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Mine to Tarnish

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Katherine’s place is the same as any woman’s—on the shelf next to the dresses and bolts of cloth. When she’s sold to a warlock, life grows even bleaker. Her new owner is as old and rancid as he is cruel, driving her to do the unthinkable: run.

Nothing prepared her for being on her own. And she’s definitely unprepared for the warlocks hunting her down. But she must stay one step ahead because if caught, the best she can hope for is death.

128 pages, Kindle Edition

First published December 2, 2013

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About the author

Janeal Falor

36 books817 followers
Janeal Falor has published over twenty books including the Mine series, Death's Queen, and Sands of Eppla. She lives in Utah with her husband and three children. In her non-writing time she teaches her kids to make silly faces, cooks whatever strikes her fancy, and attempts to cultivate a garden even when half the things she plants die. When it's time for a break she can be found taking a scenic drive with her family or drinking hot chocolate.

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5 stars
111 (31%)
4 stars
122 (34%)
3 stars
94 (26%)
2 stars
26 (7%)
1 star
5 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 84 reviews
Profile Image for Anne.
3,922 reviews69.3k followers
June 6, 2014
This is a prequel novella for the Mine series, and I managed to snag it the other day as an Amazon freebie.
I was so excited, because You Are Mine was one of those books that took me by surprise.
You know, in a good way.

Even though the events in this take place before the events in You Are Mine, if you read Mine to Tarnish first, there's a good chance you'll be a bit lost. There's a lot of world-building done in the novel that's only touched on in the novella. Also, since Katherine is a side character in the first book, you may not care about her quite as much without knowing what role she played in the original.
In other words, I loved finding out Kat's backstory, and everything made perfect sense to me. If you haven't read the novel, and are thinking this might be a good way to decide whether or not to read Falor's other books...ehhhhhh?.
You may not like it quite as well.

Ok. Warnings aside, this is a great novella.
Katherine's father has sold her to a new 'owner', who happens to be a disgusting and cruel old man. With her mother's help, she makes an escape, and meets up with the people who will change her life.
Good stuff!

P.S. These aren't romance novels, so don't go into the series with any bodice-ripper expectations.
Profile Image for Just One Indie's Opinion.
14 reviews170 followers
September 2, 2016
4 Very Interesting Stars

Mine to Tarnish came to my attention when I was help with a blog tour for Janeal Falor on both of her books: You Are Mine + Mine To Tarnish .  Even though the genre is not typically something I have been diving into lately ( YA Paranormal), I figured why not give it a try.  Janeal is quoted on goodreads: "FYI: You do not have to read You Are Mine before reading [Mine To Tarnish]. I personally would read YOU ARE MINE first, but it truly doesn't matter." I kind of wish that I had heeded this warning.  I did really enjoy the magical elements and the way that colors are used to describe different spells, it adds wonderful imagery to the book. I just wish I had none more about the world that Katherine was living in.  It is a very sexist society, where men with high levels of magic in their blood rule and women as thought of as second class citizens and are owned.  It is very hard for me to get into books with woman opression at first, I get very turned off by men calling women "wenches" but it stayed true to the society that was built in this book, so I was able to look passed it once the main character started to rebel against her oppressor/owner.  I really an a sucker for girl power I guess. The story moved along nicely and was very entertaining.  I would not call it one of my favorites, but I really enjoyed the time that I spent reading this novella.  I am definitely going to pick up You Are Mine in the very near future. 

Just One Indie's Opinion - Book Blog
Profile Image for Elisabeth Wheatley.
Author 30 books328 followers
November 23, 2013
I don’t know why this novella has been incurring 2 and 2.5 star reviews. I enjoyed it very much and am not sure why the things that bothered the other reviewers did.

The Mine series takes place in the fantasy land of Chardonia where both men and women are born with magic in their blood, but only men can use it. Women are valued based on the amount of magic they will gain their husbands and their potential to bear powerful sons. This makes for an interesting twist on the traditional arranged marriage stories and Falor’s imagination builds a fascinating and original world of power hungry warlocks and daring rebels seeking change.

