Review: Banished

23385196Title: Banished (Forbidden #2)

Author: Kimberley Griffiths Little

Rating: ★★

Provided Synopsis: After spending months traveling the harsh, unforgiving Mesopotamian desert, Jayden reunites with a broken, injured Kadesh. Although everyone was convinced the violent and unpredictable Horeb, Jayden’s betrothed, killed the handsome prince, Jayden knew in her heart that her love was alive and safe. But their reunion is short-lived, as they learn Horeb is on their trail and determined to take back the girl he has claimed. Soon, the two star-crossed lovers are on the run toward Sariba, Kadesh’s homeland, where, as heir to the kingdom, he plans to make Jayden his princess.

But the trek to Sariba comes with heartache and danger. After narrowly escaping being stoned to death for a crime she didn’t commit, and learning that her sister has disappeared, Jayden’s only solace is her love for Kadesh. But even he is keeping secrets from her…secrets that will change everything.

Review: What happened? One of the things I loved so much about the first book,Forbidden, was the depiction of settings, due to the way it was able to sweep me into the world and the way of life of nomadic tribes such as Jayden’s. Despite being on a journey through the desert for a majority of the story there was no magic in terms of the setting this time around. Rather than immerse the readers into the world, as she had done before, the author seemed as if she were focused on so many other facets of her plot, And unfortunately I did not think all these new plot points did much to enhance this story.

For example, there are so many new threats to Jayden and Kadesh’s future happiness. Jayden’s betrothed, Horeb, continues to be an ever-looming presence, but in addition to him is a new storyline about idol worship, temples, magicians, priest and priestesses. Kadesh also holds on to far too many secrets for far too long; this was a problem for me because my hope with the end of the first book was that Jayden and Kadesh would come to know each other better so that my mind and emotions could comprehend the love they profess for one another. With so many secrets, however, this could not come to pass, making the dialogue and interactions between them feel very stilted and repetitive.

Jayden also became lost for me in Banished. I had connected with her strongly because of her commitment to her family and faith, as well as her determination to take what she desires in life rather than settle for what had been arranged for her. While she would worry over her sisters, her father, and grandmother, that grounded commitment did not feel as strong. Maybe I would have rather had a book focused upon moving towards someone rather than fleeing from enemies.


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Review: Forbidden

Title: Forbidden (Forbidden #1) 18889290

Author: Kimberley Griffiths Little

Rating: ★★★

Provided Synopsis: 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.

Review: Location, location, location! Everything about the settings of this story was incredible. I love a book that can really throw me into the world of the character, and the descriptions of the Mesopotamian desert climate along with the way of life for those in tribes or in cities made for a fascinating read. If you are interested in a story that will place you within a world different from the typical young-adult books then I would recommend this one in a heart beat.

Now, in terms of the actual storyline, the main character is named Jayden. Upon our introduction to her she is inducted into her tribe’s status of womanhood with a performance of a dance. Jayden’s marriage is to bring her riches and will eventually make her the queen of the tribe, yet she despises and fears her intended. When her family must travel to an oasis she meets a stranger named Kadesh and begins to fall in love with him.

As you know, I am picky when it comes to my love stories, thus I was left a little disappointed with the progression of things thus far. To be fair, I can envision Jayden and Kadesh becoming an even greater love story, but at the moment I feel as if they are in a state of attraction rather than the love they profess for one another. Some may disagree with me on this, yet I maintain my opinion that things can — and probably will — improve as this series goes by and they spend more time with one another. The moments are there; now I just want them to know more about each other and spend more time with each other to make things complete.

There is more to this story than the love between Jayden and Kadesh, however. The highpoints include Jayden’s love and commitment to her family and her faith. She is a courageous female character learning to take steps to live the life she wants for herself rather than the one others wish for her. All of the tragedies she must overcome made my bond with her stronger, and I find myself ready to return to the desert with her as soon as possible. Even though the ending of book one was predictable this is one of those moments where I want to kick myself for not doing research on a book: this book is the first of a trilogy, and it is hard to imagine waiting around for the next two books to be released.