I love the fact that you can read these as stand alones or devour the series like I did. Kristen like with all her Series's has a knack of catering for both sets of people when it comes to this. While I like being in the know with back stories etc, I know some of you like just to grab a book and read and just be in the moment with that particular book. This series works both ways.
Anyway lets get down to it shall we.
Synopsis - Seoafin "Finnie" Wilde was taught by her parents that life was meant to be lived, every breath was a treasure and to seek every adventure she could find. And she learns this lesson the hard way when they perish in a plane crash when she's fifteen. But she never forgets and when she discovers there is a parallel universe where every person has a twin, she finds a witch who can send her there so she can see her parents again and have the adventure of a lifetime.
But nearly upon arrival in the Winter Wonderland of Lunwyn, she realizes she's been played by her twin of the alternate universe and shortly finds herself walking down the aisle to be wed to The Drakkar.
Instantly thrown into inauspicious circumstances, with years of practice (she did, of course, survive that elephant stampede, if she could do that, she can do anything), Finnie bests the challenges and digs into her adventure. But as Frey Drakkar discovers the woman who is his new wife is not Princess Sjofn, a woman he dislikes (intensely) but instead, his Finnie, a free-spirit with a thirst for venture just like him (not to mention she is his destiny), without her knowledge he orders his new bride bound to his frozen world, everlasting.
Oh my with this book I wasn't sure what to expect. I loved Finnie and her adventurous side, not shying away from things that present themselves to her. There was no crying in the corner or under the bed. It was suck it up and get on with it. Look on the bright side of things. Definitely a few lessons learnt for myself there.
Well of course once the book got going there was Frey to add to the list of bright sides but to begin with he was really a wanker. There were a few times at the start when I wanted to grab someone's sword and smack up over the head with the blunt end because he just couldn't see what was right in front of him. Once he got the facts it was a instant switch to the brightside list.
I personally loved this book and between this and Broken Dove it's a toss up as to which one is my favourite.
Favourite Quote - “You are, my wee Finnie, beyond my wildest dreams.”
The Golden Dynasty
Synopsis - 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 her 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.
This book was interesting as Kristen added Circe into the world. She ended up with people who didn't speak her language and one of the prey in what is known there as the "Wife Hunt".
Talk about having some serious issues right off the bat for her. I love the fact she didn't break. Even with the language barrier she made herself and feelings felt. While I'm not crazy about some of the things that happen during the wife hunt and after I am happy Lahn is the one who is by Circe's side. This story reminded me a little of Game of Thrones and the Daenerys and Dothraki Khal Drogo. I even had Jason Momoa in my head as Lahn
I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who found this comparison to.
While I did enjoy the story this one for me was a little hard to keep a track of with the different language floating round. Kristen did do a good job of putting in a translation though just by the time I got there my poor little brain was trying to figure where the translation fit with the story.
Favourite Quote - “I could not dream a better you.”
Oh my God.
Oh… my… God.
Did he just say that?
I stared into his warm eyes.
He just said that.
And that was so sweet, so unexpected but so welcome, my breath arrested and all I could do was continue staring at him.
He wasn’t done. “A better wife, a better queen. Not even in a dream could I create better than you.”
Synopsis - Cora Goode has woken up in a fairytale world where she can understand what birds are saying to her, men ride horses and have fluffy feathers in their hats and furniture zigs, zags and whirls in miracles of construction.
The problem is, she thinks she’s in a dream but she’s actually taken the place of the parallel universe Cora and without realizing it, our Cora does something that starts a centuries old curse that will sweep the land if she gets captured by the evil Minerva.
At this point, her dream world becomes a nightmare.
Luckily, hot guy, fantasyland Noctorno is there to save her from the clutches of the grotesque vickrants sent by Minerva to capture her. Unfortunately, hot guy, fantasyland Noctorno doesn’t like the Cora of his world all that much (to say the least) and he thinks our Cora is her. And no matter what our Cora says or does to try to convince him, he won’t be convinced.
But Cora needs Tor to keep her safe and guide her through this fantastical world as she hopes one day to wake up in her not-so-great apartment in her not-so-great life in her world. The problem is, the more time she spends with the gorgeous warrior Tor, the faster she falls in love with him.
Right so if Frey needed the blunt end of a sword to the head I think the same goes with Tor, He in the beginning was simple a arrogant ass. When Cora (Our world one) was able to convince him finally that she wasn't the fantasyland one things got better. He was all kinds of Alpha hot once he figured out what was happening.
As for the Cora's, with the Our world one I really did feel for her as she got dropped into a whole big shit storm that she accidentally started straight off the bat. she didn't let that stop her though from again making the most of the situation. Her pull to Tor was instantly magnetic. Once he got up to speed with everything it was awesome to watch the sparks fly with these 2.
As for the Fantasyland Cora well to say she's a selfish bitch would be a understatement.
Favourite Quote - “Quiet,” he repeated on a growl, “I’m about to fuck my wife and the only words I want her saying when I do it are ‘yes’, ‘Tor’, ‘my prince’, ‘baby’ and ‘oh my God’.”
Synopsis - 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, bitter Ilsa nothing like his beloved and he 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.
Now this one is my favourite out of the lot (Well it's technically between this and Wildest Dreams but I think this one is just a head at the moment).
I loved Apollo and the way he stood up and helped Finnie and Frey in Wildest Dreams. My heart also ached for him when it was explained he'd lost the love of his life a few years back. With the stories a lot of backstory comes through when you read the others. Again as I said before it's not necessary to have it but if you're like me it adds another dimension with being in the know.
So with this book we see Apollo in a different light other than the loyal and hot man who has been helping regards to the other stories. We are introduced to the man who is broken to a point, stubborn and a whole lot arrogant in the beginning. Ilsa (Or Maddie as she becomes known in Fantasyland) is essential left to her own devices after Apollo rescues her at the start of the book from the nasty Pol of our world.
Again I wanted to smack him upside the head as He decides to bring her over there and then spends 2 seconds with her before he decides he's made a mistake.
Ilsa/Maddie comes to grips with what has happened and has decided to make the most of her freedom from Pol and embrace her surroundings and new world.
Things take a turn once the book actually gets going and Apollo's Alpha comes out and his need to protect Ilsa/Maddie finally kicks in.
Favourite Quote - “It’s my experience that a weakness understood is no weakness. If you know you have it, even if you can’t control it, you can make allowances for it. It is those who ignore or don’t understand their weaknesses who are wasted by them."
The running theme for all of these books for me was "Look on the bright side" and "Make the most of what cards you get dealt with".
Definitely one of my favourite series by Kristen. Can't wait for Book 5. With the synopsis on Kristen's website - Against his will, Noctorno Hawthorne of our world, an undercover vice cop, finds himself embroiled in magic, mayhem and alternate universes. Too late, in Fantastical, he meets the Cora Goode of his world only to find she's destined for his twin in the alternate universe. What he doesn't know is his destined love resides in thatuniverse. And when he meets her, he's not only stunned, he's faced with introducing her to a new reality and coaxing her to want to stay.
It will be very interesting to see how this plays out given the developments in Broken Dove.
Link to Wildest Dreams on Amazon
Link to The Golden Dynasty on Amazon
Link to Fantastical on Amazon
Link to Broken Dove on Amazon