Review: The Fantasyland Series by Kristen Ashley

Fantasyland

Kristen Ashley has become one of my favorite authors this year – not only are books pretty easy to get lost into – her books also are the ones that have bought me back from the brink of reading slumps – once I start her books I end up reading EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM, even if it is a re-read!

They are THAT AMAZING!! 

Today, though I am going to be introducing (or re-introducing, if you are already  fan) to a series – The Fanstasyland Series -by Kristen, that is a bit out there – this is purely fantasy genre for adults! You have dragons, witches, royalty, magic, talking animals, kickass heroines and over the top alpha heroes!! 

You have to keep yourself open a bit when you read this series though – there are somethings that could end up being too out of the realm for you, but I would highly suggest that you keep your reservations aside, for these are books that will keep you hooked till every last one are done!

But mostly, I liked  this series, is because of the shock factor and the actual fantastical aspects woven into a genre that is quite rarely found! 

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Seoafin “Finnie” Wilde was taught by her parents that 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. 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 have the adventure of a lifetime.

But upon arrival in the Winter Wonderland of Lunwyn, she realizes she’s been played by her twin and finds herself walking down the aisle to be wed to The Drakkar.

Thrown into inauspicious circumstances, with years of practice, 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 but instead, his Finnie, a free-spirit with a thirst for venture just like him, without her knowledge he orders his new bride bound to his frozen world, everlasting.

But at the same time Frey plunges Finnie into a web of political intrigue that includes assassination plots, poison, magic, mystery and… dragons.

My Review (1)

This is the book that starts it all – and this is by far my favorite of the series till now! it has a Uber Alpha hero who commands the Elves and Dragons (YIKES!) and a Heroine who journeys to a parallel universe JUST to meet her parents’ (twins!). Both are amazing individually, but it was satisfactory to actually end up liking these two together.
There is sweetness, action, but by lord, there is romance in a way that makes you feel unsatisfied in reality! There is brilliancy in the way that Kristen actually delivers the romance, angst, action and characters who take your breath away, all in the typical Kristen Ashley writing style!

She has created a world  that is parallel to our own, where everyone has a ‘twin’ and it is possible to talk to animals 😉

“Seoafin,
Tonight, you marry The Drakkar. In the ancient tongue, this means The Dragon.
Good luck,
Sjofn”

Seoafin aka Finnie (named after the Norse Goddess of Love), is from OUR WORLD – she is an orphan, but when she meets a witch, who gives her the hope that there is a parallel world, where her parent’s twins are still alive and being the only daughter and close to her deceased parents – she really wants to be in their presence once again. the fact that she is an adventurer at heart and pretty much nuts, works in her favor! The fact that her twin has to come in her place  is also a contention, but she figures, if it just for a little while, it would be okay!

“She waits for me at windows and buys me dragons. There are reasons we walk this earth. I’m coming to realize mine.”

Frey Drakkar aka The Drakker, is marrying Sjofn, the princess of Lunwyn, but he dodesn’t really want to – for she is a lesbian and while he doesn’t have anything against lesbians, he just doesn’t want to be married to one!

He is hot. He is scowly. He is gruff – but most of all, he is swoon worthy – most of which has to do wiwth the fact that he can command dragons and anything with dragons is a win for me!

Even when he was a douche at first, I still liked him – but then he actually redeemed himself in my eyes, with the way he treated Seofin with all the gentleness there could be!

As with all the KA books, there is angst – there is stupidity, but that’s exactly what this book has – the swoony romance, magic, witches (good and bad) but there are some issues that does get on your nerves! Some moves, some decisions that pretty much end up getting on your nerves like no other!

“I love you, Frey. I’m in love with you. So in love, I’ll never stop loving you. Not ever. You, everything about you is beyond my wildest dreams.”

Here’s the thing that you have to remember while reading this book – it is DIFFERENT YET THE SAME to our world – men are douches, stupid and utterly irresponsible, with the old world concept of “I am MAN. Hear ME ROAR” – for he goes out and makes decisions that aren’t exactly HIS to make! And that made me want punch him SO DAMN HARD, dragons be damned. Seriously!

But calm yourself, and trust me, you will still end up falling for Frey and though you might not agree with his decisions, you will still fall head over heels for him – for you will be hooked from the first go!

My Rating (1)

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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Currently just ₹58 on Kindle India ❤

But the price will definitely go up soon! 😀

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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.

My Review (1)

Warning: This book contains detailed mentions of rape and other abuse that could end up as a trigger for some!

This is the second book in the Fantasyland series, and can read as standalone, though there are mentions of the first couple in the book, but it is a minute reference.

“I gave up a world for you.”

