Sunday, September 1, 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

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Review: I'll admit that I am not the most enthusiastic reader of books set back in time. In fact my historical library is extremely limited, but I am so glad I agreed to read You Are Mine.  We meet Serena, the eldest daughter of a Councilman, at a time where electricity is just becoming a common thing inside households. Living in Chardonia, these people are just normal humans but they have magic running through there veins. The first thing we encounter has to do with just that, Serena is 18 and her father is having her blood test for magical potency. Now here is where things get old fashioned fast for me, the reason he wants her blood tested is because he is ready to sell her to the highest bidder for marriage and the more magic she has in her blood the more he will get. That's right, sell her. In Chardonia, women are possessions first to their fathers then to their intended. They have no freedoms and are given no real choices of their own. After being sold to an older man named Thomas, who is just like her father, he dies in a tournament and she becomes the possession of Zade, but there is nothing normal about this gentleman not only because he is of a different country but he treats her in a manor that Serena is not familiar with, care. Giving her the freedoms that none of the women in Chardonia are offered and calming her fears of punishment and pain, can Zade give Serena something she never imagined? Or will her father and the other warlocks keep Chardonia in the dark ages for even more time? You will find out in, You Are Mine.

The characters in this book where really what stood out to me. The world itself is amazing, and very vast as you will find out reading, but Serena, her sisters, Katherine the seamstress and Zade are what made the world complete. Serena is sort of a conundrum in my eyes. She is half terrified, half game changer. What I mean by this is she is rightfully scared of what a warlock would do to her if she did something he thought was bad (especially after everything her father did to her) but she wants to do things that are out of the ordinary for women in this world to want. She pushes the envelope even if she is terrified of what might happen to her. This for me is what makes her stronger than most female characters, she feels fear but doesn't let it hold her down. Plus, Zade is the by far the best man in of all Chardonia because he clearly has a huge heart and a strong back bone himself after everything is all said and done in this story. Combine the two of them with the supporting characters and this story really jumps off the page.

Taking into account the world building and character development, the real reason I enjoyed this book so much was simply the relationships these characters have don't seem forced. Everything doesn't fall neatly into place and become perfect. That would be very boring and pretty typical, but instead these characters go through A LOT over the course of the book and come out swinging in the end but we will have to see more than just this story to find out what really happens to them all. In other words, this is a great jumping off point but we will have to see from Chardonia before we find out if Serena and Zade really get their own happily ever after and I can't wait to read more!- My Opinion- Buy it!

The judge stands and looks, not at the Grand Chancellor like I'm expecting, but right at me. His eyes wide. “Dead.” 
The masses let out a cry. Some fall to their seats. Dead? How can he be dead? He's supposed to lord over me, not die. Can I really be free of him? My chest lightens.
Someone tugs on my arm. Cynthia. She forces me to drink the brew I avoided earlier. Then another. With shaking hands, she drinks one herself and helps me to my chair. Everything goes abnormally silent. The soothing concoction already sweeping through me. I grow distant from myself. The scene before me further away than ever.
The Envadi bends to the ground, his fingers swirling in the dirt. His lips move with words, but they don't carry, even in the silence. Once they stop, he brushes the dirt off and stares straight at me. Even from my distant state, goosebumps raise on my arms.
“Citizens.” The Grand Chancellor's voice draws my gaze. He stands, face void of expression. “We will all mourn the loss of Chancellor Thomas. He was a rising star, fated to leave his potential unfulfilled.” He pauses. “As our tournament rules dictate, Envadi Zade now becomes Master of all Chancellor Thomas had.” He holds his hand out to the Envadi. “Chancellor Zade.”
The Envadi is still watching me. He nods his head.
Suddenly, Father is yelling from the Grand Chancellor's box. “You will not have her!”
The words take a moment to find me through the muffle my world has become. As the significance of his words take hold, the field becomes splotched with black. I blink a few times. The whole world darkens.

About the author:
Janeal Falor lives in Utah where she’s finally managed to live in the same house for more than five years without moving. In her spare time she reads books like they’re nuts covered in caramel and chocolate, cooks whatever strikes her fancy, and enjoys the outdoors. Her husband and three children try to keep up with her overactive imagination. Usually they settle for having dinner on the table, even if she’s still going on about the voices in her head. 

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