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Friday, September 9, 2016

Audio Book Review: The Golden Dynasty by Kristen Ashley

The Golden Dynasty 
(Fantasyland Series, #2)
by Kristen Ashley
Narrated By: Tillie Hooper

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.

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Viviana's Review: 
I fell for this series with book #1, Wildest Dreams and continued to fall deeper into the world Kristen has created as well as the characters. Currently, you could read "The Golden Dynasty" without having read "Wildest Dream", as they do read as a standalone. HOWEVER, there is something to be said about reading it as a series. You have a better understanding of what's going on with regards to the "time traveling" and though we didn't meet Circe and Dax in book one, they were mentioned in passing but there was enough info in that short moment that it sparks the curiosity. I believe all the characters will be entwined some how, so while you may read them on their own, I think you'll fall for the entire series.

When I first learned that there would be a "language barrier" I immediately thought how this was going to be pulled off in a book (with written pages) vs. how we see it on shows or movies. I think there will always be times when we go "blaheehehs" when we're reading something and we have no clue how to pronounce or if its in a different language. Think "Klingon" (Star Trek) or the "Dothraki" from Game of Thrones.... hearing it on your tv is significantly different than reading it. On the page, I was concerned there would be a lag or duplication of conversations due to "interpreters". I LOVED the audio book because the narrator ROCKED not only the language but how the transition between characters and the languages took place!

The story had a great pace. The relationship was a bit of a slow burn and not at the same time. It totally worked. The secondary characters added volumes to the story and you ended up wanting to learn more about them. The blurb gives you an idea of what Circe is in stored for yet there is so much more than meets the eye. Kristen, the author, does a phenomenal job with showing you the world Circe is thrown into and that "different" from what you know or are accustom to, doesn't mean it's "bad". This story includes that underlining lesson of being "open minded" to a different way of being/living and that what you may deem as "savage" or "primitive" may be "normal" and "advance" or "that's the way it is" to someone else.

OH, it must be said.... IF you liked/loved the story line/relationship of Daenerys (Khaleesi) and Drogo from Game of Thrones, you like/love this book. There are some similar elements.

Narrator Review:
Tillie continues to rock! She provides the listener with a great performance that enhances the experience. She provides different tones and voices to each character and the narration. Tillie makes you believe she is fluent in the language of the Horde.

Over all, I highly recommend this book and the series! Its a great example of world building and character development. 

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.

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