The Golden Dynasty by Kristen Ashley
Series: Fantasyland #2
Also in this series: Midnight Soul
Published by Self-published on August 22nd 2011
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal
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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.
This is not an Epic review, this is just a tribute…
I have an incurable condition called OCKAD aka Obsessive Compulsive Kristen Ashley Disorder. It’s self-diagnosed, but I’m pretty sure I’ve got it. How I diagnosed my condition was by studying my feelings while reading Kristen Ashley books. I recognised an overwhelming desire to re-read every book Kristen Ashley has written over and over again. This is not a one off situation either. It happens EVERY TIME. How do I manage my condition…with a lot of perseverance and a one-click management program of buying more and more books to distract me from KA. Sometimes it works, other times it’s a losing battle. I’m OK living with this condition on the proviso that Kristen Ashley keeps feeding my addiction with Alpha Male, sexy, macho man, bossy heroes.
How to write a review for an epic tale like The Golden Dynasty? I have no bloody idea how to do it justice. This book brings out the most intense feelings in me about subjects that I would normally abhor. On the surface it’s about a bunch of blokes who seem to care only about their own needs and which woman or slave will serve it best. These guys are into fighting, raiding, drinking, partying and having sex. To find their wives and partners they make it a game…The Wife Hunt. Let’s find the prettiest chicks in the world, dress em up and tell them to run for their lives. The men then chase them down, fight off other contenders, which could end in their death, snap a chain around their neck and “claim” them. Sounds great doesn’t it? No? Well the first part of this story is a little hard to take, I’ll grant you that. The fact that the “claiming” doesn’t always get explained to the women makes it so much better…NOT! Once their “claimed”, the blokes then take them back to their cham (tent) and do a little more “claiming”. Some of these lucky ladies knew beforehand what was going to happen, but others don’t and have to deal with foreign words, actions and living arrangements.
So initially you start this book thinking – How on earth am I going to fall for a hero who “claims” (if you haven’t cottoned on yet, I mean rape) his heroine and then keeps doing it over and over again? Well after awhile, his “claimings” takes a turn and becomes a little more, shall we say pleasant. The story comes to life as we get to know the characters and can’t help but fall in love with them.
Circe is from Seattle and wakes up in an alternate universe smack bang in the middle of the Wife Hunt. She has no idea how she got there but learns pretty damn quickly that she better get her head screwed on and run. We see through her eyes the horrors of the event and what she must survive. Circe soon realises she’s not returning home and must learn to live in this place and find happiness where she can. Luckily, she makes friends and learns their language which helps her settle into her new life.
Dax Lahn is king of his people. He has not joined the wife hunt before because he hasn’t felt an attraction to any of the women gathered. When Circe is paraded before him, he feels an instant connection. He chases her down, fights off his competitors and “claims” her as his own. Unfortunately, his queen does not know of his people and doesn’t jump for joy and accept him wholeheartedly like he’d hoped. Lahn must learn patience and compromise to gain affection from Kah Lahnahsahna (My Tigress).
This story is about struggling in a new world, learning to accept people for who they are and what they stand for and adjusting your expectations. We see a man who is also a king learn that the old ways are not always the best ways. We meet some wonderful characters in Diandra, Narinda, Bain and Zahnin. We also meet some truly awful characters. Dortak and King Baldur made my skin crawl with their evilness and greed that jumped right off the pages. View Spoiler »How Dortak’s life was ended was gruesome and somewhat severe. I took extreme pleasure in reading his suffering. I’m not that type of person normally but the extreme hate I had for this character made me want to see him suffer. « Hide Spoiler
The Golden Dynasty is part of a series. Each couple in the book before and books after are connected by the quest to bring peace and goodwill to their universe. Luckily the heroines have friends to help and husbands who at first can be brutal, but learn to be loving.
This is one of the most intense books I have ever read. My feelings were like a rollercoaster. I wanted to hate Lahn for his handling of things, but realised they were part of his culture and he didn’t know any different. I loved the friendships formed and the connections made between the people and their Golden Queen. The communication difficulties had me laughing at times and made me appreciate the difficulties Circe faced learning the Korwahk language. I was sad whenever Dortak’s bride made an appearance as I knew the abuse she faced would be unbearable. I became frustrated at the warriors for what they made their wives put up with, which contradicted the love and appreciation they show them. But overall I just felt awe that Kristen Ashley’s The Golden Dynasty let me escape for just awhile and live in Fantasyland.
Sassy rates this one 5 Stars.
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