Annika has lived a life of comfort—but no amount of luxuries can change the fact that her life isn’t her own to control. The king, once her loving father, has gone cold, and Annika will soon be forced into a loveless marriage for political gain.

Miles away, small comforts are few and far between for Lennox. He has devoted his life to the Dahrainian army, hoping to one day help them reclaim the throne that was stolen from them. For Lennox, the idea of love is merely a distraction—nothing will stand in the way of fighting for his people.

But when love, against all odds, finds them both, they are bound by its call. They can’t possibly be together—but the irresistible thrum of a thousand heartbeats won’t let them stay apart. 

Kiera Cass brings her signature sparkling romance to this beautiful story of star-crossed lovers and long-held secrets.

Editor reviews

3 reviews
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0(3)
Characters
 
4.0(3)
Writing Style
 
4.0(3)
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A(0)
Fated Love Story
Overall rating
 
3.3
Plot
 
3.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
A Thousand Heartbeats by Kiera Cass is a good choice for a stand-alone fantasy romance. It is told in alternating perspectives from Lennox and Annika. Annika is a Princess in Kadier being forced into an unhappy marriage arrangement that her father has demanded. Lennox is under the thumb of a ruthless leader who wants to take the throne as the lost and rightful people who were slaughtered in the distant past and sent to wandering without a home. These backgrounds set the stage for an epic fated love story.
The author took her time to develop the conflict and the history of the realm. I pined for the times that Lennox and Annika would be together. My favorite part of the book was the forced proximity during the battle when Annika and Lennox bond while sheltering from a hurricane. It was a bit of an instalove that the author tried to mitigate by establishing a time in their childhood when they had met.
It was a dramatic premise that Lennox murdered her mother. However, I am not sure we needed to go to the level that the death was by his hand, to establish them as enemies. That would have been a lot to forgive and they were not together during the story that much to have the time to fall madly in love making it a bit of a stretch. I was also scratching my head that once it was established that Lennox was telling the truth about his people and Annika discovered his lineage, they were so slow to conclude that they could now marry to give her the political marriage that she was destined for.
There were a couple of details that took me out of the moment of the story. They had this history that was full of made-up names and a fantasy world, yet their constellations had our Earth names. I thought it was interesting that both Lennox and Annika had people that loved them and they could have loved in return. It did make their feelings for each other feel more like a fated love. So, I don’t know that both of these wonderful other people needed to become so unhinged and destructive once they were gently rejected. It also seems a bit farfetched that Annika’s kingdom knows nothing of Lennox’s people who are just on the other side of a forest. The forest was explained as dangerous and most people cannot cross it successfully, yet that is exactly what everyone was doing with ease.
Overall, if you want a standalone romance to sweep you away in a fated lovers’ story this is a good choice. It feels like this book would work particularly well for younger readers who may like the drama and nothing was graphic. I like that Annika’s character was strong and that she put arrogant men in their places making her an easy character to like.
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Romeo-and-Juliet who?
(Updated: November 18, 2022)
Overall rating
 
4.7
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
A THOUSAND HEARTBEATS by Kiera Cass is a YA fantasy novel told in dual POV from Annika, a princess grappling with a fractured family and obligations to the crown, and Lennox, a young warrior, brutal with his sword and friendless because of it. Seemingly, they are worlds apart, but when their paths do cross, what gets set into motion cannot be undone. Now, Annika must figure out how best to protect her country while keeping what’s left of her family together, and Lennox needs to decide when he’ll step forward to take what’s rightfully his. With so many wanting different things from these two, the most difficult question they’ll face is: does one of them have to die for the other to succeed?

I loved this book. It was everything I want in a fantasy novel: court intrigue, betrayal, forbidden romance, and more. I was absolutely swept up in it! For me, how much I enjoy the story is always proportional to how much I care about the characters, and in this case, I connected with Annika and Lenox deeply. Both of them are incredibly dynamic, with a soft side and a side you wouldn’t want to cross. I also like Annika’s brother and how supportive he is—their relationship as siblings is really sweet— and Inigo, Lennox’s teammate. Inigo has a big arc as he eventually becomes one of the most loyal people Lennox knows. That being said, there are a handful of characters who are wishy-washy, which was probably purposeful, but it was also confusing at times and made it tougher to switch allegiances or to decide who to root for.

The book is on the longer side as the story is a slow build. While I was waiting for action, or what felt like the inciting incident, it did make me appreciate more how the norm changes over the course of the story. The resolution, in contrast, is very quick, but by the time I got to the ending, I was so invested in the story at that point that I would’ve been okay with another hundred pages. Even more preferably, I would’ve been thrilled if the author forewent the epilogue altogether and instead gave us a second book! Honestly, this world is so rich that there’s so much still to explore.

All in all, A THOUSAND HEARTBEATS may just be the best star-crossed lovers' tale since Romeo and Juliet. Anyone who loves enemies-to-lovers should add this book to their TBR.
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Whose land is it?
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
3.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
What I liked:
A Thousand Heartbeats is a swoon, enemies-to-lovers stand-alone romance about the truths we have always been told and what the truth is. Annika has always said that there are six clans and that the Dahrainian are the enemy. Lennox, a Daharinian devoted to the cause of reclaiming the land that Annika's family stole. A complicated past between these two involves hurts on both sides and the death of loved ones. The romance that brews between these two echoes tones from Juliet and Romeo, a famous liaison between two families who hate each other.
Final Verdict:
I found A Thousand Heartbeats a well-written romance that kept me involved and cheering for these two enemies to find peace amongst all the hurts that have been dealt. You will enjoy this novel if you like- dual pov, enemies to lovers, rival kingdoms, found families, and deeply entrenched loyalty.
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