Author: Kimberley Griffiths Little
Publishing Date: November 4th 2014
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Series: Forbidden #1
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.
I decided to read this book after reading a few awesome reviews. When I first saw this book, I wasn't sure I wanted to read it. Something about the cover and title just didn't grab me. I am not sure what it was, but I was going to pass it up. Then I read a few good reviews and the book was sent to me from the publisher... so I read it. This book was pretty awesome. I am so glad I didn't pass it up. I did have a few very minor problems with the pacing... but other than that, I absolutely loved it.
Jayden is a desert girl. She lives in the desert with her sister, mother, father, grandmother, cousins, aunts, uncles... an entire clan. They stay together and travel together. Jayden finds herself betrothed to her cousin (not by blood) Horeb. She doesn't love him but knows that this will be best for her clan... but she has a sinking feeling about the entire thing. Well from the very beginning of the betrothal things go bad, events happen... Jayden experiences tragedy after tragedy and finds herself falling in love with a stranger that is not part of her clan, or a desert man, discovers secrets about her sister, loses family she loves dearly, and learns of a horrible darkness in Horeb. She struggles to keep herself brave and determined while she fights to survive through it all.
This was an incredible story. There isn't any way that I can fully go through all my thoughts about this book in this review but I will do my best. First off... oh my goodness the tragedy that is in this book. One after the other and Jayden has to live through them all. She was such an amazing character. Definitely the best part of the book. Strong, Brave, Determined, Honorable, Loyal, Kind, and the list can go on. One of the best heroines I have read in a very long time. She just rocked. She did everything she could to follow the path she knew she was destined to follow even though nothing about it was easy. She tried hard to be happy with the decision her father and her clan leader made for her. She tried to be good, but everything seemed to set her against that path and onto a different one. I just loved her.
The romance in the book was just wonderful. Not overwhelming, just right. Started off slow but I was able to see it brewing and feel it coming. I knew of course where Jayden's heart would fall. And let me tell you, I didn't blame her. Kadesh... the love interest. Yes well I would've fallen for him too. Someone worth writing about but somehow I'm at a loss for words. He was just yummy. He was for sure the prince of the story. He was good looking of course, but he was also honorable, a real gentleman, a hero, giving, romantic, protective. Everything I like in a man. He was also mysterious, that of course made him sexy. He was so good, I felt he was too good to be true and somehow he would turn out to be a real dud. Well he didn't he stayed true to his character all the way through the story.
The story was a story of truth, honor, strength, faith, understanding, and of course love. Jayden had love for Kadesh, her sisters, her family and she had to decide where her heart was truly leading her and then find the strength to carry through. It was also a story about survival. Surviving emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and physically. About trusting what cannot be seen. It truly was a tremendously awesome story.
The only issue, the only flaw I found was the pacing. The beginning was well paced, fast and interesting. The ending was whoa so unreal and a page turner. The middle lagged some for me and it took me a while to get through it. It wasn't ever boring just kind of slow. I could put it down easily and come back to later on. Not once did I not want to come back to it, just wasn't an urgency to get back to it. Then of course the last 100 pages happened and I just couldn't put it down for the life of me. SO it did pick back up and it was an amazing ending... oh that brings me to the ending. What the heck!!! How could you do that to me and REALLY the next book doesn't come out until 2016. Yes I will die now thanks! If you don't like cliffhangers, wait to read the book. It's a killer cliffhanger!
A well worth it read. Looking for a wonderful very strong historical fiction with very strong characters. This would be it. Just be prepared the ending will hurt!
Kimberley Griffiths Little was born in San Francisco, but now lives in New Mexico with her husband and their three sons.
For such award-winning middle grade novels as When the Butterflies Came, The Last Snake Runner, The Healing Spell, and Circle of Secrets, her writing has been praised as "fast-paced and dramatic," with "characters painted in memorable detail" and "beautifully realized settings."
Kimberley adores anything old and musty with a secret story to tell and makes way too many cookies while writing.
She's stayed in the haunted tower room at Borthwick Castle in Scotland; sailed on the Seine in Paris; ridden a camel in Petra, Jordan; shopped the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul; and spent the night in an old Communist hotel in Bulgaria.
Her amazing, filmed-on-location book trailers are right here on Goodreads.https://www.goodreads.com/videos/list...
Awards: Southwest Book Award, Whitney Award for Best Youth Novel, Bank Street College Best Books of 2011 & 2014, Crystal Kite Finalist, and New Mexico Book Award Finalist.