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The Forbidden

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In a world where magic curses the young to serve under the powerful, a dark cloud hovers over a kingdom called Vestia. The recipients of this magic are deemed Forbidders, bound to a life under authority, forced to exchange their youth for militarism. Long ago the people of this land celebrated magic and lived in peace under the watchful protection of goddesses known as the In a world where magic curses the young to serve under the powerful, a dark cloud hovers over a kingdom called Vestia. The recipients of this magic are deemed Forbidders, bound to a life under authority, forced to exchange their youth for militarism. Long ago the people of this land celebrated magic and lived in peace under the watchful protection of goddesses known as the Fairest. But the Fairest have long since faded from history, leaving nothing of their magic but the remaining few born with powers that sentence them to a destiny as Forbidders. Now, a group of these students has united with the aid of a prophecy that they hope will destroy the government under which they serve. They search for twins born on the other side: Earth. On the other side, a girl named Charlotte begins to dream. Turning to her art to expel these strange images from her mind, Charlotte finds a kind of release; until her pictures are brought to life in the form of a redheaded girl. Believing she is the only one who can see this incarnation, Charlotte is plagued by terrible dreams from her childhood, resurfacing years later to torment and tease, leaving forgotten riddles in their wake. Only this time, she's not alone. Her classmates and close friends, twins Andrea and Perry, have become the target of some otherworldly forces. An ancient magic stirs within a realm of forgotten beliefs and sleeping deities. As she battles to control her own sanity and keep her friends from harm, Charlotte finds herself dragged along into a tangled, frightening, magical web where the answers to the questions of her life lie somewhere between two worlds.


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In a world where magic curses the young to serve under the powerful, a dark cloud hovers over a kingdom called Vestia. The recipients of this magic are deemed Forbidders, bound to a life under authority, forced to exchange their youth for militarism. Long ago the people of this land celebrated magic and lived in peace under the watchful protection of goddesses known as the In a world where magic curses the young to serve under the powerful, a dark cloud hovers over a kingdom called Vestia. The recipients of this magic are deemed Forbidders, bound to a life under authority, forced to exchange their youth for militarism. Long ago the people of this land celebrated magic and lived in peace under the watchful protection of goddesses known as the Fairest. But the Fairest have long since faded from history, leaving nothing of their magic but the remaining few born with powers that sentence them to a destiny as Forbidders. Now, a group of these students has united with the aid of a prophecy that they hope will destroy the government under which they serve. They search for twins born on the other side: Earth. On the other side, a girl named Charlotte begins to dream. Turning to her art to expel these strange images from her mind, Charlotte finds a kind of release; until her pictures are brought to life in the form of a redheaded girl. Believing she is the only one who can see this incarnation, Charlotte is plagued by terrible dreams from her childhood, resurfacing years later to torment and tease, leaving forgotten riddles in their wake. Only this time, she's not alone. Her classmates and close friends, twins Andrea and Perry, have become the target of some otherworldly forces. An ancient magic stirs within a realm of forgotten beliefs and sleeping deities. As she battles to control her own sanity and keep her friends from harm, Charlotte finds herself dragged along into a tangled, frightening, magical web where the answers to the questions of her life lie somewhere between two worlds.

