The Golden Dynasty (Fantasyland Series)
What a FANTASTIC fantastic story. To think I missed out on this beauty, intensity and heartbreak over the word “fantasy” for a year or two, when all along, every bit of the “Kristen Ashley fervent alpha-male love story” I was craving was right there, ready and waiting for me. *sigh* Blasted me and my genre-bias!!
And the worst part is I probably won’t learn my lesson. I’ll still shy away from the “fantasy” genre. Except for anything “fantasy” from this author. I. Am. Sold.
Claudia: I’m into Fantasy but definitely going to try the Fantasyland series by one my favorite authors (Kristen Ashley) Thank you Maryse!!
Ashley: I have never been super into fantasy, but I started reading Wildest Dreams and it’s so…..KA with fantasy mixed in. It’s writing like I can’t explain. Loving it!
Marissa: I’m half way through Wildest Dreams and loving it. I’m not one for paranormal/fantasy (if that’s what you’d call this) but I should’ve known…it’s Kristen Ashley; of course it’s fantastic!
Kristin: You will feel everything down to your bones! This book…for me…was the Fantasy version of Sweet Dreams. I felt it that deeply! Enjoy!!!
Yep… she said “Sweet Dreams“! My all-time FAVORITE Kristen Ashley book. Whoa. That is some comparison! And I’m going to say I agree.
So I cheated going into this. Not to say I won’t be backtracking and reading the rest “in order” but I skipped right to book #2 simply on the spirited adoration of this book by my fellow readers. (P.S. Here’s the The Fantasyland Series Reading Order). That many enthusiastic comments, and adamant recommendations couldn’t be wrong. And like I know Kristen Ashley’s stories, I knew this wasn’t just going to be a “new fantasy world” for me to experience.
Now wait… I know to fantasy-lovers, my claim of “just” a new fantasy world sounds blasphemous and silly. After all, even I have connected to a few a true “fantasy” stories. And while I can appreciate them and even reflect fondly upon the few I have enjoyed, I tend to not gravitate to to the effort needed (from me) to learn, adapt and connect to them. They’re intricate, deep, detailed and kind of… at first, unrelatable.
But the comments for this one? I knew there was going to be that something about this that was going to be pure Kristen Ashley. Pure “modern” woman. Pure girly-girl. Pure me, that I could relate to in every way.
And that, I did.
Oh sure, there was plenty to learn, and deal with. Languages, customs, living arrangements. But ALL of that was done through the eyes of a 30-something, modern day Seattle woman. Because you see… this one had a touch of that “time-travel” by accident thing going on. Mind you we have no clue, what, why and how this all happened. But it was HUGE. Powerful. Painful. And… phenomenal.
What’s it about?
Circe (yeah… that name had me on alert from the start ’cause it had that “mythology” feel to it) is a 30-something woman amidst a sea of men. Her family. Brothers, loving father… raised in a happy, loving (albeit a a little sad without her mother) environment. Stable, steady, strong and secure. Maybe not deliriously happy and loving life, but content and maybe not realizing that she was.
Until she is startled out of a dead sleep, finding herself in a cage of strangely dressed women.
I didn’t know where I was or how I got there. I wasn’t certain what was happening. I went to bed in my bed in a world I understood and I woke up here in a world that was entirely foreign to me, everything about it, and not one thing about it was good.
Some of the women were excited. Some scared out of their mind. On her way to a “hunt”. Where warriors (think “Khal Drogo“) from “Game of Thrones” choose their wives from a parade of women. Some women raised… trained to be the wife of a warrior, and some simply kidnapped from other lands and brought against their will.
“Do not fight the claiming. Don’t. It is their tradition. They don’t see anything wrong with it and look at the Korwahk women. Circe, look at them. They can’t wait.”
I looked at the Korwahk women. It was true. It was insane, but it was true.
They obviously couldn’t wait.
Then Narinda went on to advise, “Take your warrior and endure the claiming and hope, hope my lovely, with all your heart, that you get a warrior who is soft under all the hardness.”
I was trembling from head to toe and I wanted to bolt. I wanted to run.
But it was too late.
Doesn’t matter. If a warrior chooses you, chains himself to you… you are his.
“They will hunt us and they will claim us.” Her fingers gripped my forearm and she pressed closer. “They will claim us like any husband claims his wife on their wedding night.”
Oh sh!t. Oh God. Oh Sh!t.
