Banished by Kimberley Griffiths Little

BanishedTitle: Banished
Author: Kimberley Griffiths Little
Series: Forbidden Series
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: February 2nd, 2016
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4out of 5)The summary of Banished from Goodreads:

She thought she’d lost everything . . .

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 is fraught 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.

This gorgeous and enchanting sequel to Forbidden, is full of love, danger, and heated passion that will leave readers breathless.

I really love the setting in this series. There’s something almost magical about it. That said, I was worried that this book would fall to the “second book curse.” I didn’t want it to be a novel that could have easily fit inside a couple of chapters in the beginning of the final story arc. I wanted it to be important, to have substance, and be its own book. It had a slightly rough start, but it quickly regained that special magic I found in the first book.

The Good:

Jayden is trusting her gut. Despite seeing Kadesh stabbed and bleeding, despite getting is bloodstained cloak…she believes the stories about a mysterious stranger. She knows in her soul that stranger is Kadesh. She doesn’t blindly go after him, though. She knows that the desert is dangerous and that Horeb is not willing to let her go. She’s smart about how she tracks him, focused on finding him and staying safe.

I love her loyal heart. She knows that family is everything. She also knows that family does not always mean those related by blood, but those that will protect you no matter what. She has both kinds of family on this novel. She risks her life to save her blood family, and she is surrounded by the other kind of family as she and Kadesh travel to his homeland.

Kadesh represents what a king and leader, and love interest, should be. He knows he is the leader, and that problems are brought to him and it is his choice how to react. He knows he is responsible for the group and that is a heavy weight on his shoulders. With Jayden, he is protective but he also values her as a person, not just for her beauty. He knows she is valuable because she can think for herself, and in turn, he values her thoughts and opinions.

The majority of this book is spent travelling. They stop occasionally, but only for a short while. The journey they are on takes a very long time and that fact makes it seem as though the pace of the book is meandering on, taking its time to get from Point A to Point B. Yet your heart is racing like you’ve been running the entire time. It’s a tricky sort of pace. It feels slow as you read, and yet your heart and mind understand that it is anything but slow. I absolutely loved the effect this pacing had on the story.

The Bad:

The only real issue I had with this story were a few instances of miscommunication, or just outright lack of communication. For how well Jayden and Kadesh work together, I was surprised at the times when they fell out of their usual characters and didn’t communicate. There were a few times when I wanted to shake both of them and tell them to “use their words!” I understand how those times affected the plot, but I still felt like they just didn’t fit with the characterizations of Jayden and Kadesh.

The Recommendation:

If you liked Forbidden, definitely read Banished. As for the series as it stands, I think historical fiction lovers will enjoy it, as well as people who enjoy books whose settings are just as much a character as the people. It’s an absolutely stunning world that draws you right in. It’s beautifully written and takes my breath away with each page.

Purchasing Links:

Barnes and Noble

Thank you to Edelweiss and HarperCollins for an advanced copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.

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