The plot:

I read You Are Mine, the proceeding novel to this story, first and was pleased to find the same tasteful balance of suspense and danger here. There were a few twists, a few turns, and more than enough action to keep me breezing through until I reached the end.

The characters:

Katherine is a supporting character in You Are Mine, so I was already a little acquainted with her, but it was nice to have a deeper look into her backstory and how she came to be who she is. From the very beginning, we see she has a rebellious, indomitable streak, but it takes awhile for that part of her to come out enough for her to take full control of her own life. She was a very brave character who I thoroughly enjoyed reading and didn’t give in when most other people would have.

I might be mistaken, but I think Charles and Mavis, two principle characters here, were both mentioned in You Are Mine. I very much appreciated how forgiving Katherine was toward Mavis and the budding romance between Katherine and Charles was incredibly sweet.

The main villain, Nigel, Katherine’s new owner and would-be husband, was disgustingly nasty and incredibly easy to loathe. He represented all that was wrong with Chardonian society—a warlock drunk on power with no respect for women, servants, or anyone he considers beneath him. (Though I could have cared less about him being old. I thought it more mattered that he was vindictive, cruel, and perverted.) I liked what happened to him at the end a bit too much and when he got his comeuppance, all that came to mind was, “Good for you, Katherine!”

I found this to be an exceptional piece of literature and I recommend it to people looking for a different kind of fantasy novel—one where the focus is less on swords and sorcery and more on courage and morality.
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,728 reviews1,279 followers
November 14, 2013
2.5 stars
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Chardonian Press and Netgalley.)
Katherine is to be sold to another Warlock by her father, but she doesn’t like him, so instead decides to run.
Can Katherine escape? And what will become of her if she does?

I really enjoyed ‘You are Mine’, so when I saw this I read it straight away. Unfortunately I was disappointed though.

I found it a little odd that Katherine was so shocked that she was being sold. In the society in which she lives that’s what happens to girls, so while I expected her to maybe not like it, I didn’t expect her to be surprised by it.

The storyline was okay – fair enough if she wanted to run away, but it was a little short-sighted to leave something behind that could be used to track her.
When she was then told how brave she was being without the ribbon that meant so much to her, I couldn’t quite believe it. It was a ribbon! If she had the guts to stand up, refuse to marry the man she was sold to, and to run away, I think she should be able to cope without a ribbon.
I don’t know what it was about this book but I just felt bored, and it didn’t hold my attention well, which was disappointing because I really liked ‘You Are Mine’. I will read the next book in the series, but I hope that it will be more like ‘You Are Mine’, and less like this.
Overall; disappointing.
5 out of 10.

Profile Image for Badseedgirl.
1,258 reviews63 followers
June 24, 2022
The premise of this book made me very uncomfortable, that explains the low score. It is no reflection of the writing style or character development. I guess I have read one too many books about women being beaten down both physically and mentally.
Profile Image for Deniz.
1,146 reviews100 followers
November 20, 2013

There are some interesting elements and ideas here- but my biggest issue was the writing style. It was to simplistic for me. I couldn't warm up to it...


This is the prequel to the series You Are Mine.
I liked the blurb and thought it would be a great way to be introduced to the series and the author.

First up, my main issue and the reason for the low rating is- I didn't like the writing style. It’s to simplistic for me
“Charles turns, but it’s too late. I fall, fall, fall to the ground. My right hand smacks against the ground first, gashing in mu wrist with a snap.”

“My fingers grip the slick rock, but the waves push and yank and drag. Banging me into the rock, trying to beat me into going downstream. Fingers slip. Grip loosens. Struggle to keep hold. Water crashes over and over. Tumbled about. Cold.”

I know that Falor uses this way of writing purposely to set a pace. I even know that there is a term for this kind of writing (though I can’t remember what it’s called - it’s been a while since I grace Lit classes with my presence after all ;))BUT I don’t like it. This is totally subjective. I jsut never enjoyed this kind of prose. So I’m afraid to say, this did dampen the rating - definitely the reason for the rounding down.

The world building is in it’s elements interesting. I like the idea behind this. But no having read the first book of the series, it felt to minimal at times. Though it was hinting at things, and some aspects of the world building were pretty well done, if you read this as a standalone there was simply not enough. You were left with loads of gaps and questions.
Naturally I assume that this will be rectified in the rest of the series.