41 review for The Forbidden

  1. 4 out of 5

    Taylor

    Charlotte is a seemingly ordinary girl with a hidden past that makes her extraordinary. However, unlike many of the stony and seemingly infallible protagonists of modern fantasy YA novels, we quickly discover that Charlotte unwittingly faces repercussions for her peculiarity; night terrors, anxiety, and later, physical and mental exhaustion. Beyond this, I found the way Charlotte was handled refreshing in that she wasn't set up to be a girl who was "not like other girls" and whose story wasn't d Charlotte is a seemingly ordinary girl with a hidden past that makes her extraordinary. However, unlike many of the stony and seemingly infallible protagonists of modern fantasy YA novels, we quickly discover that Charlotte unwittingly faces repercussions for her peculiarity; night terrors, anxiety, and later, physical and mental exhaustion. Beyond this, I found the way Charlotte was handled refreshing in that she wasn't set up to be a girl who was "not like other girls" and whose story wasn't dependent upon and carried by men. In fact, if anything, The Forbidden is a story of women helping (and harming) women and coming into power. The Forbidden's plot is carried by an array of complex characters, each embodying characteristics and emotions that readers will easily identify with. What was in my opinion a greater accomplishment, however, were the characters' logical (and often, conflicting) weaknesses; the combination of clashing characteristics was what makes each of the characters so human. What I quickly noted within the first few chapters of The Forbidden was the beautiful and thoughtful symmetry between the characters on Earth and the Forbidders; a pair of siblings from either side (Andie & Perry, Britt & Alex); two girls trying to come to terms with aspects of themselves that have been/must be hidden (Charlotte and Lex); Charlotte and Britt's descent into mental instability and the simultaneous growth of their powers. I can't wait to see how the characters continue to develop and watch as Charlotte becomes immersed in the conflicts and mystery of Vestia and the Forbidders as the series progresses.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    So I received this book through Goodreads First Reads Giveaway. Me and this book have a love-hate relationship. I loved the way it was written. I know that this is the author's first book, but it doesn't read like that. It is so well written. You can tell that everything was precisely thought out. Also the point of views switch back and forth and you can always tell which characters views you are reading. It really works for the story. Now for the hate part of the relationship. So many questions So I received this book through Goodreads First Reads Giveaway. Me and this book have a love-hate relationship. I loved the way it was written. I know that this is the author's first book, but it doesn't read like that. It is so well written. You can tell that everything was precisely thought out. Also the point of views switch back and forth and you can always tell which characters views you are reading. It really works for the story. Now for the hate part of the relationship. So many questions. I spent half the book in utter confusion. By the end of the book I am still left with so many questions. It was clearly written to be a series, but I think it could of easily been one book, if it was written to be. The story itself was pretty good. It was like nothing I've read before. It isn't the same old, same old magical/supernatural book. I'd recommend this book to someone who enjoys a good mystery entangled in the story of 2 worlds. One world with magic that is used as a weapon and that is all that should be acknowledge of it. The other world with no clue of the first world. And in the middle a girl Charlotte, and her twin best friends, Perry and Andie, who fits in both, yet neither worlds. She and the twins soon find out what ties them to both worlds.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jean-François Tremblay

    If you still haven't read this book by Sarah McDonald, you're missing out on a very compelling story. Although described as Young Adult fiction, it has mature elements in it, and people of any age or sex should have fun with it. I'm 37, and I never got the feeling that this was juvenile, or not for me. I was immediately enthralled by the book. It is really well written. Thoughtful, elegant, passionate, the writing doesn't feel like it's from a first-time novelist. You get the feeling that Sarah kn If you still haven't read this book by Sarah McDonald, you're missing out on a very compelling story. Although described as Young Adult fiction, it has mature elements in it, and people of any age or sex should have fun with it. I'm 37, and I never got the feeling that this was juvenile, or not for me. I was immediately enthralled by the book. It is really well written. Thoughtful, elegant, passionate, the writing doesn't feel like it's from a first-time novelist. You get the feeling that Sarah knows exactly what she wants and that she's totally in control of this rich and complex universe that she has created. We feel a lot for the main character, Charlotte, and we're going through all her weird experiences with her, and the rest of the characters are all interesting and every one has his or her own unique qualities. It is a real page-turner that I strongly recommend. It leaves you in the end with a lot of questions (there will be more...), but not totally unsatisfied. I truly enjoyed it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kim Mcdonald

    this is an amazing book dealing with many issues that young adults face today. Based in a fantasy world the problems still carry over and the interaction between the characters is very real. The descriptions make the reader feel like they are right there and it is a hard one to put down! Can't wait for the second in this trilogy!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Janice Hicks

    This first book by a new author grabbed my interest right from the start. Sarah starts with Charlotte and the conflict surrounding her and builds the suspense with each character she introduces. The characters relations to Charlotte remains a mystery as the plot thickens. The suspense kept me reading without stop to the end. Can't wait for the next book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Pallas

