Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Review - You Are Mine by Janeal Falor

Serena knows a few simple things. She will always be owned by a warlock. She will never have freedom. She will always do what her warlock wishes, regardless of how inane, frivolous, or cruel it is. And if she doesn’t follow the rules, she will be tarnished. Spelled to be bald, inked, and barren for the rest of her life—worth less than the shadow she casts.

Then her ownership is won by a barbarian from another country. With the uncertainty that comes from belonging to a new warlock, Serena questions if being tarnished is really worse than being owned by a barbarian, and tempts fate by breaking the rules. When he looks the other way instead of punishing her, she discovers a new world. The more she ventures into the forbidden, the more she learns of love and a freedom just out of reach. Serena longs for both. But in a society where women are only ever property, hoping for more could be deadly.

~ Megan's Review ~

Serena is a young woman living in a harsh male-dominated world where women are nothing more than a possession to raise their father's status or breed for whatever man wishes to own them. Add into this scenario the element of magic, which only men wield and women possess in their blood, and you can see how existence in this society is for a female. Now that she is of marriageable age she is finally of use to her overbearing and abusive father, since the magic in her blood is so strong, and is sold to a higher ranking warlock. She does not want this life, she does not want to do what is expected of her, and she does not want to belong to anyone. It goes against everything she has been taught and seen with her own eyes to be something else…can one barbarian truly be her salvation.

The harshness of life with her father has taught Serena to only trust that punishment is around every corner…until she becomes Zade's. Zade is a warlock from another area, whose people are perceived to be barbarians due to their large stature, yet she finds he is nothing like that which she had been taught. Serena constantly struggles to trust Zade as he proves to be gentle, protective, and compassionate…but will that be enough to overcome and change her doubts and fears. Additional characters who Serena meet along the way bring out her protective instincts as well as give her courage to voice her opinions, though it is a struggle within her to do so. To see the strength in Serena's character to overcome the bad and assert her own independence in a world that is so against it was refreshing to say the least.

Janeal Falor has written an absolutely enthralling young adult novel. Her way of writing draws you in and makes you feel what the characters are feeling. I absolutely fell in love with the interaction between Serena and Zade…it wasn't the instantaneous can't stay away from each other love but the slow and gentle growth of strong respect, understanding, and love. I finished this in one sitting because I could not put it down! Serena's courage and strength of will demonstrated while she faced the challenges before her left me in awe. I cheered her accomplishments, seethed with her in anger, and felt her guilt and uncertainty as I read. I can't wait to read more about how Serena and Zade overcome the obstacles that still face them from society. My only complaint about this book was the lack of details and back story of society, both Serena's and Zade's, being as they are so different. There is potential for such an outstanding series, as there are several more societies in the area that do seem to function together at times as noted in the book. As the mother of a teenage girl, I would definitely recommend this book to any young girl. It was exceptionally well-written and clean while dealing with an aspect of abuse that most can never comprehend. I can't wait to see what is to come in "Mine to Tarnish" (expected out soon) and "Mine to Spell" (expected out in 2014).

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