Published by Harper Collins on 2014-11-04
Genres: Ancient Civilizations, Girls & Women, Historical, Love & Romance, Young Adult
A sweeping, epic saga of romance and hardship, set against the dramatic backdrop of ancient Mesopotamia—perfect for fans of Cleopatra's Moon or the adult bestseller The Red Tent.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 finish the deadly journey to save the ones she loves—and find true love for herself.
Jayden, at sixteen, is contracted to marry the son of her tribe’s leader. Her sister was to marry the older son and become queen of the tribe, which she would have been wonderful at, but when he is killed, Jayden moves up into that position. She should be extremely happy since she will be rising far above her station as the daughter of a camel herder with a dwindling stock. In ancient Mesopotami, it is the goal of every young girl to rise to this position. Except that Horeb, the man she is about to marry is cruel and she hates him. Several incidents give Jayden cause to think he is truly evil.
As nomads, her tribe travels following the rains and as they progress, her mother gives birth early to twins, the boy dying and the daughter surviiving. Not having any way to feed the infant, she trades her jewelry and best camel to a cousin, Dinah, to take care of the girl. When Jayden meets an injured trader, Kadesh, she brings him back to her family’s tent and nurses him back to health. Of course she falls in love with this kind man and he returns the feelings. Promising to return for her, he leaves to go home and they plan to meet again.
This is a sweeping epic that ends with a bit of a cliffhanger. I could have been happy with the ending but there is just too much left in the story that needed to be said. Her sister Leila, wants to become a priestess in a local cult and helps Jayden survive when all is lost. Her family has broken apart and she find the strength to go on and find her little sister. Horeb is truly evil and you would just love to see him die. All of the characters are well drawn and their world just flows out perfectly with the right amount of descriptions. I became immediately entranced with Jayden and her hardships. Kadesh is the hero everyone loves to see in a book. Now, I really can’t wait until the rest of the trilogy is released.