Returned by Kimberley Griffiths Little After tragedy strikes on the day they were to wed, Jayden must support Kadesh as he ascends the throne and becomes king of Sariba. But with the dark priestess Aliyah conspiring to control the crown, and the arrival of Horeb, Jayden’s former betrothed, Kadesh’s kingdom, as well as his status as king, is at stake. Jayden knows that the time to be merciful has come and gone, and that some enemies can only be halted by death. Now she and Kadesh must prepare to fight not only for their love, but also for their kingdom. This is the final book in the epic trilogy that began with Forbidden and Banished. Jayden and Kadesh’s love will be put to the ultimate test as they fight a war to save their kingdom.
Read an excerpt
Last night should have been one of bliss. After all Kadesh and I had been through—the loss of my family, the trek through the harsh desert . . . this should have been our night, the first as husband and wife in the marriage tent. I’d imagined us sipping wine and bathing in a marbled bath. Lying in perfect luxury on a golden bed, together at last.
Instead, Kadesh and I were like lost children, orphaned by the sudden death of his uncle, King Ephrem, and our wedding ceremony that had been irrevocably destroyed mere hours ago.
While King Ephrem’s pyre burned out, the last of the red flames snapped at the salty sea air, devouring the body of the King of Sariba.
A hot wind whipped at my bridal gown. I wanted to scrape the horror of the night from my sight until my eyelids were raw.
Praise for the Book Booklist (starred review) “At its core, this is a romance, with all the push and pull that goes along with impossible love, and Little elevates the story by creating a perilous landscape, both outward and inward, as Jayden must deal with the hardship of desert life as well as her own desires. . . descriptions of the landscape are evocative in both desolation and in beauty. Just as good is the pacing, which gets the blood pumping for both characters and readers. This will heighten anticipation for a no-doubt exciting conclusion.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books “Rich historical details are deftly woven into Jayden’s narration, and the dynamics of Jayden’s tribe are vividly drawn. Jayden’s story becomes as much about finding herself as it is about finding love.” Reader: “This book took my breath away. I loved the immersive story and the rich setting of ancient Mesopotamia. The customs, traditions, and beliefs of the desert people were captivating and every time I set the book down I couldn't wait to pick it up again. I've never read anything like this before.” Reader: “Forbidden was so captivating that I awoke early in the morning, while my family was still sleeping, so I could finish the last pages of this beautifully haunting tale.”
Author Kimberley Griffiths Little Kimberley Griffiths Little is the author of ten award-winning Middle-Grade and Young Adult novels with Knopf, Scholastic and Harpercollins, including the Whitney Award, the Arizona/New Mexico Book Award, the SCBWI Crystal Kite, the Southwest Book Award, and others. ALA BOOKLIST named FORBIDDEN, the first book in her Ancient Mesopotamian historical fantasy a Young Adult Top 10 novel for the Historical category, Romance category, and Religious/Inspirational. Kimberley adores anything old and musty with a secret story to tell. She once stayed in the haunted tower room at Borthwick Castle in Scotland and didn’t sleep a wink; sailed the Seine in Paris; ridden a camel in Petra, Jordan; shopped the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul; and spent the night in an old Communist hotel in Bulgaria. She was born in San Francisco but now lives on the banks of the Rio Grande with her husband and three sons.
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