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 a 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.
©2011, 2016 Kristen Ashley (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
This story is intwined in two languages and lives cultural diversity. If you appreciate the drama you anticipate finding in the clash of worlds and cultures, let alone the male and female component, and you can accept that there will be scenes that a Western 21st Century Woman would never tolerate. The two main characters, Circe and Lahn connect, disconnect and proceed to build an impossible life together.
For people who love language, the ultimate power of words, in any language, then the language differences and challenges in this story will particularly intrigue and appeal to you.
This novel has heart and humor as well as tragedy and triumph and that is what makes it a journey to enjoy.
If you don't approve of people writing about real wrongs, or talking about the shocking and confronting, then you won't like this story at all. But if you can handle real; true to time and context, no matter how unpleasant, you will appreciate that real can sometimes be wonderful too, even in fantasyland.
This story has something for a wide range of audiences. If you like to critique an author and find things to be appalled at, you will definitely find it in this novel. However, if you have enjoyed Kristen Ashley's writing, then you will find the same patterns in this text, raw honesty, so honest it hurts, so confronting it could slam into some of your own bias and this also makes it so very believable. And then there is humor, unexpected and wonderful and woven strongly to a context that is passionately raw, and so very typical of Kristen Ashley's writing.
the first book in the Fantasyland series was okay, I enjoyed most of it, but the male characters in Ashley's novels are all knowing, manipulative, coax their women to sleep with them and (actually rape them too -in this particular novel anyway), this novel is blatant copyright of GoT relationship between Daenerys Targaryen and Khal Drogo, with none of Daenerys kickbutt fight back attitude and change the way things are done in a primitive culture.
This novel is deplorable and I'm not even talking about the copyright issue, that's George RR Martins problem, the author perpetuating rape culture is absolutely abhorrent. Don't read this trash. I mad eit to chapter 9 and decided I'd cleanse my Pallette with The Gun Slinger Chronicle by Stephen King... you know... a real writer, with actual talent. go find my review on good reads, it had much more detail.
I only got 2 hrs into this book and found its basically a remake of the first one but with a different setting and characters.
The writing is terrible the narration sounds exactly the same as the first book even though the main characters are completely different people, no change in voices or accents. Very disappointed and definitely not worth money.
This is the second in Kristen Ashley's Fantasyland series. I loved the first book but I love this one even more. If you don't know, this is a parallel Universe to ours where everyone from here has a twin, except those whose are very evil, there is only one then. This parallel Universe is like a Medievil world with Magic, Dragons and elves. Though in this story there there are no Dragons and Elves in this Land.
This land have a very Primitive People. At a guess she has done a lot of research into primitive tribes and their different customs and traditions. Because the world and Tribe she wove was so wonderfully detailed. To me they are a cross between Viking and Bedouin. An amazing amount of thought went into this book. She even developed a language for her tribe. This time, the world she wove was very brutal but very beautiful. I don't mean the scenery I mean the people of the Suh Tunak, the savage beauty of their life and customs Is amazing. The story is very balanced and well thought out from both sides. The wives and their warrior husbands. Honestly this is a wonderful book, to me it's her best book. That's saying a lot, she has many wonderful books and I have them all.
"Strong Lead Characters; Dark but engaging"
The lead characters were well developed and, well, fiercely strong.I would have appreciated a "warning" of sorts as the author does with her newer books that it contained some dark stuff. However, I admit it pulled me in and took me as the reader on the journey with the heroine having to deal with being thrust into a truly foreign situation.I found myself distressed, inspired, challenged, and crying at all the right places throughout the story.
For me, I don't read enough with such fantasy worlds to compare it. However, I did keep picturing the 2 characters from the tv version of Game of Thrones. Daneryis Targerian (sp?) and that warrior guy she married in the 1st season.
