273 pages, YA Paranormal (Magic)
My rating: 4 stars
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.
My 2 cents
This is a brand new debut book from author Janeal Falor. I never really know what to expect from a debut, but I am happy to say that I loved this book!
I wasn't sure if I was going to like the material. The society is very backwards, and treats women like animals. In fact, I think the animals may be treated better than the women! It was distasteful, and the beginning of the book makes you just hate the whole thing, but it definitely makes you root for the MC!
By the middle of the book, though, things start to get better and we get a little hope, and it changes the whole tone of things. Things get very suspenseful for awhile, and then we get the best ending we could have hoped for. In fact, I honestly think the ending was the best part of the book, which is always good news!
The story has great, strong characters, a fantastic moving plot, suspense, and even a little romance. Even though I would classify this as paranormal romance, it was the good old fashioned kind, so it really wasn't at the forefront. The theme was actually survival, which at times, made this story feel like a dystopian with a paranormal element.
I did find out there will be a sequel for this one, and it will be from Selena's sister, Cynthia's, POV. I can't wait to read it!