5 stars

Kristen Ashley – Wildest Dreams (Fantasyland #1)

Seoafin “Finnie” Wilde was taught by her parents that every breath was a treasure and to seek every adventure she could find. And she learns this lesson the hard way when they perish in a plane crash. But she never forgets and when she discovers there is a parallel universe where every person has a twin, she finds a witch who can send her there so she can have the adventure of a lifetime. But upon arrival in the Winter Wonderland of Lunwyn, she realizes she’s been played by her twin and finds herself walking down the aisle to be wed to The Drakkar. Thrown into inauspicious circumstances, with years of practice, Finnie bests the challenges and digs into her adventure. But as Frey Drakkar discovers the woman who is his new wife is not Princess Sjofn, a woman he dislikes but instead, his Finnie, a free-spirit with a thirst for venture just like him, without her knowledge he orders his new bride bound to his frozen world, everlasting. But at the same time Frey plunges Finnie into a web of political intrigue that includes assassination plots, poison, magic, mystery and… dragons.

RATING

Before this book I only read contemporary romances from Kristen Ashley. I like most of them but really the works of this author are either a hit or a miss for me. A couple of years ago I would have said that these kind of books are more u pin my alley but nowadays it’s not true anymore yet I still enjoyed it more than her contemporary books.

Wildest dream presents a really funny, adventurous and romantic world where surprises lurk and wait in every corner for the protagonist. It’s a big plus for me that there is a kind of time travel/ world jumping thread in the plot. I love when a modern gal has to adapt into the customs of some completely different time period. It’s a challenge for the heroine and for the author at the same time.
As I mentioned there is a lot of surprises, unexpected twist and turns in the storyline and they are created and built into the book marvelously. It’s not a coincidence that the book is quite long but I wasn’t bore for one minute during reading. There are a lot of different elements crammed into the plot but its all works together perfectly. There are magic, dragons, elves but don’t forget the royal court’s intrigue, the power hungry schemers or the dangerous assassins either. What is to say the tale is extremely complex but not stuffy. The author is really good at building and interweaving different storylines. If you add to this the emotional charge the book radiate then you definitely up for a roller coaster like experience.

With Finnie I wasn’t always pleased with. I liked her mostly. She is adventurous, adroit, brave and resourceful but some instances she is also quite naïve and even immature. Her decision to willingly go to a different dimension is really rash, bold and honestly ambitious but she has an emotional reason to do it. When she realized that not everything is as she wants it she throw a hissy fit about really inconsequential things instead of concentrating on the important stuff. Sometimes she showed her spoiled billionaire brat self. However at the end she is a strong, brave and likeable character despite her few flaws. What I absolutely loved about her is the connection, relationship she formed with Frey’s men. They were the highlight of the book for me.

I absolutely adored Frey from the very beginning of the book. He is strong and commanding. He is used to the fact that things go as he wants them to go but all of this deservedly because he worked hard for his prestige. But when he is with Finnie he becomes a completely different person. To someone who is caring, protective, devoted and loving, who is willing to do anything to make Finnie happy. He is just perfect as it is.

Valentina, the witch is a mystery for me as of now. I can’t decide that she is on the good side or doing this only out of some nefarious, sadistic reasons.

The plot is really complex and captivating. I glad I read it but I had a couple of problems with the world building or more like with the description of it. It was hard for me to imagine some of the scenes, places in the book because some of the descriptions were so dragged out that I lost track of things. Not to mention the jumping between medieval/renaissance/ Baroque elements, atmospheres. It kinda confused me. It’s maybe not really noticeable for everybody but I just had an art history exam o it’s still fresh in my mind. But other than this is a phenomenal read.

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