I honestly found myself wanting to hear it more than read it. She REALLY hit it out of the park with both books so far in the series on audio. No two characters seemed the same, and I could believe her male voices rather than finding them annoying. The variety of characters goes to the author. The interpretation by this narrator was outstanding. I do not believe any voicing could be more perfect for this characters AND the dialogue.I give her extra points for the completely original names and voicing that different language!I'd say this narration definitely added to the story too.I usually start an audiobook and then find I cannot continue to listen to the female's version of the male or vice versa and thus stick with the reading only. This, however, gave me hope for audiobooks.
I hope the next in the series is issued ASAP with the same narrator.
"Ummmm, Errrr. well...."
Enjoyed the story but simply could not hear, "errr, ummm, well, I mean, cool, one more time or I was going to blow a gasket! Such a shame that the author decided to make the leading lady sound like an idiot rather than the majestic character she could have been.
Nothing, as she only can only work with what she is given.
Steamy sex is all great and fine, but really... 3 - 5 climaxes in one night....really!
"Tried to trudge through this"
Got through Wildest Dreams because I found it got better the further I read, so I decided to give to this one a shot... Won't be finishing it. After being smacked in the face by her husband and then submitting to being raped by him... Yeah, I'm done.
"Brutality and Beauty; Repeat"
Just wow. OK, this one definitely has triggers for some. Our lovely heroine, Circe, goes to bed in Seattle and wakes up in a parallel universe in a pen with other women who are about to be hunted and claimed/raped in a primitive wife hunt, and she and a few others are not willing participants. It starts out pretty brutal. To say there's a lot of HUGE culture shock is an understatement, and the phrase, "That is their way" is not giving Circe much to work with, and yet KA takes this crazy world and weaves a tale that is beautiful, tragic, awesome, horrific, magical, treacherous, blissful and heartbreaking. My chest hurt, my nose stung, I laughed, and I sobbed. What a freaking killer ride this was. It stays with you. I re-listened to it within the week. Amazing.
Tillie Hooper did an excellent job with all the names, not to mention the voices, and the Korwahk language. With Wildest Dreams, I decided she was the best thing since sliced bread, so I was surprised to hear her put emphasis on a hard "G" at the end of words that have soft "G" endings: Wrong answer, long one and strong arm became wrong ganswer, long gwunn and strong garm. I'm sorry to say that I did find it distracting. Cool to use your personal/regional dialect when you chat with your friends, but it's gotta be set aside for narration. Even with that minor bump, her performance STILL is really great, and the overall audio experience of The Golden Dynasty is, as stated above, just amazing.
"LOVED THIS BOOK!! 💞 💗"
Can not wait for the rest of the series to be on audible. The first two were wonderful. Great narration, great story line. I would highly recommend this series. Even my big tough redneck husband likes them.
"So close to being perfect !"
I'll start by saying that this particular book by Kristen Ashley is one of my all time favorites and I have read it countless times. Of course I was beyond excited when I heard that it was coming out in audio (I own the ebook and print versions), and even more so when I dropped at the same time as Wildest Dreams. That excitement was short lived.
My biggest issue is the narrator. She skips words, when the character whispers, the narrator does not. Don't even get me started on the way she does the male voice, that's quite possibly one of the worst I've heard. This story has a different language and sometimes at the end of the chapters we have translation - that does not get included in narration which is a real shame as I personally think it is quite necessary. If you haven't read the book, then you would absolutely be left in the dark of the conversation between the lead characters because the translation is not included. So yeah, big parts being left out.
Seeing as the narrator is the same for Wildest Dreams and The Golden Dynasty AND the narrator does the male voiced pretty much the same for both, I'm fairly certain I will be skipping the next 3 books in the series if the same narrator is used. I would highly recommend reading the books instead of listening to them in this case.
