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. (From Goodreads)
*Please note that I'm reviewing an ARC, and plot details, grammer, spelling, wording, etc may change between what I read and the final version.
Best Bits: This was a very satisfying read. When the book begins we're thrown right into the tough stuff. Falor does a good job of drawing the reader into a society where women are treated like objects, and expected to do their duties or they will experience the ultimate punishment, being turned into a tarnished (whose rank in society reminds me of the untouchables). Hints of romance and fantasy are woven perfectly into this story. This book is insta-love free, and the magic serves to propel the plot forward, without taking away from Serena.
I also thought Falor did a great job dealing with the topic of abuse. Serena experiences fear of punishment throughout the book, which, while upsetting to read, seemed really accurate to her upbringing. I'm glad that she didn't suddenly embrace her newfound freedom, because she had grown up in an environment where her father was in control of her, and pain and fear were how he kept that power (he is an awful man, by the way).
Nit Picks: Again, I read an ARC so this is subject to change, but there were a couple of words used in dialogue that didn't quite fit with the rest of the book. The language isn't completely formal, but a character saying "ew" seemed out of place for me. It made me do a double-take, but it didn't pull me out of the novel.
You Are Mine
By Janeal Falor
Received for Review