5 stars

Kristen Ashley – The Golden Dynasty (Fantasyland #2)

Circe Quinn goes to sleep at home and wakes up in a corral filled with women wearing sacrificial virgin attire – and she is one of them. She soon finds out that she’s not having a wild dream, she’s living a frightening nightmare where she’s been transported to a barren land populated by a primitive people and in short order, she’s installed very unwillingly on her white throne of horns as their Queen. Dax Lahn is the king of Suh Tunak, The Horde of the nation of Korwahk and with one look at Circe, he knows she will be his bride and together they will start The Golden Dynasty of legend. Circe and Lahn are separated by language, culture and the small fact she’s from a parallel universe and has no idea how she got there or how to get home. But facing challenge after challenge, Circe finds her footing as Queen of the brutal Korwahk Horde and wife to its King, then she makes friends then she finds herself falling in love with this primitive land, its people and especially their savage leader.

RATING

This is the second book in Kristen Ashley’s Fantastical series and after my outstanding experience with the first book i went into this book with a newfound enthusiasm. It’s quite different than the first book and I liked a smidge more.

The golden dynasty is a much more brutal story than the previous installment, there is rape, and torture, murder and other kind of primitive and aggressive events take place in it. So this book is not for everybody since not everybody tolerates certain topics in books. I personally loved it because with the more aggression came a more emotional mindset of the characters. I wouldn’t say that this book is more credible than its predecessor, because there is a lot of sudden change in the characters and the love is a bit out of the blue. But the emotions are much more present in it. I also liked that in this story Circe falls into the middle of the events without a clue and has to figure out things unlike Finnie who choose to travel into another dimension.

Thanks to the more primitive, closed of setting the whole plot is more isolated form the whole world’s workings and concentrates more of the main characters and their immediate entourage. This book once again got a really interesting setting although there are a lot of things in this culture that I can’t agree with. I really like how the storyline went about, as if we follow Circe discovery of her new life and surroundings. The plot is not as complicated as the first books but still full of twist.

Once again I had mixed feelings about the protagonist. Her character is not so easy to put into one category. Sometimes a bit gawky, too emotional and plainly weak. But then she does something different, gets herself together and stands up for herself and fights. But still nowhere near a warrior queen as the book titles her. Her interactions with Lahn most of the time made me smile but there are lot of heartbreak too.

Lahn in the beginning is a pure and simple savage. Ruthless, commanding and aggressive. But during the curse of the story he is the one who changes the most for the sake of Circe. Its funny when they didn’t understood each other yet. But they are a balanced and dynamic couple. They are perfect for each other.

This is a book where I can’t say about it one thing I would change. The author did it again and its interesting how the two book are basically about the same thing but completely different at once. My favorite scene it the book is definitely the one where Circe was giving birth. It’s such a beautiful little moment in their life.
I also need to mention that during reading the story and the characters reminded me a bit to the Game of Thrones TV series.

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