Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Review: You Are Mine (Mine #1) by Janeal Falor

You Are Mine (Mine, #1) Title: You Are Mine by Janeal Falor
Series: Mine #1
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Published May 6th 2013
Length: 273 pages

Rating: 4 Stars
Review Copy Provided by Author

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.

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Serena is a women from Cardonia, where women are properties and sought-after by warlocks to use their magic that's in their blood. Zade is from Envadi, a different country where things are done differently than in Cardonia and so is considered barbaric by the Cardonians. Both of them goes through a cultural shock and learns to live with each other. While they are trying to make Cardonia more tolerant towards women and the tarnished, those that want to keep the status quo are out to kill them.

I love the worldbuilding and that is one of the main reason why this book is so compelling to me. The author spins such a neat web of the warlock, women, Envadi, and tarnished people. How everything fits in and relate is really well done, especially the tension between all the groups. I love the magic, the different kinds of spells, and pretty dresses in the book.

The romance between the main characters is lacking. I keep thinking Zade is still thinking about his previous fiancée and any kindness or care shown to Serena are out of duty and politeness. That is, until he says he is not thinking about his ex anymore at the very end of the book. That makes Serena's love/attraction towards him seem one-sided.

The ending does not tie up loose ends. I don't know who are the "bad guys" and their reason/side of story. That made the ending unsatisfying. I really want to know who will marry Cynthia and Bethany, Serena's two sisters, since Cynthia's magic is supposed to be even more potent and sought-after than Serena's. What about the spell that's put on Bethany? Does that get reversed or dissolved when the spell caster dies? Why can't women use the magic that's so potent in their blood? Does Envadi women do magic?

This is an amazing, compelling read set in a fantasy world. I spent a whole day doing nothing except reading this book and finished it in one sitting. When I did take a break, the story was all I could think about. This book encourages you to take risks to make a better world for yourself, to not take the easy way out, but strive towards a future that you can live as yourself. I highly recommend this book for fans of fantasy and books set in an amazing world that sucks you right into it.

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