"LOVED LOVED LOVED IT.. A FANTASTICAL FLAWLESS TALE"
When Circe fell asleep she was in Seattle but when she woke up she was dressed strangely, she was in a weird holding area, she was with hostile women... and she had no idea where she was, how she got there or why they were all being leered at by very unusual men. But it wouldn't take her long to find out some of the answers... and experience the shocking and degrading, brutal and barbaric 'wife claiming' ritual that the lust fuelled crazed Warriors of the Horde are treated to once or twice a year. However, it wasn't just a Warrior who claimed Circe... it was the Warrior King Dax Lahn who fought his men - bringing about the start of a prophesied Legend.... The Golden Dynasty.
What a vividly wonderful imagination Kristen Ashley has as she lets loose her creative genius with this because she plummets you, along with Circe, into an alternate Universe... a civilization that's led and protected by imposing deadly Alpha Warriors. And she goes on to describe their strange culture and customs, introduces you to a wide variety of characters, has created a brand new language just for them and dazzles you with colorful vivid descriptions of a respected Leader... and his world of duty, honor, loyalty, respect, rules, bloody tournaments and dangerous enemies. KA weaves all this in and around an emotional roller-coaster romance between a Warrior King and his mystical Golden Queen... and Dax Lahn slowly learns to mellow, Circe settles into her new life, her kindness melts hearts and her feistiness is joyously revered. So, for a while there's peace between husband and wife.... but their cultures and differing opinions continue to clash which causes drama, angst... and eventually heartbreaking consequences. Told from Circe's POV, there's humor, passion, compassion, deep friendships, danger and death, fun times, sex and very tender scenes as Circe and Dax Lahn try to communicate, learn each other's language and customs, form a tight bond... and hopelessly fall in love.
Worth a credit? OH BOY YES... I love Kristen Ashley's contemporary romances and she's knocked it out of the park with this new fantasy genre that she seems to have crossed into... which has taken her to the very top of my list of auto-download Authors. I didn't want to stop this listen - and yet I didn't want to come to the end either because I just wasn't ready to say goodbye to the many loveable characters whose weird and wonderful words, actions, stories and lives have mezmerized me for many fantasy-packed awesome hours. The whole story had the added bonus of being brought to life by a very talented narrator.
"Not Sure Where To Stand On This"
The story had its moments, but the amount of (imo) unforgivable acts of violence against women in this book was a little much.
Anti-climatic: as throughout the book, the MC forgave her man for his unforgivable acts with no throwdown or huge show of love. wah wah waaaaaaaaah
The narrator is really good.
(Mild Spoilers) I don't know what to think about this book. I did listen to it all in two days, but I'm not sure if it's because I liked it or because of the incredulity of the characters and story line. Speaking of story line, I think Kristen is a Game of Thrones fan. This is almost exactly like Kaleesi's story right down to the traveling horde and the treatment of their women.I really wish the author would pick an age for her main characters. I read "Wildest Dreams" as well and in both books the MC's language usage sounds like a teenager (really cool, eek, dork, etc). In one moment the queen sounds like a sophisticated, well educated, bad ass and in the next moment, she's a sniveling teenager.Also, I would really be interested in what message the author is trying to send to women? "So he raped you repeatedly and forced you to be his wife......it is their way". "He said horrible things to you, locked you in your room, and refused to let you see anyone........you should just forgive him because he felt bad about it after you left him." "You will do everything I tell you to do and you have no say over your body or life." FUCK THAT. I'm sorry but in both of her books the men should grovel, suffer, at the very least, say they were sorry. In this book, he doesn't even really apologize. The ending of this book was really weak and made me hate the main character for her feelings of guilt over not letting him off the hook sooner. I don't think I will be listening to anymore of her books. I can't stand the amount of women hating going on by a woman author.
"love love love"
loved it. it was romantic and sweet, savage yet beautiful. it gives me the tingles
"I enjoyed this story more than the first. "
Very enjoyable! It was the story I was looking for. Though some of the phrases seemed very redundant.
