Audiobook Review: The Golden Dynasty (Fantasyland #2) by Kristen Ashley

The Golden Dynasty - Audible Studios, Kristen Ashley, Tillie Hooper

My review and an extended sample of the audiobook are posted at Hotlistens.com.

 

This book is a revisit for me. I read it few years ago from the recommendation of Jessica at Rabid Reads. I really enjoyed it (read it without having read book one first). I always meant to go back and finish the series, but I never got around to it. Now that they are coming out on audio, I thought it was a perfect time to revisit. I started with the first books Wildest Dreams and now I’m finally getting to revisit the book that made me want to finish the entire series.

 

This is a series where you have a heroine who is from the world as we know it and changes places with an identical twin from a parallel universe. In the first book, the girl from our world knew she was making the move, but that is not the case in this book. Circe Quinn goes to sleep in her bed and wakes up in a corral of other women, most of which don’t speak her language. She doesn’t know what is going on. She eventually learns that she is to be part of the “Wife Hunt” that happens with the warriors of The Korwahk Horde. Many of the Korwahk volunteer to be part of the Wife Hunt, it is a great way to find a noble warrior husband, versus just finding a husband who doesn’t have that kind of rank. There are also women who are captured and forced into the wife hunt.

 

Dax Lahn is the king of Suh Tunak, The Horde of the nation of Korwahk. He has never participated in the wife hunts. That is until he sees Circe. She is completely different from the other women from his land. The Korwahk people are described as dark skinned and dark hair. Circe is pale with blonde hair, so she stood out amongst the other women.

Once the wife hunt starts, is it pretty traumatic for Circe. She is chased by several men and men are literally fighting to the death in front of her, just for the right to have her as their bride. The king, also known as the Dax, finally wins his bride and consummates the marriage (though the ceremony is later and nothing like what we think of as a wedding). He takes her back to their camp.

 

While Lahn speaks several languages, English isn’t one of them. So there is a large communication gap between them in the beginning. They do find another woman who does speak both languages and she acts as a translator (can you imagine how uncomfortable that could be at times). They both work to learn each other’s languages, not to mention cultures and personally. It is not an easy road, especially if she is to be queen.

 

This is a great story. I loved it just as much the second time around as I did the first. I will give you one word of caution about it. The wife hunt, it is what it is. That the culture of these people. It starts Lahn and Circe’s relationship off to bad. It isn’t pretty. I will say that it doesn’t stay that way for long. I would compare Korwahks to the Dothraki in Game of Thrones. It isn’t a lot different with how Khal Drogo and Daenerys Targaryen come together. That wasn’t a pretty beginning either, but it ends up as a wonderful relationship.

 

This is a really fun story. I loved watching how Crice learns this new culture. I love how she sees things that need to be changed and works to make things better. How she went from a small business office manager to queen of a group of fierce warriors. Now, she doesn’t have dragons like Daenerys, but she does have a really cool white tiger. She makes some pretty good friends along the way. If you think you can get through the beginning of the book and the wife hunt, then I highly recommend this book to you. I am aware that some of what goes on during the wife hunt is harsh. I know that not everyone will want to read it. I completely understand that. For me, this was a great romance. I really liked the characters. I liked watching Circe improve the lives of these women.

I was in love. Perhaps not with the man of my dreams, but with a man that was more man than any I’d ever encountered.

Then I whispered, “I love you, my Lahn,” and heard the swift hiss of his intake of breath.
Then he buried his face in my neck and whispered back, “Loot kay hansahnalay na, my Circe.” And I love you, my Circe.

Narration

Tillie Hooper continued to do an amazing job with this book. I just love her narration. I loved how she could put the embarrassment into the voices of some of the characters when the story called for it. There is a scene where a warrior is trying to be better to his wife and he’s trying to ask Circe about it. The man sounded so embarrassed to be asking these questions to a woman, his queen no less. I loved how she was able to make him sound so much like that. She also nailed the language of the Korwahk people, which is used a lot in this book. If you haven’t tried Tillie Hooper, I highly recommend her.

 

**I like to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

Source: http://www.hotlistens.com/the-golden-dynasty-audiobook-by-kristen-ashley-review