Circe Quinn sleeps in OUR world but wakes up to a world that is so far out different from hers that it doesn’t even end up being funny! What starts as a nightmare for her, even with a hot husband (whom she can’t even talk to!), turns out to be the world she really wants to be a part of! She is the quintessential KA heroine, meaning she is impulsive but loves with everything within her and rarely takes prisoners when it comes to speaking up her mind!

Dax Lahn, is the king of a ferocious tribe of warriors – warriors who end up choosing a bride through a ceremony that is more horrific than anything I have ever read about! He is strong, but he is also silent and definitely confident in his ability to choose his wife, a wife that he knows is going to be by his side when they usher in a new era for their clan – so what if they is a mountain of difference between them, so what if they can’t understand each other?

But what they don’t realise is that the Circe who came here, came in the place of a Circe who wasn’t exactly a free woman (for THAT background, you’ll definitely WANT to read the first book!), and soon their inability to open their minds (specifically Dax’s) just might end up separating these two!

I have always wondered what it would be like to actually experience a love that isn’t hindered by the misunderstandings caused by words and with Dax and Circe, I did. And it was beautiful to watch.

“I am your husband, I will keep you safe and I will do it by keeping my feet on this earth, breathing the air and being there to make you feel safe. Do you understand this?”

I have to be really honest here, when I read the first few chapters I really, and I do mean REALLY, wasn’t feeling it – somehow it felt too big of an obstacle for Circe to get past – and I was right in a part – she might have forgiven Dax for it, considering that it was a way of his life, and his actions really did so much to actually heal those wounds, she still didn’t forget, not until that one hail mary when everything they both had worked towards reduced into chaos.
But it was really admirable, the way Circe rallied on – she might have had reservations about the way of Korwahk Horde, but she did keep her judgements to herself (at least to her band of woman!) and rallied forth, but that never meant that she was a door mat – oh no no no! What she was, was the true Queen of Korwahk Horde, and it showed in the way she treated her tribe and definitely how she treated her husband.

“You know I love you,” I whispered in his ear.

“I know,” he whispered back, turned, I pulled my arms away and he got on his knees in front of me, his hands framing my face.

I looked in his dark eyes.

“Do you know how much?” I kept whispering.

“How much, baby?” Lahn kept whispering too.

I bent my forehead to his and told him the truth. “More than my world.”

Dax Lunh, on the other hand was the ferocious King of Suh Tunak, but he definitely adored his wife – he might have not understood the ways of her, but he definitely gave them the respect they deserved and it went a long way of redeeming him in my eyes, for the love he showered on her wasn’t with words, but definitely with his actions – and that was the brilliance of this romance.

So no, they both weren’t perfect – for both it was the combination of circumstances and their own headstrong personality, but it was again a story worth reading, but it DEFINITELY NEEDS AN OPEN MIND!

“I could not dream a better you.”

He wasn’t done. “A better wife, a better queen. Not even in a dream could I create better than you.”

My Rating (1)

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ .5

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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.

My Review (1)

Disclaimer: This is the third book, and TRUST ME, you need to read the first two to enjoy a bit of a background in this one!

THIS ONE WAS MY FAVORITE OF THE SERIES (till now!) – this installment had everything I loved – a heroine that was honest to God – the most serene and the with a really good heart – she was quite different from the other KA heroines, not because she wasn’t strong – she really was but because she was strong in a way that most woman who aren’t quite confident are. She was strong in a way that women have to be when they can’t be as open as they would have liked to be.

Coming from a patriarchal society, she is the one heroine who I absolutely identified with for her strength wasn’t actually in her loudness and her ability to be able to voice her opinion, but it laid in her ability to be true to herself.

“In this world,” I kept whispering, “you were the only thing I had but you were the only thing I needed.”

As usual, Cora of this world has a twin in our world – but the difference between the twins is night and day, literally. The Cora of this world is an evil bitch and that’s the mildest expression I could find to use for her. But her twin? Cora Goode, of our world, is a simple woman – she might not have the most adventurous life, but she loves her life and she likes her normalcy. But when she is thrust in a world she doesn’t understand without any warning, she unravels a plot that could mean the end of the life in this world.

The fact that her twin is married to a HOT PRINCE aka Noctorno, is the icing on the cake. But Tor doesn’t really like her twin (an understatement!), but he slowly starts to humor her, especially considering her total 180 degrees change in her behavior! Even though he doesn’t believe her story of being from a parallel world, he still humors her and is really gentle with her, at least with his actions.

The romance they have with each other, isn’t lustful at it’s base, what it is, is sweet, gentle and heartwarming. And it was so much fun to watch BIG BAD TOR to fall in love with the gentle soul that Cora!

I adored the way Cora handled herself in this new world, even with the kind of havoc that her twin left behind, the grace and humility kept her company and that she went ahead to win everyone’s hearts!

