The Golden Dynasty  - Kristen Ashley I'm on the fence with this one. I loved it and hated it all at the same time. First of all, I thought the incorporation of the Korwahk language was genius. I found myself quite frustrated with the whole language barrier, which made me feel more connected to the heroine, Circe. Through my own curiosity, I frequently used the 'Korwakh' dictionary at the end of the book to decipher some words because I was too impatient to wait for the story to reveal its meaning.
Aside from that, I totally understand that this is a love story between two different people from two different worlds. I get it, it's fantasy world so anything goes, but it makes it hard to accept some of the events that happened without judgement. This is where I had a lot of difficulty with. In this book, there's rape involved, nothing graphic but it's implied quite a few times early on between Lahn (the king) & Circe. Apparently, it's the way of the Korwakh warriors. Whatever, I understood it and I got past it since Circe got past it. Then there was a whole topic of the Xacto (female slaves to warriors, who apparently did some sexual favors as well). This bothered the crap out of me since he was FREAKIN' married. Plus, if he was with an Xacto (and receiving sexual favors) then why did he still bother raping his wife. Although, Circe put a stop to this, it still bothered me. Once Lahn, redeemed himself (and he did surprinsingly) he laid a hand on her and marked her BAD!!! Not once in all my reading, has KA's men ever laid a hand on their women. It was hard to take in. I almost wanted to stop reading. (I understand, it's the Korwahk way ... again) but seriously, how much more can you ask from our heroine? I, for one, do not condone violence. I was glad that Circe didn't either. But somehow, Lahn managed again to proved himself and she forgave him. I am not as forgiving. Lahn, being the warrior king that he is, powered through and showed a soft, sweet side that started making me question why I was even upset to begin with. But sometimes, even with all the compromises and forgiveness, there comes a breaking point where enough is enough. It happened for me when Lahn didn't believe in Circe. It absolutely broke my heart into pieces as it shattered Circe's soul. Although, he didn't understand it at the time, she truly gave up her "world" for him and in return, his doubt BROKE me apart. I can see the difficulty that Lahn faced in believing her story, but seriously, how could he question her love, when time and time again she has proven herself?
With that being said, the story itself was beautifully written. It was fierce, it was raw, but it was REAL and it has a HEA (I'm not quite sure how HAPPY I am about it). I think before starting this you have to lose all judgement and have an open mind to be able to accept the "Korwakh" culture.