*takes deep breath*
I need a moment to process this book. It had me on an emotional roller coaster! One minute I was happy and awwing my way through the book, the next I wanted to find a large piece of wood and practice my golf swing on a certain sexy King's head! Crazy.
The Golden Dynasty is the second book in the Fantasyland series and although set in the first world as the first book, it can be read as a standalone without any difficulties. Circe wakes up in a pen filled with other women, something she definitely did NOT expect to happen when she went to bed in Seattle last night. But as the day continues her it are gets worse and worse, she realises she is not in her world anymore but has some how ended up in this savage world, a world where she is now part of the Wife Hunt, a hunt where warriors will chase her down in the woods and once they have her, rape her and claim her for his wife. However, Circe has caught the eye of the king, Lahn, the biggest and strongest of the warriors and escape seems unlikely.
Is anyone here a Game of Thrones fan? I am, and this book reminded me of all the Khal Drogo and Daenerys parts. Circe has come to what seems to her a savage tribe of warriors and has been claimed as wife by their king, they don't speak the same language and their cultures vastly differ. Circe does not have it easy, and sometimes this book isn't easy to read, and Lahn isn't an easy character to like.
There is rape in this book. It doesn't go in to detail, it is a fade to black scene, it isn't even a "forced seduction" although that does make a few brief appearances as well, there is out and out rape in this book perpetrated by the hero. In fact the hero does a few despicable things and the fact that by the end of the book I really liked him either makes KA a great story teller or me a little bit crazy, I am going for the former. Because Lahn did have his moments, moments where he was the perfect man, said and meant all the right things, but with a culture that is so different in brutal and violent ways he did things that sometimes I found hard to tolerate. Circe has got to be one of the few heroines that despite how it all turned out in the end, that I never thought to myself, "I wish I was her".
But, that makes I sound like I didn't like this book, which is so very very wrong, this is one of my favourite books I have read this year. I liked that it wasn't your straight love story and it made me feel a little uncomfortable, I will remember and be thinking about this book now, even though I have read the last page.
Savage, beautiful, brutal, heart warming all these adjectives describe this book, and it is definitely one of my favourite Kristen Ashley reads.