Author: Kimberley Griffiths Little
Series: Forbidden, #1
Genre: YA historical
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Received via author
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.
This was a beautiful story. Although it's not actually a fantasy story, as there are no magical elements and it takes place in a historical time period, it still felt magical and fantastical. It was a story as beautiful as its cover, and I mean look at that cover.
Jayden is about to be betrothed to her tribe's prince, sealing her fate forever. Although she doesn't really want to, she has no choice in the matter. She knows that Horeb isn't all that he claims to be, and she is wary of him. Then, she meets Kadesh, a stranger from far away, bringing tales that couldn't possibly be true. As he travels with their family, Jayden finds herself being drawn to him in ways that she knows she can't be, especially not when betrothed to someone no one else realizes is so dangerous.
There is a lot that goes on in this book, and not in a bad way. I was fully immersed in this story, and there was never a point where I was bored or uninterested. It hooked me from the beginning. The writing was so beautiful and entrancing, really enhancing the magical qualities of the desert and the time period. Especially the way the dancing was described, which was such a crucial part of the story. It definitely brought life to the story.I also love this time period, and felt that Little did justice to the world-building, keeping it true to the times.
The characters were also well written. Jayden has many sides to her. While she is always the obedient daughter, she also wants to follow her own heart and learns to do so. She does go through a lot of growth in the story, from breaking free of tribal standards and what her mother has always taught her, to trying to think for herself and what she really wants for her life. She was an interesting character, with many dimensions. Kadesh was also interestingly written. He had different sides to himself as well, some he only showed to Jayden, and I definitely shipped them together. Leila annoyed me. The secondary characters were written to their role, which they fulfilled well.
And that ending. It will rip your heart out. I thought this was a standalone, and as I was getting nearer to the end, I was like there is no way everything can be resolved in so few pages. But turns out, it is actually a series, and I NEED the next book NOW. It was just so beautifully written, one that I would definitely recommend.
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