I feel rather iffy about the character building as well. Because some of it is really quite good. Especially Charles. I did like him, he was mysterious, quiet, capable and loyal. I wanted to know more about him and at the end got quite a good feel who he is.
Katherine left me divided. Sometimes I felt she was too naive. Then I remembered she was only 17. But her POV did feel older most of the time. I saw that Katherine will feature in the first book of the series again, so I honestly think that I might feel differently about her, if I would have read that book already. I liked Kat’s defiance and guts but at the end of the novella I felt that her character was a bit flat. Despite it being written all from her POV.
The support characters really didn’t impress me. They were all too cliche and to predictable and mostly to straight up. I couldn’t connect to any of them.
The romance had no to extremely little chemistry- which was kind of a shame. I did like the idea of it and kept on expecting more.

The plot was interesting, with some nice twists and turns. I wasn’t surprised by any of the twists, still I enjoyed the ride. It’s a good story, my favorite part of this novella.
Sadly this warranted only for the 2,5Stars. Because I am a sucker for prose. I can get swayed and caught up in character building if it’s amazing. But just plot? As I just discovered- sadly not.

So will I read the rest of the series? Honestly I’m not sure. Again it’s the prose bit. I might give it a try- simply because I like the idea behind this series. Then there is hope that the world building lives up to its potential and I am sure I will enjoy the plot. But then again, would I want to read a full length novel, when I don’t like the prose? Truth be told it might end up as a DNF.
Profile Image for Trish at Between My Lines.
1,050 reviews292 followers
December 6, 2013
3.5 stars

Mine to Tarnish is an alternative look at the word built up in the Mine series. I loved You Are Mine and while I enjoyed Mine to Tarnish, it doesn’t pack the same punch. Which is probably understandable as this is a companion novella and so it has limited capacity for world building.

My recap of Mine to Tarnish:

Katherine has a surprising amount of magic in her blood. But this is not good news as it means that has been matched with a warlock who is old, repulsive and worst of all cruel. Her mother helps her to flee but in this world where men hold all the magic and all the power, is it possible to just disappear?

First Line of Mine to Tarnish:

“I was never expected to marry well, as I wasn’t bred to have large quantities of magic in my blood”.

My thoughts on Mine to Tarnish:

I loved Katherine. I knew I would as I admired her greatly in the first book and was intrigued to find out what her story was. She is brave and considering that she has been put down all her life by men, she still has a feisty spirit. I did find it strange that she never considered what the consequences for her mother would be if she ran. I do get that she was desperate and desperate times call for desperate measures but I think I held that against her a little as it seemed short sighted and selfish.

We don’t get much more of an insight into the world than we did in Mine. It is still shocking and agonising to think about. Men just hold so much power that women don’t stand a chance. The only hope lies in men like Charles and women who dare to take risks. Who is Charles? Good question! He is a tarnished man who rebels against the rules and does his bit to help those in trouble. He is Katherine’s saviour and I breathed a little easier when she met up with him.

It’s a nerve-wracking read as I knew that the warlock wouldn’t be content to just leave Katherine flee. That would be a woman getting one up on him and no way would he leave that happen. And with his magic powers, influence and money; the odds were in his favour.

We knew from Your Are Mine what choices Katherine eventually made but not why. I loved her reasoning and it makes the title seem very profound. Overall though, the one question I really want answered is do women have magic powers? It is in their blood, there has to be a way for them to harness that potential and turn it into strength for them. I can’t wait for book 2!

Who should read Mine to Tarnish?
This novella will work whether or not you have read You Are Mine so I’d recommend it to fans of YA fantasy. It’s a very original world and even though I didn’t love this novella the same way I loved You Are Mine, I still enjoyed it and I think it is a series that deserves more attention.

Thanks to NetGalley and Chardonian Press for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review
Profile Image for Abbie.
1,976 reviews583 followers
November 28, 2014
Actual rating - 3.5

I liked Katherine in book one, so I was pleased to see this novella was about her.

