I received this book via the author, Janeal Falor. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.You Are Mine by Janeal Falor
Series: Mine #1
Published by Chardonian Press on 2013-05-06
Length: 370 pages
Reviewing eARC Rating:
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.
You Are Mine (Mine, #1) by Janeal Falor tugged at all my heart strings for many reasons. Serena is seventeen, the daughter of a warlock, and is destined to be sold because of the magic in her blood and in the hopes of producing more warlocks. Resistance or rebellion of any kind would cause her to become tarnished (bald, barren, and inked to be a slave). In a rather brutal tournament, a warlock from a barbarian country wins Serena. Now becoming tarnished seems like the better option. But when the warlock doesn’t punish her for things that would have resulted in a beating at home, Serena finds a new sense of freedom and the stirrings of love. In a society ruled by men, these things could lead to death.
Serena, Zade, and the Others
Serena is only seventeen when the book opens and terrified of what life she is going into. Sold to the highest bidder by her father to a cruel warlock Thomas, Serena is disgusted and feels helpless. How will she ever escape this ruthless man? She doesn’t have to. After a series of rather horrific events, Serena becomes the “property” (yes you read that right) of another warlock. This one is from a different country, a barbarian. Serena was afraid of Thomas, but will this guy be better? I like Serena, I sympathize with her in some aspects. She is essential a slave to her master, who according to law is her husband. She has no hope, until the barbarian wins her. She’s only known a life of cruel abuse, yet she’s outspoken and pushes her boundaries when she can. You have to like that!
Zade is an Endavi warlock, considered a barbarian by rumor. Yet he is kind and gentle with Serena. He looks at her and she feels differently with him. He never raises a hand to hurt her, which is both shocking considering the society she lives in and a testament to his “barbarian” home land. I like him, a lot!!! His views are different than the other warlocks Serena is used to. He gives her freedoms when he can and through actions shows her love.
In addition to Zade and Serena, there is Cynthia, her younger sister. Cynthia is a high-spirited girl with high hopes for her future. She imagines a warlock like Zade will love her and buy her from their father. She obeys the laws as much as possible, but really she kind of worships Serena. She copies her style, she’s outgoing, and becomes very outspoken despite the consequences. Waverly is a handmaid from Endavi, gifted to Serena by Zade’s parents. She is described as beautiful and young, but she also has a spirit that Serena finds lacking in herself. She is free to do as she wishes, no one owns her. Serena is fascinated by this lifestyle.
The Plot aka The Slavery of Women
So this world that Falor has created is not for the faint of heart. It is brutal, ruthless, and cruel towards women. In fact, let’s just call it what it is: SLAVERY. The women are not allowed to use their magic that resides in their blood. At seventeen that blood is tested for magical properties. The higher the magic the higher you are sold to your future “husband” in the hopes that you will produce powerful new warlocks.
You Are Mine deals with Serena and her desire to be free from this awful world. Coming from a different country, Zade is a mystery to her. He is kind where the warlocks she deals with are cruel or just completely ignore the women. He allows her to speak freely to him where her father would have dealt a beating. Serena doesn’t know how to live with the kindness and freedom Zade grants her, but she quickly learns. And in learning she also falls in love, not a quick head over heels things, but the slow progression. The kind the reader picks up on way before the character. I loved this aspect and growth in the characters!
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. There’s mystery, suspense, intrigue, and a whole lot of “why is this happening?!” going on. Once I started it, I couldn’t set it down. I was enthralled and horrified by Serena’s world all at the same time. I found myself cheering her on and rooting for Zade. I even cried a bit (happy tears though).
So why four stars instead of five? Well, I have a bit of hard time reconciling this book as a young adult novel. There is abuse, hints of rape, not to mention the whole slavery of women issue that just was horrific. Now that being said, it is a clean read – no profanity, no sexual encounters, it’s definitely not an erotic novel. However I would classify this book more in the new adult genre or at the very least for mature young adults, 16+.
If you enjoy fantasy and a good overcome-the-evil book, I highly recommend it. In fact, I’ve purchased the next in the series and the prequel novella as well and can’t wait to dig in! Happy reading 😀
Don’t Miss the Other Books in the Mine Series. Available Now!
The author has been gracious enough to offer one ebook copy of any book from the Mine series. Enter below for your chance to win. Giveaway starts 10/10 at 9am EST and ends 10/16 at 11:59PM EST. Open to all, void where prohibited.