And the claiming is brutal.
Circe is claimed by none other than the King of this land himself.
“He is savage. Tales of his exploits have spread wide. Very cruel. Heartless.”
Having waited out years of “wife” parades, not claiming any of the beauties and “fangirls” (yep, it was full on “groupie” mode during the parade when they passed his throne – each woman hoping to get his attention). He ignored all of them, awaiting his perfect chosen one. And he spots her (the golden one) right here in this very parade.
“He saw me,” I whispered.
Maybe he didn’t see her…
She gripped my arm. “Maybe he didn’t.”
I nodded. “Maybe he didn’t,” I said softly.
But he did.
Lucky Circe (or unlucky… at first). ‘Cause she’s the one.
And this is the INCREDIBLE love story of Circe and Dax Lahn (King Lahn). Fear and hate at first, while Lahn does what he will, for he is a warrior. And worst of all, he is KING. Never to be denied.
Maryse’s Book Blog: In the meantime… I’m still in Golden Dynasty world and all I can say is… *Oooooooooooh THAT MAN!!!!!!!!!* ROAR!!!!!!!! *fumes*
Paula: I’m thinking you got to “that part.”
Alyssa: There are many of “those parts!” Which one?????
Maryse’s Book Blog: OMG this is INTENSE!!!! That speech she gave him. I just want to cry… About her amazing protective father… in response to Lahn’s *ahem* (ROAR!!!!!!) actions… “But you should know this, my king… if he knew you, he would not like you.” I am devastated.
Crystal: One of my KA top 3
Jacque: Oh its better….. keep reading, don’t sleep.
Jennifer: Love it, love it, love it!
Sam: Omg, I’m at the exact same spot as you Maryse!! I’m furious!! I don’t know if I can get past that, I just can’t believe it!! Grrrrr!!!
Sarah: So many good book feels! This book makes you feel everything.
Rhonda: Me too!!! The translations are killing me!!!!!
Destini: I LOVED this book!!!!!!
Debra: You guys just made me “click” it
Erin: LAHN is MY MAN!!!
Karla Sierra Vazquez Me too I’m at 47% I love it
Michele: Lahn is on my top 5 KA ALPHA LIST!!!! ;D
Brandie: My favorite in that series for sure! My emotions were all over the place but in such a good way. He pissed me off so many times but she did too near the end. Loved it, loved the way it ended. Just perfect.
Britton Copeland Epps Lahn is my favorite alpha male ever!!!!
Natalie: This is one of my top 6 Favorite books EVER. I have read it at least 5 times!
Hang: Maryse, you’re making me want to re-read!!! Dax was so intense and the end…OMG!
Bettý: I’m also reading golden dynasty and OMG that man
Alyssa: Did you stay up all night and have your heart broken, mended, laugh and cry?????
Oh Alyssa… if you only knew the half of it. But you probably do, don’t you? Tears NUMEROUS times, heartache, fear… (oh the fear!)
I didn’t want to be stuck in this world. It frightened me. Not only the culture I’d been thrown into but whatever power might be out there that took me to it. I had to admit some parts of it were interesting and some parts even cool. But the rest scared the sh!t out of me.
And I worried about my Pop. I worried that he was frantic, wondering where I was.
… hatred, and pure unadulterated happiness… mixed throughout. I felt it ALL.
But no worries. Circe is a strong woman. Circe’s will to live, and desire to be happy despite her circumstances (after all … she has NO choice in the matter) has her fighting, reasoning and showing the King how a woman of today, of our world, likes to be treated. As do all women of the worlds. Ours… and others.
Circe, the modern woman that she is, is adept at adapting, accepting and making the best of her new life. I know the strong-willed women in us wants to resist, and deny, and not accept this kind of “love”. Their way of life, the man demanding, the woman succumbing.
“He’s a husband, he’s a king, he’s a man but above all, my queen, always remember, above all, he… is… a warrior.”
But Circe’s strength shines through all of the King’s (and his warrior’s) tyrant tendencies. Her will, her strength, her compassion, and her savvy ability to communicate, convince in such a subtle yet undeniable manner (and at a times, debate, even) slowly breaks through. She’s convincing. She’s right. And the connections made are profound. Even with concessions on her part. And concessions on theirs.
I… pretty much highlighted the WHOLE book. Even the darn baby-tiger. Hehe.