I did think she was quiet silly to leave something behind that could be used to trace her, but other than that, I liked her. I felt really sorry for her, as she went through quite a lot.

Overall, Decent novella.
December 2, 2013
The Mine series is set in Chardonia - a place where women are possessions and male warlocks use hexes, spells, and the threat of being tarnished (magically made to be bald, tattooed, and unable to have children) to keep them under their thumbs. The first book in the Mine series, You Are Mine, follows Serena as she takes steps towards independence and freedom in a warlock dominated kingdom. Fanning the sparks of free will in Serena is a tarnished seamstress named Katherine. Katherine is bold and self-sufficient – far different from what Chardonian society claims people become when they are tarnished, worth less than the shadow they cast.

Mine To Tarnish is a prequel novella that tells Katherine’s story. We learn how she came to be that bold, self-sufficient tarnished seamstress - from far less free beginnings.

I was so excited when I saw another book had been released in this series and when I saw it was about Katherine I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I liked Katherine in You Are Mine, but after reading the following declaration from her in Mine To Tarnish, she’s become my favorite character in the series so far:

“I am not a thing,” I continue, “No other woman is a thing, and tarnished are not things. We are people, and we will be treated as such.”

You go girl!

Mine To Tarnish is a novella, so it’s short and to the point, but it’s still packed full of feels and action. Katherine refuses to be owned, instead taking her future into her own hands and, with help and determination, carving out a new destiny for herself. She also makes the decision to become a source of help for others knowing first hand the dangers to be faced.

I loved this novella and I adore this series. The writing really flows well, the story is engrossing, and it’s full of characters I want to cheer on. This series is a must read for me and I recommend it to lovers of light fantasy and women’s fiction with magical touches.

*I received a free ARC of this book to review. You can find this review and others like it at BookAndCoffeeAddict.com, along with recommendations for a fantastic cup of coffee.
Profile Image for Terrie.
774 reviews22 followers
November 19, 2013
We first met Katherine, the tarnished cloth merchant who befriends Serena, in YOU ARE MINE, the prequel to MINE TO TARNISH. It was interesting to read Katherine’s back story as a young woman with a lot of magic in her blood, making her desirable as a wife to whichever warlock bid the most for her, in the hopes of bearing a warlock son with lots of magical ability. But in Chardonia women are mere possessions, to be used as slaves and breeders. The Tarnished are those with no magic in their blood, or those who are exiled for insubordination. When Katherine meets her intended, an old, rancid, cruel warlock, she knows she cannot spend her life as his to terrorize. With the help of her mother, she runs.

Although this novella is a little over a hundred pages, it packs a big punch. When you are as excellent at stringing words together as Janeal Falor is, the emotion and action are concise and clear. Katherine, her mother, Charles, and Mary are well drawn characters, making the world they live in believable. The ending was powerful and quite a surprise. I am looking forward to more books in this series.

I highly recommend this book and YOU ARE MINE to everybody, especially those who like YA fantasy. Both books are available as eBooks from amazon.com. YOU ARE MINE is also available in paperback.

Janeal Falor is a local author. YOU ARE MINE is her first novel. You can follow her on Goodreads.com to learn more about her and her future projects.
Profile Image for Kelly.
176 reviews
February 13, 2014
This is definitely one of those novellas I'm going to read! Katherine is one of my favorite characters in this story and I can't wait to read about her!


Can there be more??? Seriously I would so read more about Katherine's life as a Tarnished. She was such an amazing secondary character in You Are Mine and I really wanted to know her back story. How she came to be where she is and why she is the person she is. It was truly wonderful reading about the life she had before becoming Tarnished, the relationship she had with her mother and father, the man she was sold to, how she escaped, and everything she went through to get where she is, both the good and the bad. I especially enjoyed reading about the beginnings of her relationship with Charles. I could definitely read more of that ;)

If you enjoyed Janeal Falor's You Are Mine and the world she's created, you really need to read this novella about Katherine. It really helps you understand why she and Serena got along so well and easily struck up a friendship. They are so very similar. Such a wonderful quick read about a lovely character.
Profile Image for Donna.
34 reviews2 followers
February 10, 2017
A good prequel following Katherine's story which fills in some interesting blanks from the first book. Short and sweet and written in similarly good style, it was a nice read although i didn't enjoy it as much as "You are mine". I don't recommend reading this one first, definitely start with book 1 and then read this prequel as things will make much more sense in this order and you'll find yourself caring more about Katherine and her story.
Profile Image for Jasmyn.
1,499 reviews20 followers
May 14, 2015
Katherine was a very intriguing character in book one. The tarnished who wasn't a tarnished - a strong woman helping the unfortunate while being unfortunate herself.

