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Exotic Setting | Book Review: Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little

Forbidden offers a strong heroine in an exotic desert setting.

Book Review: Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little

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forbidden kimberley griffiths little

Title & Author: Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little

Genre: Young Adult – Fantasy, Roamnce

Release Date: November 4, 2014

Series: Forbidden #1

Publisher: HarperCollins

How I Got the Book: ARC via the publisher


“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.”

Coolest Setting Award

Forbidden is definitely a book that sticks out in my mind. It has an really interesting setting: Mesopotamia! And it has a historical-ish feel and a very traditional environment – tribes where men are the leaders and they make all the decisions for their tribe.

Jayden is betrothed to Horeb, the soon-to-be leader of the tribe. This is a HUGE deal, as Jayden will gain wealth, prestige and honor. Unfortunately, Jayden’s not as excited as she should be. She doesn’t like Horeb romantically and guilt plagues her thoughts of becoming the clan leader’s wife.

Things get shaken up by the appearance of an outsider and a few events which change Jayden’s life forever.

Books set in this very masculine-dominated setting always walk a fine line, in my opinion. They can either go the “women are rising in power, so watch out!” route or the “this is the way things are, nothing’s changing” route. I find both boring and predictable at times, but I was so thankful that Forbidden took things in a different direction.

Plus, I really, really liked Jayden as the heroine. She goes through an incredible journey of self-discovery that’s both genuine and fairly realistic (given the incredible circumstances).

I liked how Jayden found her independence and how even though romance is a focus of the book, there’s still a huge emphasis on family and making tough decisions.

I think a lot of readers will enjoy the unique story setting and relate to Jayden’s struggles and triumphs.


Although the setting is what initially sets apart this book, the fantastic story (yes, there will be a sequel!!) and the engaging characters will keep readers glued to the pages. I recommend Forbidden as a great new historical fantasy read!

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.