Maryse’s Book Blog: OMG! The baby tiger in the pen is Kristen Ashley’s “The Golden Dynasty” is killing me in awwwwwwww-ness. I am loving this book so far! I can’t stop giggling with gleeeeee. This book is so intense, and yet hilarious in Kristen Ashley’s perfect way. She freaking yippee’d!!!
Dee: No way! I’m reading this right now! God I love this book!
Lori: It started so intense, you we’re right in! I love the language barrier!
Mariel: Oh Maryse… I know you… You’re gonna have the… OH NO! HE DID NOT! Moment lol I love me some Lahn!
Jessica: OMG! Yes I loved that book!!!!! I can’t say it enough!
Maryse’s Book Blog: “Mayoo!” ”I can’t “Mayoo” Lahn, you’re like six foot seven. You’ve got a whole foot on me.” LOL! Damn she’s funny. I can’t stop giggling. This is the most endearing relatable character in such an unrelatable world. I. Am. Loving! You guys weren’t kidding when u said this was one of her best.
Molly: Loved loved loved this series! Cannot wait until December 27th for the next installment! Was in a book slump until I read these!
Sarah: I’m so excited that you’re reading this Maryse! Can’t wait to hear what you think of the rest of the book!
Maryse’s Book Blog: Okay u guys are gonna hold my hand. Right now I’m in awwww-mode ’cause of the sweetness of learning each other. But I’m scared (and excited for) the OH NO HE DIDNT moment. Eeeeep!!! When it comes to books (see how I put that in there ) there is NOTHING better than winning the heart and smile of that angry, hulking, brooding, scowling warrior. NOTHING better.
Maryse’s Book Blog: OMG I’m IN LOVE!!! I’m so silly!!! It’s just the “Gingoo” drink scene and Im giggling like a schoolgirl. THIS feeling is why I read.
Erin: You get a good dose of “the feels” with this one!!
Violy: I love dax Lahn! Golden Dynasty is my fave KA book.
Meagan: This book couple also reminds me a whole lot of Kahleesi and Kahl Drogo on Game of Thrones and I love them!!
Maryse’s Book Blog: She says that was her inspiration in an interview with me a year ago…
Maryse’s Book Blog: “Rayloo, Circe.”
I glared into his eyes as his hand glided up the skin of my side.
Sh!t, that felt nice.
“All right, rayloo. I’ll rayloo, whatever the hell that means,” I grumbled.
Okay… I just SO cackled in glee again.
Ashley: I’m reading Wildest Dreams right now. I can’t not read her books in order no matter what I do. I’m not sure why I held off on this for so long, but it’s perfect fantasy + KA!
Sarah: You so have to post when you get to the oh $&@: moment. I’d love to see your reaction…if you can even pull your eyes away from it of course. Its so bad yet so good. Pure KA gold.
Alyssa: You haven’t read it???????? Love the fantastical series!!!! Wait. You’ll be laughing and sobbing alternately!
Have you EVER seen so much love for one book? I could make an entire “book review” just on the reader comments and subsequent discussions for this book alone. And there’s a reason for this.
My GOODNESS I LOVED THIS!!!!!! There is SO much to experience here. From misunderstandings to mistreatments, pure and beautiful “falling in love” to intense jealousy, injustices and concessions. It’s heartwarming, inspiring and so romantic I was a puddle of golden mush the entire way through. Ahhhhh to be loved by an unassailable King, an invincible warrior… and best yet, just a beautiful man (although frequently brooding and growly <— just the way I like ‘em ), named Lahn.
Any “Circe’s” out there? Watch out when you go to sleep tonight… you never know. Lucky girl!
Pure Kristen Ashley perfection. Treat yourself to the kind of romance you read for. This is it.
P.S. Here’s the The Fantasyland Series Reading Order <— All “standalones” and Lori has read them all so far and suggests:
“I think Golden Dynasty is probably the best book KA has ever written, loved it – this is a steal! They are standalones if you just want to read Golden Dynasty. If you want to read the whole series, start with Wildest Dreams…then GD, Fantastical, Broken Dove should be out soon. Well worth the read!! but GD is a must!”
- Wildest Dreams (Fantasyland Series Book 1)
- The Golden Dynasty (Fantasyland Series Book 2)
- Fantastical (Fantasyland Series Book 3)
- Broken Dove (Fantasyland Series Book 4)
- Midnight Soul (Fantasyland Series Book 5)