Mine To Spell
By: Janeal Falor
Release date: May 5, 2014
Genre: YA fantasy
Source: ARC kindly provided by author
In reviewing book 1 (here), I said it was a joy to find an indie self-pub worth raving about. For book 2, let me add that it’s wonderful to read a self-pub sequel that is also worth high praise. Mine To Spell is a great read about a girl determined to be herself despite social norms for her gender. She manages to do so without interfering with the rights of others; in fact, her personal quest becomes a crusade for the rights of all women.
Mine To Spell is the story of Cynthia, Serena’s next younger sister. Serena has won her own freedom, but not that of her sisters- so when the time comes, Cynthia enters the marriage pool, having become eligible to be sold to a new owner, a prospective husband. Feeling that it’s the only way she can contribute to the safety of her sisters, Cynthia bows to society’s expectations and makes herself available for sale. The magic in her blood makes her quite valuable, and she is sold for a hefty price.
Her sale is Cynthia’s last act of conformity to her society. I don’t want to spoil plot points, but Cynthia’s story is similar to Serena’s: she finds a way to do things that women in her country are not usually allowed to do, and finds that she has supporters in unexpected places.
Just like I said about book 1, I love this book because the young girl who starts out very powerless and submissive finds her own strength and power to change things for the better. I maintain that it’s important for our young women to have examples like this of how to gracefully navigate the process of becoming independent.
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.