Review: Fantastical (Fantasyland, #3) by Kristen Ashley

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Book 3 in Kristen Ashley’s Fantasyland series takes us away from the dark (but brilliant) intensity of The Golden Dynasty and back to the lightness with a similar feel to book 1 – Wildest Dreams.

Again, we find our heroine waking up in an alternate reality – this time into what is essentially a Disney movie – birds chirping, quirky furniture, mountains, waterfalls, a bird that talks to her, and even a blonde prancing around in a nightgown and singing tra la la la la. Then before she knows it, all hell has broken loose and she finds herself whisked away to safety by a hot guy on a horse.

“I was an administrative assistant! How did I end up on a horse, in a forest in a hellacious thunderstorm with a man wearing breeches, for God’s sake?” 

Cora eventually realises her situation – that she has has been somehow transported into a parellel universe and has changed place with the Cora of this world. She then sadly discovers that that Cora is a class-A bitch, and that the hot guy who rescued her is her husband, Noctorno (Tor) who is also a Prince and pretty much hates her guts – and understandably so.

“You proceeded to kill my love for you and twist it into something else entirely … You twist it until there’s nothing in it to recognise as anything even close to what it once was.”

But on the upside, she gets to spend some quality time with the luscious Tor as the two of them go into hiding while he protects her from an evil witch out to destroy them. Due to his intense hatred of the ‘other’ Cora, he’s a bit of a bastard to her in the beginning, but of course he sees the change in her from the cold, mean bitch he married to the sweet but sassy, funny, caring woman with him now. Cora tries to explain to him what’s going on, but he doesn’t believe her, and tells her to stop playing games with him. But as things get a little steamy between them, and they get to know each other more, they start to develop strong feelings for each other. Cora follows her heart and falls hard for her gorgeous but somewhat scary husband, but I really felt for poor Tor – as much as he likes the new Cora, he still thinks she’s playing with him and he so wants for it to be real. – “I’ve changed my mind. Play this game, my love, I want you to.”

Thankfully it doesn’t take long for Cora and Tor to come together and when they do, it is INTENSE! Wow, these two are steamy! I loved watching Cora find her place in a world where pretty much everybody that has ever encountered the ‘other’ her loathes her on sight, and Tor provides some swoony moments as he settles her into her life as his Princess.

But as with all of these Alpha jerks, Tor pulls the absolute pinnacle of all asshole moves, which had me swearing at my kindle (and him) as I tried to understand what the hell happened to my swoony, romantic hero. How could such awful things come out of his mouth? 

 But this big moment leads to a sensational twist, which I won’t spoil, but I will say that I really liked where KA took the story from this point on. It added a new dynamic to the overall storyline, and to their relationship, which I thought was brilliant. Plus it allowed Tor to be all swoony again, and there were some amazingly beautiful moments between him and Cora as they dealt with all that was happening around them.

“It’ll be all right, my love,” he assured me quietly.
“Right,” I whispered, not believing him.
His hand brought mine to his chest as his other hand came out, hooked me around the neck and pulled me to him. “If it isn’t, I’ll make it so,” he declared. “That’s a vow.”

The introduction of Noc was also a sensational move. He’s a great character, and I’m hoping to see more of him in the next book.

Being Kristen Ashley, of course there is a gorgeous HEA. The epilogue was also awesome – not in the overly swoony way that KA’s epilogues usually are (although there is definitely some of that), but in the ‘Oh holy shit, this is so awesome I can’t believe it’s happening, and I can’t freaking wait for the next book!’ way. It establishes Apollo and Ilsa’s story beautifully, and sets the stage for the epic battle to come.

SQUEEEEE!! Hurry up March 2013!!!!

The Fantasyland Series

Wildest Dreams - 80  Golden Dynasty - 80  Fantastical - 80  Broken Dove - 80  Midnight Soul

Wildest Dreams (#1) (Frey & Finnie)
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The Golden Dynasty (#2) (Lahn & Circe)
Buy: Kindle Ebook | Paperback | Audio

Fantastical (#3) (Tor & Cora)
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Broken Dove (#4) (Apollo & Maddie)
Buy: Kindle Ebook  |  Paperback | Audio

Midnight Soul (#5) (Noc & Franka)
Buy:  Kindle Ebook  |  Paperback | Audio


For more KA awesomeness, check out our Kristen Ashley Author Spotlight 


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