A Bronze Age desert adventure continues in this second trilogy entry, spicing its inspirational romance with the sybaritic wickedness of pagan sex worshippers.
Jayden and Kadesh, having failed to rescue Jayden's tribe from her villainous betrothed (Forbidden, 2014), race through the desert to Kadesh's home kingdom of Sariba. They flee the conquering armies of those tribes whose ambition is empowered by the pagan Temple of Ashtoreth. The Temple of Ashtoreth has already seduced Jayden's beloved sister into ungodly wickedness, so shameful for a desert princess. Jayden and Kadesh are both descendants of the biblical patriarch Abraham, and though Jayden seems to vacillate between worshipping an ancient Mother Goddess and "the God of Abraham," she and Kadesh clearly despise "the cults of gods and goddesses who demand your body and soul." Indeed, this particular goddess cult seems to be a murdering, drugging, brainwashing crop of fiends—for when Kadesh and Jayden finally arrive in Sariba, the machinations of the debauched temple acolytes might prevent their marriage and doom the kingdom. Jayden's journey through the ancient Arabia of The Book of Mormon leaves her plenty of opportunity to learn sword fighting, befriend the Queen of Sheba, and take bubble baths. A cliffhanger leaves all that Jayden's achieved at risk.
Readers won't learn history from this anachronistic and sometimes-inconsistent adventure, but they might enjoy some angst-ridden passionate yearning. (author's note) (Historical fiction. 12-16)