Science fiction and fantasy
Mine To Spell
by Janeal Falor
Unfortunately Cynthia has one thing her sisters don't: the ability to use magic. She enjoys doing so, but it's something she has had to hide. It's a capability that could utterly change their repressive society. However, using it in public means risking execution and obliteration. Everyone she knows could be spelled to forget she ever existed.
This novel is an exploration of what it means to stand up and be brave for a cause that seems hopeless, even when doing so is very dangerous. Cynthia starts off feeling utterly alone, but she finds allies on her journey as well as enemies. The story is also a sweet romance. Cynthia starts to fall in love, but I liked the way she didn't end up being rescued by a male protector too often, because being seen to be able to defend herself was important to her cause.
Mine To Spell focuses on social issues, and it is heavy-handed in creating a world that's unrelentingly oppressive towards women, which the men in power scarcely bother to justify. This makes the key villains scary but somewhat over the top. However, the main female characters are feisty, likeable, and creative, whilst the rest of the men are generally less predictable. It makes for a fast-moving novel with some great twists and turns, and a heartwarming love story. It's the battle of the sexes in rainbow colours, a firework display of magic, romantic sparks, and political struggles.
The general tone of this novel is uplifting, but although there's some closure on this instalment it's not the end of the story. The Grand Chancellor looms over Cynthia's whole family, leeching magic away from women and killing with impunity. I was gripped because even though Chardonia is crazily misogynistic, Cynthia and her friends and family seem very believable and their struggles reflect those of real women who have to fight for their rights in repressive societies.
19th October 2015
If you like this, try:Prisoner Of The Crown by Jeffe Kennedy
A princess is brought up in luxury and taught not to question or make waves. But her family are scheming for power, and if she is to survive outside of her gilded cage she must learn to be the kind of person she was taught not to be.
Abducted by Evangeline Anderson
An ordinary paralegal is transported around the universe by a hunky alien who believes she is very special. Book one of the Alien Mate Index.
Ironskin by Tina Connolly
A cursed woman becomes a governess to a very peculiar child in this dark fairytale.
Review © Ros Jackson
Source: own copy