Series: Fantasyland #2
on August 22nd 2011
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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.
THE GOLDEN DYNASTY
by Kristen Ashley
So I’m the odd duck who didn’t entirely enjoy Golden Dynasty. Broken down in small bites there was a lot to love but as a whole I really struggled. But let me explain:
Lahn is a warrior king. Imagine a hot Jason Momoa as Khal Drogo. His people have a tradition called the bride hunt. Every warrior is allowed to participate with the end goal to find his bride. You could say it’s a hostile takeover. These women are raped and basically conquered. So when Lahn spots Circe he wants her, rapes her and you could say, he holds her hostage. That in itself is already an unforgivable act but I kept an open mind and thought “OK, it’s their tradition, their way of living, if I grew up like that it would be normal for me.” Lahn started to become really sweet with Circe and I started to forgive him (even though he ordered her to sit in the blazing sun although she told him that she would burn like a lobster)…until he went ahead and hit Circe with his full body strength because she did something she didn’t know she was doing wrong. He was worried, I’ll give him that, but. He. Freaking. Hit. Her. Not slapped her, no, he pulled back and went with her at full strength. And I THINK this is where the disconnect happened.
After that he never hit her again but I think it was too late for me. He was sweet, understanding with Circe from that moment on and yes, for some reason I don’t understand I even loved him but with his history in mind I just didn’t let him close to me anymore, if that makes any sense. I discussed this with my book bestie, because she loved this book. And I get it, I really do understand why this book is such a success. I just didn’t feel it. Compromise only ever was granted after something bad happened to Circe and she got hurt. And then he dealt the deathblow by showing severe lack of faith in the woman he supposedly loved. After all she’d endured, by his hand, for him, seeing how she was, how kind and sweet she was he didn’t believe in Circe. He shut down and was horrible to her, again threatening to hit her.
Circe was mostly a great heroine but damn, being raped and three days later she actually gets excited when Lahn touches her? And then when he hit her and wants sexy times a couple days later she totally caved and got off on it. That she didn’t kiss him to punish him didn’t really make a difference. No. Just. No. Otherwise she was endearing, the way she was with people, how they flocked her.
Unfortunately, when the disconnect happened, I wasn’t invested anymore although I really tried. Around 80% I started to skim because I got bored.
Now – before you start throwing eggs and vegetables: there are amazing reviews out there and just check the average rating on Goodreads – it’s close to 4.5 stars so I’m really only just an oddity as far as this story is concerned. So if nothing of what I said bothers you, give this a try.