A Thousand Heartbeats

HarperTeen. Nov. 2022. 576p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780062665782.
Gr 6 Up–Known for her popular YA romance series “The Selection,” Cass’s latest romantic fantasy introduces readers to an excellent cast of characters living in a world with kingdoms and family secrets. Annika, a princess who has lived a comfortable life, and whose once loving father has now grown cold, is being forced into an arranged marriage to solidify the kingdom’s security. Meanwhile, Lennox, a soldier from an opposing kingdom, has lived with the bare minimum and has devoted himself to the Dahrainian Army. He believes that love is only a distraction and lives to restore the rightful power of the throne to his people. Once these two cross paths, a love ignites that set events into motion that will change their lives forever. The large cast of characters is easy to love or hate, but there aren’t so many that it becomes confusing. Each one has a special role to play in this fairy tale. Cass’s storytelling is flawless as she presents the star-crossed lovers’ attempts to stay true to their own kingdoms. It’s an enchanting tale that readers will enjoy watching unfold. The skin colors of the main characters are not mentioned; there’s one supporting character who has a scar across his face.
VERDICT All school and public libraries should add this to their collection, and the devoted fans of Cass will not be disappointed.

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