You Are Mine (Mine #1) by Janeal Falor
You Are Mine is like nothing that I've really read before. It is different, daring, a bit hard to stomach at times, but definitely worth a read if you enjoy magic based stories. 4 Stars!
Serena lives in a country were wizards not only rule, but women are considered their property. Women are to serve and bare children (preferably boys). If they fail to honor the men, they are punished or worse made to become a tarnished. Under the control of her evil father, Serena is offered for marriage to better his social standing. Through a series of events, Serena ends up engaged to Zane, a barbarian from another country. But he is unlike any male that Serena has met or belonged to before. He is more powerful than her father, but when she makes a mistake he doesn't punish her. As she discovers more and more freedom, the male society around her isn't pleased that she's pushing the lines of a woman's duty. And even more that her fiancé is letting her.
The World Building
The way this society treated women was angering, but I couldn't look away. At times, I was so incredibly mad at what was happening to the characters, especially if Zane was involved, that I wanted to throw my kindle across the room. As frustrated as I was, that in my opinion is a sign of good writing and world building. However, even though the women are oppressed many of them are still strong characters. And they dealt with society in the best way they knew, by obeying.
Serena is an awesome lead heroine. It was fabulous to see her learn, grow, and discover her new "freedom,' and how that shifted her thought process and actions. She still had moments where she acted as a possession, but began to more and more push her limits.
Zane and the Romance
I loved Zane. He is a strong, powerful wizard and considered a barbarian, yet still has a softer kinder side. Seeing him interact with Serena was the highlight of the book. She didn't know how to take his relaxed rules and gentle ways. This book was not overly romance focused, but still had moments that made my heart melt. I wanted more from Zane though. He had some really great moments, but at times I wanted to reach through the book and knock him. This is probably because the book is told from Serena's point of view, so I didn't get to delve into what Zane was thinking. And when he didn't say it, I wanted to drag it out of him.
The magic aspect is well developed. It wasn't all fluff and dragons though. Many of the wizards used it to hex others and beat each other in wizard duals. My only problem was more of a question -- I didn't understand why women have magical blood, but no actual magic. I kept waiting for that to be expanded on and explained.
I read this book in less than twelve hours (which is saying something for me), staying up to crazy hours of the night to get in another chapter. It draws you in and you have to know what is going to happen with the characters. Or see how Serena pushes the boundaries next. Or how Zane is going to react. There are some fantastic side characters that add a lot, and it was nice to see that not ever character in this society was cruel or oppressed. The last half of the book had some good twist and turns. I was already glued to the story, but I kept glancing at the % remaining wondering how everything was going to turn out in that remaining bit of time. It didn't disappoint.
Even though the next book focuses on Serena's sister, I hope we still get to see a lot of Zane and Serena. I enjoyed this novel a whole lot and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys YA and looking for something a little different.
*This copy was kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.