Fantasyland #1-3 by Kristen Ashley (2011)
Fiction | Fantasy Romance | (TV-MA)
I decided to do a mini review for the series, although I’ve only read 3 of the 5 books in the series (I’m just not much interested in the other two), rather than a separate post for each. But I’ll list each book individually below with a link to my Goodreads review for it beneath if you’re interested in hearing my thoughts about a specific book in the series.
Onto the series review!
Book one features a viking pirate dragon lord? Book two is basically a take on Khaleesi and Khal Drogo’s story from Game of Thrones? Book three is like a dark and hungry fairytale? All three of those ideas had me itching to give these books a try despite my reservations.
I began this series on a whim because someone highly suggested it and I’d never heard of it (although I recognized the author’s name and I have to admit that I was not a fan of her The Three series – ugh) but I’m pleased to say I thought this was pretty good! Were there flaws? Oh definitely. For example, she spends way too much time giving far too many details and it’s tedious but I would just flip the pages until she’d finished waxing on about every sconce, rug, and ruffle in the room (But seriously, we get it. Keep the story moving please!). Also she writes enemies-to-lovers romance and while I generally find that trope entertaining she does often dance the line between exciting and insulting – sometimes it’s handled well thus we swoon and other times it seems to glorify unhealthy relationships which makes me cringe. But despite these flaws I found that in general they were easy to overlook amidst the grandeur of the story. (Although that being said even though I overall enjoyed this series I just don’t think I can bring myself to read any more of her books).
I must mention how I think it’s great that these are standalone books just connected by setting and character cameos. I get more of the fantasy and adventure but I can rest easy that by the end of the book the main characters will have an HEA and I can move on to the next pair and learn more about this magical world. This could either be your next favorite series binge or it could become kindling for your backyard bonfire. Either way, keep scrolling to read more about each book and if you’re interested in my thoughts about a particular book just click the >>MY REVIEW<< link.
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.
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.
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.
Meet Kristen Ashley!
Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana but has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe.
Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multi-generational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland and existed amongst the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).
Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.
And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.