Sunday, May 4, 2014

Review: Mine to Spell by Janeal Falor

Cynthia has always hidden from her father’s hexes behind her older sister. When her family gains independence unheard of for women, she’s relieved that her days of harsh punishments are over. But as her seventeenth birthday approaches—the typical age to be sold to a new master—death threats endanger her sisters. She now faces two options: run or meet society’s expectations.

For once, Cynthia isn’t going to let her older sister shield her from the problem. She’s going to prove to herself, her sisters, and society that her family isn’t a threat to their traditions. She willingly chooses to be purchased by a new master. A bold step that takes her somewhere she never thought she would go and to a man she might possibly fall in love with. With his help, she may just find a way to save her sisters while discovering how to stand up for herself. If she lives long enough.

My Rating

My Review
I had reviewed  You Are Mine before and I fell in love with the novel immediately. Everything was enchanting and exciting from the characters to the plot to the entire world itself. Well, Mine to Spell did not disappoint. I can't say that I enjoyed this second book more than the first, as they were different as the sisters themselves, (plus, it's been a little while since I read You Are Mine) but Mine to Spell is a wonderful read for YA readers across genres. From beginning the book in the morning, I had to take my ereader with me everywhere because I couldn't stop the story.

Cynthia is a new narrative voice, and a great one. Despite the same world and even the same family, Serena and Cynthia's voices and personalities are quite different, part of the reason why they are so intriguing together. Both are strong female characters, although I felt Cynthia was a bit more of a fighter. Her story allows her to be very admirable, as she really pushes for change, proving to everyone - including herself - exactly what she can do. 

At some parts of the tournament, things did seem to go a bit easily, or seem sort of rushed. Of course, that's understandable. For one thing, Cynthia is naturally talented at magic, or she would not have been able to be self-taught in the spells she's practiced her entire life. In addition, I may have been reading a little quickly, so eager to discover what would happen next.
It was intriguing to learn more about the magic, which - as readers - we've only seen done secondhand through Serena's point of view. Cynthia allows us to get a personal view of the Warlock's magic as she explores it both in theory and in practice. For example, I loved the incorporation of emotions into magic. That isn't something often seen, but makes a lot of sense.

The romance of Mine to Spell is absolutely sweet. Although I may have been silently and angrily urging Cynthia to accept her feelings, I loved the tension that built. It was also great to still get glimpses of Serena and Zade, after adoring their relationship in You Are Mine.
Just as in the first novel, the universal themes of Mine to Spell are incredibly power. Discrimination and sexism just brushing the top of this novel, the treatment of others and the pedestal the domestic Warlocks place themselves on can parallel events in our history - as well as beliefs of some today. Showing how change can come about through hope, hard work and serious risk-taking just acts as a reminder of how important this series is.

All in all, Mine to Spell is a wonderful sequel. Beautifully written with a pace that keeps going, great characters, and plenty of magic, it's sure to appease just about everyone. It's a fantastic read that will leave readers ravenous for more.

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