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.
*I received a complimentary copy of this eBook via the Author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Janeal Falor!*
Have you ever done a bookish survey or meme that asked you the question, “What dystopian/fictional world would you NOT want to live in?” I haven’t yet, but if I ever do I know what my answer will be: I absolutely, positively, without a shadow of a doubt, would never in a million years want to live in the world that Janeal Falor has created for You Are Mine.
Chardonia is a land ruled by Warlocks and suffered by women. The men reign with a heavy hand and spiteful magic, while the women are nothing more than possessions to be bought and sold to the highest bidder. They are slaves and broodmares—good for nothing except breeding and punishing. Or, you know, sacrificing.
Having been won in a tournament by a warlock from a notoriously barbaric foreign country, Serena has no idea what to expect of her new master. Will he be as cruel as her father or much, much worse? Being a bit of a spitfire, Serena pushes the boundaries of what society expects of a woman, wondering what it will take to cross the line with Chancellor Zade and how severe the punishment will be when she finally does. When he surprises her by being nothing like her father, Serena doesn’t know what to think. Is he setting a trap, or is there a reason to believe that life can be filled with trust, freedom, and love instead of pain, fear, and loathing?
Honestly, this story started off a wee bit slow for me. The writing seemed to be a little stiff and I kind of felt like the world building was having a minor identity crisis. I’m not gonna lie, it kinda bugged me for a while. BUT, about halfway through, something magical happened (see what I did there?) — this book became compulsively readable. I mean, the plot itself isn’t exactly action packed. There are a few magical fight scenes, but the main driving force of the story (to me) was wondering what Serena’s fate would be. It had me turning pages until 1:00 in the morning!
The only thing is, I wish that there had been a little more backstory. I was curious about the Women’s Canon and what it actually said. I would have liked to have known about Chardonia’s laws in a little more detail. I would’ve loved to have delved deeper into Zade’s past, if you know what I mean. *waggles eyebrows suggestively* And it would have been great to know more about the magic and spells of the realm.
Serena only ever describes the spells by their color. While this paints a vivid picture in my head, I would’ve liked to have known what each spell was doing. I realize that it was probably done this way due to the fact that women aren’t allowed to practice magic, therefore Serena herself didn’t even know what they did, but still. I’m nosey like that.
Oh, and one other thing. While I was happy with the way that things ended, I feel like it all happened a little too easily. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change a thing. It’s just that I feel like the Council would have put up WAY more of a fight over what went down in the end, what with them being chauvinistic douchebags and all.
Overall, You Are Mine was a pretty enjoyable read. If you like a bit of light fantasy mixed with a splash of what-kind-of-horrible-world-is-this?!, I recommend picking this one up and sitting a spell (Ha! I did it again!). Also, I hear that there’s not only a sequel that goes along with this, but a prequel novella too! You can bet your noodle that I’ll be checking both of them out—after I finish up my Review Copy Roundup, that is ;)
p.s. Have you read this? I would love to get all spoiler-y with someone! If you’re interested, shoot me an email or a message on Facebook and we’ll have ourselves a bookish good time!