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I Belong

Review: Banished by Kimberley Griffiths Little


Author: Kimberley Griffiths Little

Genre: YA Historical Fiction/Fantasy

Series: Forbidden (Book #2)

Publication Date: February 2, 2016

Format: Hardcover, 416 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062195018 (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-0062195012 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Kaitlin


Jayden thought she had lost everything. After months of traveling in the desert, she discovers her beloved Kadesh is injured but still alive. However, the two must flee immediately, for the vengeful and jealous Horeb is on their trail, desperate to take Jayden back to be his bride.

The trek to the southern lands comes with heartache and danger, and as Jayden and Kadesh draw closer to their destination, she realizes that even he has been keeping secrets from her . . . ones that will change everything.

Quick & Dirty: I thought this was a fantastic sequel with lush, gorgeous imagery and complex characters.

Opening Sentence: A dirty, callused hand slapped down over my mouth and the stale breath of a man hissed in my ear.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Jayden has one connection to her beloved Kadesh – a sighting, a clue, a hint – something she will follow to the ends of the earth if it means she can find him still alive. But when she does, it’s not going to be much easier. Horeb, her betrothed, is bloodthirsty after she escaped their marriage, and the army he’s assembling is for the purpose of taking her back, as well as conquering all of Mesopotamia. Koreb and Jayden will attempt to journey back to his secretive homeland, where Jayden will discover that her trusted love has kept deadly secrets from her that could destroy their relationship. All the while, Horeb’s army is close – bringing war with him.

Last year I read Forbidden. For the most part, I enjoyed it, although I found that the dialogue was often awkward and the writing sometimes chunky. I went into this novel hoping for improvements on the issues I had with the previous novel, including the sometimes boring stretches, and I’m excited to report back that this book was much better than the last. I adored the lush Mesopotamian setting, the rich imagery, and the action-packed pages. There was a lot more going on, and Jayden has become a stronger character. I appreciated her resolve despite the difficult times thrown her way.

Jayden and Kadesh’s relationship is a main highlight of the novel, and is never overshadowed by other plot devices. I liked them as a couple – they made each other stronger, and although there are many challenges in their path, they are determined to overcome them. The forbidden aspect of the romance is still a large part, but I did like how they accepted each other completely, scars and all (literally). It was at times a little hard to believe how easy they got over fights. Kadesh was so secretive with Jayden for so long, and it took less than a chapter to forgive him. That and other instances made their relationship a little unrealistic.

One aspect of the novel that I don’t feel was necessary was the love triangle. They really, really didn’t need to bring one in. It didn’t feel relevant. The whole first novel was spent building Jayden’s and Kadesh’s romance, and I don’t know if the extra variable is supposed to pose a threat in the third novel, or what’s going to be up with that. But altogether, I really don’t think it was needed.

Altogether, I thought this novel was even better than the first installment. Although there was a remarkable amount of action and plotline in this story, it was set up well for a third book, which I can’t wait for. The issues I had with chunky writing and awkward dialogue were, thankfully, a thing of the past. The writing style seems to have improved and the lush descriptions were enjoyable, especially because I learned about this time period in my AP World History class last semester. It was fun relating things back to my studies. Every time I heard a word I had learned in the class – Assyrians, Babylonians, King Hammarabi – I made a nerdy little connection. I really enjoyed this!

Notable Scene:

My grandmother kissed me on each cheek and then placed her palms on my head as though blessing me.

Two soldiers wrenched me from her arms. Seraiah was hauled to the edge of the cliff and placed in position to watch my death.

Rough hands yanked at my arms, pulling so hard I let out a shriek. I barely had time to take a breath before I was pushed over the craggy overhang. When my feet tripped at the edge of loose rocks, I caught a glimpse of Asher. He stared into my face, his eyes filled with a strange light.

And then I was falling through emptiness.

Forbidden Series:

1. Forbidden

2. Banished


FTC Advisory: HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Banished. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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