Princess Annika lives a life of luxury in the kingdom of Kadier, but her life is not her own. After her mother disappeared without a trace, her father became cruel and heartless, controlling his daughter with no regard for her happiness. Her dream of adventures and love beyond the pages of her books are crushed when her father arranges her marriage to a cowardly duke for political gain.
But her duty lies with her people, even at the cost of her freedom.
Lennox is devoted to his people and to reclaiming the throne that was stolen from them. Far away from Kadier, he has trained for revenge since the King executed his father without mercy. Rising in ranks as his people plan to stage an insurrection, Lennox has nothing to lose, but everything to gain.
But at what cost?
When circumstances force these two unlikely individuals to meet, will love be enough to surpass duty? Or will the sound of a thousand heartbeats be lost in the aftermath of revenge?
Fans of The Lochlann Treaty, The Divine and the Cursed, and The Riven Kingdom series will rally for A Thousand Heartbeats!
The plot was complex without being overdone. The reader didn’t have to grapple with the created world, nor was confused by the relationships between the characters throughout. The tension and heartbreak that surrounded the characters was not contrived, but rather flowed naturally through the story. The love between the female lead and the male lead did not arise instantaneously and developed organically, adding realistic expectations to an otherwise fictional plot.
The characters were well-rounded and possessed a depth of emotion that is not commonly found in young adult fiction. The regrets of the male main character were executed flawlessly, even heart-wrenchingly, to where the reader could understand the motivations behind his actions and even mourn with him for the choices Lennox was forced to make. The female main character, while fierce and fiery in her disposition, had a degree of gentleness about her mannerisms that softened her just enough to be her own character rather than a copy of the aggressive and action-driven Lennox. Annika’s skills and temperament complement Lennox without overshadowing their interactions and the story altogether.
On a personal note, I appreciated that Annika did not come by her skills as a manufactured virtuoso, but rather that she was trained (albeit in secret) before meeting Lennox. Even more so, I love how she used her physical skills to supplement her mental tenacity and viewed “survival” as a battle of wills and minds rather than solely battle of strength. Most of all, the theme of forgiveness plays largely throughout this story, and I was moved by the journey that each character took to find forgiveness in each other and also the strength to forgive themselves.
If you are looking for a book that will relentlessly tug on your heart-strings, motivate you to root for the enemy, and strike a chord deep in your soul, A Thousand Heartbeats should be on your TBR.
~the Brown-Eyed Bookaholic
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