Monday, November 17, 2014

Review: Forbidden

Forbidden (Forbidden #1)Author: Kimberley Griffiths Little
Series: Forbidden, #1
Released: November 4th 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Length: 397 pages
Source: Publisher for review

In the unforgiving Mesopotamian desert where Jayden’s tribe lives, betrothal celebrations abound, and tonight it is Jayden’s turn to be honored. But while this union with Horeb, the son of her tribe’s leader, will bring a life of riches and restore her family’s position within the tribe, it will come at the price of Jayden’s heart.

Then a shadowy boy from the Southern Lands appears. Handsome and mysterious, Kadesh fills Jayden’s heart with a passion she never knew possible. But with Horeb’s increasingly violent threats haunting Jayden’s every move, she knows she must find a way to escape—or die trying.

With a forbidden romance blossoming in her heart and her family’s survival on the line, Jayden must embark on a deadly journey to save the ones she loves—and find a true love for herself.

Set against the brilliant backdrop of the sprawling desert, the story of Jayden and Kadesh will leave readers absolutely breathless as they defy the odds and risk it all to be together.

Forbidden is the first book in Kimberly Griffiths Little’s historical romance trilogy with a very lush, exotic setting. Set against the backdrop of the Mesopotamian desert in 1759, it gives us great insight into the best and the very worst of this world. Our heroine is Jayden, a 17-year-old girl betrothed to the future tribe leader. Her marriage was arranged when she was just a baby, but Jayden feels only fear and mild disgust for Horeb, and wants nothing more than to avoid marrying him. Then a young wounded warrior joins her family in the desert and Jayden is immediately taken by him, just as he seems taken by her. Her life becomes even more complicated, burdened with tragedy and the constant fight for survival and torn between two young men, one she was promised to years ago, and one who truly loves her.

Jayden’s world, which is the Mesopotamian desert, is harsh and unforgiving, cruel to those who call it home. The desert provides more than just a backdrop for this story, it is almost a character. It affects the events in so many ways, sometimes as a source of comfort, but more often as the place of constant danger. Jayden and her tribe, like all other desert tribes and travelers, feel the desert in their bones. They have to be one with their surroundings, predict everything this cruel mistress can throw their way. They would never survive otherwise.

Kimberly Griffiths Little has a gorgeous writing style and an excellent sense of pacing. Her sentences only emphasize the gorgeous, exotic setting. Jayden’s characterization was done brilliantly, but I felt that the other characters needed more work. Kadesh especially seemed far too perfect and lacked nuance as a character, but the same applies to Horeb, who was purely, unreasonably evil, and Jayden’s empty-headed, selfish sister Leila.

Although beautifully written and quite romantic, the book was in desperate need of an author’s note, some sort of explanation that would put these events in a historical context. As far as I can tell, it’s close enough to actual events and places to be considered purely historical, and not historical fantasy, and yet there are a few things that make very little sense, and a few that are glaringly inaccurate.

It must be said that Forbidden ends with a cliffhanger, and a rather painful one at that. Seeing as Banished, the second book of the series, won’t be released until January 2016, I fear I’ll forget the details of this story. A year and three months seems like such a long time between installments, especially when one is left with such a deep sense of foreboding. Nevertheless, you’ll want to read this one as soon as possible. It’s really too beautiful to pass up.

A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.


  1. I'm glad the love triangle didn't deter you from enjoying this novel, Maja. I'm also glad that you mentioned how long I'd have to wait for the next book. I can at least put this in the back burner for a long time still.


  2. It's too bad that the secondary characters aren't as fleshed out, but this sounds like a great book overall, Maja. I love that it's set somewhere foreign and that the worldbuilding is well-done. I'll check this one out when I get some time :)

  3. Why call it the Mes desert...did they do that then? And the name jayden?

  4. Well, this looks like a delicious read! Definitely hitting the library for this one. And thank you for the beautifully written review! Amanda xxx

  5. this sounds like an awesome book although I don't like it when there is so much TIME between the two installments!
    GREAT review though
    your reader,
    Soma R

  6. This one sounds fantastic and I'm very much intrigued about it, given how it is historical fiction with such an ancient history setting! The cliffhanger and massive wait are making me thinking of getting it now but not reading it till closer to release date of book two! Thanks for the cliffy warning Maja!

  7. You wouldn't believe the amount of clicks this book got when I featured it on my New Releases post a couple of weeks ago! I hadn't even heard of it before then, but after that I just had to investigate. I'd best get reading!

    Carmel @ Rabid Reads

  8. I'm really happy to hear you loved this, Maja. I thought this was a really fantastic read. Like you, I was completely invested in the desert setting. I agree with you on the secondary characters. I'm not going to lie, I went into the book expecting a stand alone so when that ending came it was almost like a slap to the face. I am a little frustrated that we're going to have to wait until 2016. Like you said, I'll probably forget things in the book.
    Gorgeous review, Maja!

  9. Darn those cliffhangers but it sounds like it was worth it in the end.
    I want to read this but maybe I will wait until it is closer for the second book to be released before doing so.

  10. The Mesopotamian desert in 1759 is DEFINITELY not something I've read before and I'm intrigued...though I think I'll wait because of the cliffie. So not a fan of those!

  11. I always take the historical stuff, when some of it is glaringly inaccurate, and just figure it was "based on" history but made it's own world. Well, it works for me. Otherwise it would bother me too much. LOL I do think this one sounds like it is one that I would enjoy and so I need to put it on my wishlist!

  12. The belly dancer book that I keep seeing around. Everyone seems to be enjoying this one but I am not thrilled about the cliffie and the long wait, I think I will wait until closer to the next book release before reading.

  13. Aw, no! A cliffhanger isn't any fun, especially if the wait for the next book is so long. This one does sound good though, I'm a sucker for historical romances with a great setting. Interesting about the historical context, I almost always see an Author's Note with books like this, explaining what was real and what was re-imagined, too bad this lacked that.

  14. I'm glad this one is more than just a pretty cover. With the cliffie ending and the long wait until the second book, I'll wait closer to the release of the next book before picking this one up but it sounds right up my alley.

  15. It seems like cliffhangers are making a comeback :-( I can barely remember a book I read a month ago these days. Every book at least needs a recap lol

  16. I'm happy to see 4 stars! I've seen some mixed reviews for this book but I'll be reading it regardless. I love that cover and summary. Happy you liked it!

  17. This sounds like a pretty reasonable book! I have seen it around a few other blogs but I have not really considered reading it myself until now. I love the cover, and I like the idea of a very different setting from the usual. Now, I will put it on my TBR. Thanks for the review ^^

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