(Fantasyland Series, Bk 4
By Kristen Ashley
Narrated by Tillie Hooper
Far too young, Apollo Ulfr lost Ilsa, his wife, the love of his life and the mother of his two children. The grief of her loss does not settle in his soul; it solders to it. But when he discovers there is a parallel universe where his wife may have a twin, he feels there's hope and sets about bringing her to his world, so he can have her back.
But Ilsa Ulfr of our world is married to the parallel universe's twin, Pol, who is not a good man. Not in any way. She's on the run from him, and the last thing she wants is to be transported to a fantastical world and be forced to take his side as his wife, even if he is not Pol. And Apollo finds the broken Ilsa nothing like his beloved, and further wants nothing to do with her. But darkness is looming, and evil is amassing. Apollo must protect his land and keep his family safe, including the new Ilsa.
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Both the Hero and heroine grow as characters throughout the entire story. As we have seen Apollo and gotten to know a bit about him in the previous books, I really enjoyed that we got to know Ilsa from our world at the beginning and the "how" we got to get to her know. This also established that she was very different from what everyone knew of the other Ilsa. It's also done respectfully for both the Ilsa of that world and ours.
This is the only story where one of the twins has died, everyone knows and now we have a spitting image of her in the new Ilsa. However, with that said, there are several slight differences between the women's appearances and the story to explain to the similarity is a good one.
BROKEN DOVE was a bit of a slow burn until some meddling occurs and things begin to move at a faster pace. Maddie (as the Ilsa of our world is now known as) gets to know the Apollo of the other world and come to terms that they are not the same person.
The overall danger we learned about in the previous books, continues in this story and helps the plot move forward. There are struggles and emotional moments where Maddie is conflicted about how things are progressing and Apollo's true feelings for her (i.e. I'm not HER! I'm not your dead wife - like any woman would, right?). There is a situation where Apollo's reaction is seen as very harsh and even a tad over the top, especially him knowing of Maddie's past with abusive males. Yet, Kristen, the author, uses every moment, every event, every word to grow the characters and move the story along.
The Narrator's Review:
The wait to ensure Tillie Hooper was available and had sufficient time to narrate the remaining books in the series was right on! Totally worth it! She brings life to characters you will fall for. Providing each character with their own tones, voices, accents, etc. When characters from previous books appear, you will recognize them easily.
Overall, this was a great "ending" to the series and overarching arch of the story. Things were tied up nicely and we all got to see what has been "up" with all the previous couples. Things were not solved too easily nor were there any things left open/unexplained. The good news is that we still have one more story and its about people we all have been curious about!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Audible in exchange for an honest review. This review is my own opinion and not a paid review.