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ABSOLUTELY, UTTERLY SENSATIONAL. WHAT AN INCREDIBLE READ!
6 STARS!!! (Because 5 just isn’t enough!)
Just when I think I have read the best of Kristen Ashley she comes along with something completely different that just blows everything else out of the water. OMG, THIS BOOK WAS FUCKING PHENOMENAL!!! Not that I want to compare it to her other books, because this book is so different from any of the other series of hers that I have read, but it just shows the range that this woman has as an author, she’s absolutely amazing. Be it contemporary, paranormal or fantasy, she rocks it, every single freaking time!
Not for the feint-hearted, parts of this book are shockingly brutal, and gut-wrenchingly emotional. But this is balanced with KA’s usual lightness and humour and one of the most incredible love stories I have ever read.
We are introduced immediately into the action when the heroine, Circe, wakes up in a parallel universe (not that she knows this), and is subjected to the ‘Wife Hunt’. I’m not going to go into details explaining it because, honestly, it’s hard enough to read, but Circe is ‘claimed’ by Dax Lahn, the King of the savage and primal nation of Korwahk, and appointed as its Queen. Thrust into her new life where knows neither the language or the customs, Circe proves to be an amazing heroine, showing incredible strength and resilience (and humour) as she slowly makes friends, finds her place and grows to love her warrior husband and his world.
Circe and Lahn are both fantastic characters. Both of them strong and stubborn, the connection between them is un-freaking-believable! It’s a brutal start to their relationship, and there are so many obstacles between them, but the story of how they conquer their differences and learn to love each other is just amazing!
One of the most special parts of the book for me was watching them overcome the language barrier and slowly come to understand each other. KA has invented an entirely new language that is used extensively throughout the book (and I’m proud to say that I can now understand some basic Korwahkian). Desperate to be able to communicate, they both try so hard to learn each other’s language. And with our introduction of Lahn as a brutish warrior, seeing him making such an effort to speak to Circe absolutely melted me and showed a whole other side to him, and with two little words “rest, baby” he absolutely stole my heart.
I could talk forever about the magic that is Dax Lahn, because he is absolutely one of the most amazing characters I’ve ever read. He has two sides to him – the brutal warrior king, and the absolutely gorgeously romantic hero, and these two sides are brought together brilliantly to create an epic character that I absolutely adore! He is, of course, incredibly protective of his bride (I love that he calls her his bride… amongst other gorgeous endearments), and many of their moments together had me swooning. Their relationship is extremely passionate, and there is a lot of sex in this book, but those scenes are beautifully written and are an important part of the story as it is part of the way that they communicate. However it may be handy to have a fan nearby while reading! Phew!
But above all, he is a king and a warrior, and if you are planning on reading this book, please remember while reading that it is an entirely different culture. It is brutal and savage, and their traditions and the way they do things are, at times, really hard to read. And while some things may seem unforgiveable to us as readers (and to Circe, being from the ‘real world’) in this world they mean something entirely different. This is explained beautifully as the book progresses, and with the help of Circe’s friend Diandra and an amazing cast of characters (both Circe’s group of friends and Lahn’s closest circle of warriors are incredible, and exactly the kind of people you would want at your back) we, as readers, come to learn and understand the world right alongside her.
Some of the things that Circe witnesses and endures herself are absolutely horrendous – even at the hands of her husband. But this is the culture, it is their norm, and part of the beauty of this book is Circe coming to understand this and act accordingly, but also Lahn coming to understand what is and is not acceptable to his wife, making allowances for her and helping her adjust. There is so much give and take to their relationship, and it is this acceptance, as well as the intense love they have for each other that helps them to overcome their differences and make a life together. And it is beautiful to watch!!!
I totally lost myself in this book! It was a superbly written, epic story that I know I will never forget. Thank you, once again, Kristen Ashley!
6 incredible stars!
“What has been has been but what will be is what we make of it.”
The Fantasyland Series
For more KA awesomeness, check out our Kristen Ashley Author Spotlight