The third book in the ‘Fantasyland’ series, ‘Fantastical’ ended up being just an “okay” read for me. In all fairness, any book that had to follow ‘The Golden Dynasty’ probably wouldn’t have measured up for me. ‘Fantastical’ was that book. It paled in comparison.
‘Fantastical’ tells the story of Cora Goode and Prince Noctorno “Tor” Hawthorne. Beginning in a similar fashion to ‘The Golden Dynasty’, the Cora of modern-day Seattle wakes up in the parallel universe as her “otherworld twin”. However, that is where the similarities end.
The Cora of this world discovers that the Cora of the other world is kind of a pain in the ass. Unbeknownst to her, she makes a grave mistake upon her arrival in the “new” world, which sets off a curse. It doesn’t take long for her to figure out that her inadvertent action is only the latest in a long line of selfish, cruel behaviors on the part of her “twin”.
To make matters worse, she finds out that she is married in this alternate world…and her husband despises her. Apparently, twin Cora and her husband, Prince Noctorno “Tor” Hawthorne, can barely tolerate one another. This means that Cora is subjected to a LOT of Tor’s ire upon her arrival in this new world.
She has an uphill battle on her hands to win him over. Yet, she genuinely likes Tor and wants him to like her. She is faced with the difficult task of trying to re-vamp her image with virtually everyone that the other Cora had wronged in this world.
Tor is certain that his wife is playing games with him. He cannot figure out what has motivated her sudden change in personality, but he is happy to enjoy it while it lasts. Finally having the wife that he fantasized about, he is hesitant to grow too attached only to be heartbroken when she decides to revert to her old ways.
Eventually, Cora and Tor seem to get on the same page. Things are pretty peachy for awhile. Then, Cora overhears something that upsets her greatly and she is transported back to her world again.
While I liked Cora and Tor’s story, I didn’t love it. For every part that was highly enjoyable, there were parts that seemed to drag on and on without purpose. Maybe this had something to do with the fact that I listened to all of the audiobooks back to back, or that this book followed ‘The Golden Dynasty’, which was hands-down the best in the series. Regardless, much of this book seemed tedious to me.
Noctorno does finally come around and works to win Cora over again. For me, it was just too little too late. I was glad that they got their HEA, but I was mostly glad to finish this book.