“Only you could put color into a colorless world.”

And amazingly, it took a trip to our world, for Tor to understand there are things

Now, this is the book where everything starts to unravel – a plan by the evil witches to destroy the good in this world, and a plan to keep the soul mates apart! Every couple in this series has their own role to play and it becomes a lot more clearer as to where everything is going, series wise and it becomes all the more exciting to see the plot progress.

P.S. Tor also has a twin in this world – Noc, and he is as delish as he sounds and he will get his own HEA in Midnight Soul with a anti-heroine in this series! 😀

My Rating (1)

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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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.

My Review (1)

This is the story of Apollo Ulfr, the cousin of Frey Drakkar from Wildest Dreams – and his story started from the first book itself. He is a man who has lost the love of his life and when he finds out about the parallel worlds he ends up making a decision to bring his wife’s twin, Ilsa Ulfr to this world!

But here’s the thing – the Ilsa Ulfr of this world hasn’t exactly known the best side of Apollo of this world, especially having been married to him. So when she is whisked off to the parallel world by his lookalike, it isn’t exactly a bed of roses, especially with the way Apollo treats her at first!

“There would be no winning her. It had only been a day and in that day, her adorable stubbornness, even her exasperating peevishness, he realized he wanted to win her more than he had before.”

Ilsa Ulfr aka Miss Madeleine or Maddie is a broken woman. She hasn’t exactly had the most fruitful life, with her parents abandoning her, and the choices she made in her love life – she isn’t looking forward to be a replacement to woman so obviously loved by her husband and her children, something that she never had in her life.

Apollo, on the other hand, I was a little uncertain of – for he didn’t understand that no woman, none at all, would want to be a replacement for another woman. And the way he treated her (even if it was with a bit of indifference!), was a little heartbreaking and I didn’t know if he would be able to redeem himself. It didn’t take long for him to understand that Maddie and his late wife are two different people.

There are of course more than these two involved in this story, and it took everything in me to actually not break down with the angst in this book and the level of angst is quite high with this one! And not to mention, evil is slowly gaining power and until all the couples get their stuff together, they will definitely win!!

“It takes more than fairytale worlds to fix what’s broken in me. And this is because I live every day knowing it was me who broke it.”

I liked Maddie – she is fragile and definitely sensitive – and how I wished that she had had the strength to actually find her footing like she actually wanted to. She kept reiterating that she needed to find herself, yet she didn’t do anything more than just saying it – and I honestly got the fear she had for opening herself up, I did. What I didn’t get was, why she couldn’t actually find herself, even if she had to do so with the help of people around her!

“It is my responsibility as the man who loves you and wants you to be his wife to mend what’s broken in you … I’ll not forget again that I must treat you with care.”

Now, Apollo was a hard man to warm up to – somehow even if after knowing the kind of life Maddie had led till now, he still went ahead to treat her with a bit of callousness that I certainly did not expect, or even understand even if I did get his POV.

He understood the preciousness that was in his life, a little late and I just wish he had had the chance of actually understanding a bit earlier rather than a bit late in the story!

But when he did? Oh. My. God. He was the perfect match for Maddie, and definitely redeemed himself quite perfectly in my eyes, even if was a little late.

 “Love like you build with Miss Madeleine is as she is. It is not of this world. Not of her world. It is beyond the worlds. It is beyond anything.”

The plot with evil witches on the other hand, explodes quite amazingly in this one – and it is quite amazing to see that the heroines are the one who rescue themselves rather than actually waiting around for their men to be heroes!

Every couple makes an appearance in this book, and I honestly it was so fun revisiting all the couples and the way they are slowly moving towards their HEA.

Point to be made though is that this one seems to have ended the witches ARC, and I actually thought this was the end to this series, until the Midnight Soul was announced and now I can’t wait to see where KA takes the end of the series to!

My Rating (1)

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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Against his will, Noctorno Hawthorne, an undercover vice cop, finds himself embroiled in magic, mayhem and parallel universes. Too late, he meets an amazing woman only to find she’s destined for his identical twin in another world.

And things aren’t going real great there.

Noc is recruited to help save that world.

What he doesn’t know is his destined love resides there.

Franka Drakkar wears a mask. A mask she never takes off to protect herself in a world of malice, intrigue and danger.

When Franka meets Noc and he discovers her secrets, convinced she carries a midnight soul, having shielded herself from forming bonds with anyone, she struggles with accepting his tenderness and care.

When Noc meets Franka, over wine and whiskey, her masks slips and Noc knows it’s her—only her—and he has to find a way to get her to come home with him.

And then make her want to stay.

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Releases on August 15th!! YAY!! Which is in 2 DAYS!!<3

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