As I'd read the previous reviews, the rape was not a surprise and I think that made that scene more palatable. I loved the rest of the story and enjoyed every minute of the story unfolding. I was dreading that the story would end and I'd be left feeling like I needed more but she has ended it well.
"Hated to love it"
This is probabably the hardest review I've ever had to write. This is the first book I've listened to from the author and can say that though I absolutely adored the story, which considering some of the horrific scenes was surprising, I didn't like the authors repetitiveness. And boy do I mean repetitiveness. Her writing was good but I swear at least 30 percent of this book were the words, "freaking," "sucks," "yikes," and "oh yeah." I heard them that many times that I'd blur over the next ten lines of speech in annoyance and have to go back. Also the, "it wasn't good, it was good," and the, "it wasn't bad, it was bad," which again was repeated a lot, annoyed the hell out of me. That said, the actual story was beautiful and I fell in love, unbelievably, with Dax Lahn, who has fast become one of my favourite ever male characters. I fell in love with the horde and their culture. Well, parts of it. The start may horrify you but when the story comes together I guarantee you will love it. The narrator wasn't bad in fairness and I think it was more the fact that I had to listen to her repeat words that drove me crazy. Her, "oh yeah's" practically give me shingles it got on my nerves that much. I have though listened to far worse and despite all moaning, will definitely listen to this book again. The love story was truly beautiful.
"loved the book."
I read this book ages ago and loved it. Yes it touches on delicate subject matters that some might not be comfortable with...I was shocked initially but it was handled very well . Anyway my feeling on the audio is 50/50. The narator was fine...in the female roll. But Lane being probably one of the most masculine males I've ever read, hearing his words read by a woman was very very disappointing. I understand that the book being written in the female point of view might be the reason there's only one narator or that a male reader wasn't used for the entire thing. ...but do feel if only for Lans dialogue, a man should have been used. Terrible shame as it's a fabulous story.
"Fabulous fantasy adventure and romance"
I can understand why a lot of people would not like this book. It is difficult to comprehend a book where the H starts the book by raping the h. But this is a fantasy book, in a fantasy world, among fantasy people and, in some bizarre way, Kristen Ashley makes this work. She sucks us into a world where people operate under a different code of beliefs, lifestyle and honour code. She gives us an h who is trapped in this world, who at first resists and fights the life she finds herself living, before coming to accept her new existence and learning to love it, the people, and the H. This is not case of “Stockholm Syndrome”. She does question her feelings, and does not willingly accept her fate. She sometimes fights against the way things are, and at other times, reluctantly accepts that some things about the lifestyle she will just have to learn to live with. What I really liked about this book was it painted a picture of a brutal lifestyle but within this there was a lot of beauty, and a lot of love. Like the h, we may not agree with some of the way things were portrayed, but we grew to understand why it was so, and how it would be possible to live and accept those things, if, in return, you were compensated by a relationship that was really unique. Along with the h, the reader at first questions and disapproves of the life she is thrust into, and then eventually comes to understand that this is a unique society, that functions in an unusual way, but it does work, and it does contain honour, love, loyalty, and all the values that we hold special in our own society.
I know that the beginning of this book would put a lot of readers off. I have to confess that although I am a fan of Kristen Ashley, I did avoid this book because of the opening chapters. But this book is well worth a credit. It is an emotional rollercoaster of a love story that is as unexpected as it is beautiful. I am not a big fan of fantasy fiction but although this book is set in a fantasy world, what really dominates the story is the people, their friendships, loyalties and relationships.
"Rahna Lahnahsahna (Golden Tigress)"
Amongst the top 5.
Dax Lahn realizing he is wrong and trying to learn to be better.
I can't really just pick one scene as there were quite a few I really enjoyed.
It made me laugh and cry. this book is very emotional.
Some really harsh parts in the story in places and sweet in places. Their cultural differences were so great and some of the savage customs were hard to take.
Loved it. So different from her other stories. Entertaining and always something interesting happening. Brilliant.
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