Author: Kimberley Griffiths Little
Series: Forbidden, #1
Released: November 4th 2014
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.