    “The Forbidden” is the first book in what hopefully will grow into a full series. The story focuses on a girl raised in a Pennsylvanian boarding school who gets taken into a magical world, Other Earth, a darker replica of Earth filled with magic and an evil monarchy. Although Charlotte was raised like any other human, it turns out that she is one of few people who grow up on real Earth who have Specialties, or magical powers. I won’t give away the details, but it turns out that Charlotte was bo “The Forbidden” is the first book in what hopefully will grow into a full series. The story focuses on a girl raised in a Pennsylvanian boarding school who gets taken into a magical world, Other Earth, a darker replica of Earth filled with magic and an evil monarchy. Although Charlotte was raised like any other human, it turns out that she is one of few people who grow up on real Earth who have Specialties, or magical powers. I won’t give away the details, but it turns out that Charlotte was born with a power that makes her highly sought after by both supporters of the evil monarchy and those fighting to destroy it. Although the magical powers are certainly cool, and it sounds like it is a beautiful place, Other Earth is a bleak place where people with powers are forced into near slavery and where everyone fears for their lives. What makes this story come alive is the passion and drive the core characters have to fight against a system that incredibly dark and seemingly hopeless. The only thing that I wished I could have seen in this story is that it ends with many questions left unanswered. Some of the core characters’ fates are left unknown, and there is still so much to understand about the motivations driving both the resistance and those perpetuating this evil government. I can only assume these questions will be answered in the next installment, and I look forward to reading it as soon as it is available.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Chloe Testa

    I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I greatly enjoyed this book! It's a well written, detailed piece with plenty of suspense and mystery throughout. McDonald is really good at teasing you with just enough information without revealing anything until the final, unexpected and completely unpredictable climax which does not leave you unsatisfied! A truly well constructed piece. I greatly enjoyed every character and could clearly picture them in my head, with both static and dynam I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I greatly enjoyed this book! It's a well written, detailed piece with plenty of suspense and mystery throughout. McDonald is really good at teasing you with just enough information without revealing anything until the final, unexpected and completely unpredictable climax which does not leave you unsatisfied! A truly well constructed piece. I greatly enjoyed every character and could clearly picture them in my head, with both static and dynamic characters adding great depth to the story. The plot itself is also well constructed. There are some key fan favourite points of the genre fantasy to be seen (and yet these are written so eloquently and with such delightful twists as to not be cliche) but McDonald takes the genre and really adds her own personal touch to it. The tension is palpable and the action is fast paced enough to be dynamic without compromising on believability and detail. I did find that, for me, The Forbidden was too heavy on description and additional detail at times, however this did not detract from my enjoyment and engagement with the novel itself which I can see myself rereading in the near future, it was that good! Overall a fully enjoyable, highly pleasant read that I would recommend to anyone!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jo

    I believe the author is talented, but this book was not a wonderful experience for me as a reader. the story just dragged on and on, with out getting to anything interesting to grab on to. finally about half way thru, it started to pick up. it was still very slow, but the ending was enough to make me very angry. there was no ending, all that time spent wading through the fluff, and then the story just stopped and then you have to buy the next book. I love a good series very much, but not done in I believe the author is talented, but this book was not a wonderful experience for me as a reader. the story just dragged on and on, with out getting to anything interesting to grab on to. finally about half way thru, it started to pick up. it was still very slow, but the ending was enough to make me very angry. there was no ending, all that time spent wading through the fluff, and then the story just stopped and then you have to buy the next book. I love a good series very much, but not done in this way. I have at least 15 series going right now by other authors, but they didn't make me angry like this one did, because they have an ending and they grab your interest from the beginning of the book. I won this book in a first reads giveaway in exchange for an honest opinion. sarah, keep writing, you do have a lot of talent. I hope to pick up a 5 star book in a short time with your name on it as author.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lynn Stevenson avery

  10. 5 out of 5

    Joe Font

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rachele

  12. 5 out of 5

    Steven V.S.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Darius

  14. 5 out of 5

    Anne Marie Marsden

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey Levins

  16. 4 out of 5

    Neesa

  17. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  18. 4 out of 5

    aem

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mary White

  20. 4 out of 5

    Joe

  21. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Quintana

  22. 4 out of 5

    Brittany

  23. 5 out of 5

    Melonie Kydd

  24. 5 out of 5

    Karen Bainbridge

  25. 4 out of 5

    Theresa

  26. 4 out of 5

    J

  27. 5 out of 5

    Susan

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jasvird76

  29. 4 out of 5

    Vykki

  30. 5 out of 5

    Fatima

  31. 4 out of 5

    Daniela

  32. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Marie

  33. 4 out of 5

    Sue

  34. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Moore

  35. 5 out of 5

    Heather Schwandner

  36. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa

  37. 4 out of 5

    Dana

  38. 4 out of 5

    Ashley E

  39. 5 out of 5

    Samar

  40. 4 out of 5

    Meghan Emery

  41. 4 out of 5

    Heather

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