Her story was a stragen mix of sad and hope. She does not have her happily ever after that we see in many fantasies, but by the end we see that she is where she needs to be and she's glad to be there helping.

It was also another look into a very well developed and curious world that Janeal Falor has created.
Profile Image for Julie Witt.
494 reviews11 followers
August 23, 2022
"Katherine's place is the same as any woman's-on the shelf next to the dresses and bolts of cloth." Women have absolutely no rights of their own, and are at the mercy of men, especially warlocks, who aren't known for their patience and tenderness. Women may have magic, but they aren't able to wield it, and women who have a great deal of magic are very valuable, which is why they are sold off to the highest bidder, usually a warlock who just wants them as breeders. They are controlled by their owner through intimidation and pain by way of hexes. Katherine has been sold off to a disgusting, old warlock by her father, and doesn't know what to do, until her mother comes up with a plan to help her daughter run, which is very risky for both of them, but Katherine doesn't see any other way.

This prequel novella is a very quick read, but that doesn't keep you from experiencing the horror the females in this society face on a daily basis. You can't help but root for Katherine and the others she meets up with along the way. Her journey is a hard one, but in it she finds meaning and a way of life completely different than the one she thought she would be living.

I enjoyed this prequel very much and look forward to continuing with the series to see where it goes.

5/5 stars.

*** I would like to thank NetGalley, Chardonian Press, and Janeal Falor for the opportunity to read and review this book.
Profile Image for Gypsy Madden.
Author 2 books27 followers
October 2, 2018
The beginning was a hard read, mainly because I hate seeing women treated horribly by men and the unjust archaic patriarchal society. It wasn't just the authorities, and her soon to be husband, but also the boys at school, and her father. The society feels implausible to be that tyrannized by just a handful of men and with no men with power being actual decent people. But societal quibbles aside, this told a cohesive story with a heroine to root for, the adventure and thrill of her escape, and the wonder as her world is slowly uncovered and we meet the Tarnished as well as the hope of a better future with the coming together of Tarnished and other women on the run. This story is empowering without the woman having to brandish a gun or wear black leather or even be powerful in any way other than her determination to not accept her fate. There’s even a dash of romance.
Profile Image for JoAnn.
225 reviews
October 7, 2020
Interesting Story! I enjoyed listening to this story. There was lots of anguish caused by the societal structure of the world depicted in this book. Consequently, Katherine had an arduous task in deciding how to deal with the unfortunate turn of events her life dealt her. The suspense kept me listening to this story non-stop. The narrator did a great job in bringing this story to life. I received a free review copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Patty.
221 reviews5 followers
June 10, 2017
After reading the first three books, I read the prequel. Mine to Tarnish was enjoyable and far better edited than the other books.
If you're looking for a series of books that is very clean, has strong female characters, and men who are horrible jerks then this is the series for you.
Oh and did I mention there's magic!
968 reviews1 follower
August 13, 2017

This story was hard to read. Just because abuse is difficult to read about and this society demeans and abuses it's women as their way of life. The author told a good story although it wasn't what I was expecting. Katherine was scared but strong, that's what makes her a good character.
Profile Image for Megan.
105 reviews
February 7, 2018
I loved knowing more about Katherine's story. And while I personaly think it went very fast, it is still a nice addition to the rest of the series.
Profile Image for Sheri Brown.
Author 1 book5 followers
November 14, 2018
I read this book after I read the first in the series. And I think it goes well in that order.
It was an easy, fast read I found very entertaining and enjoyable.
Profile Image for Tina.
58 reviews1 follower
March 6, 2021
This review is for the Audible Audio book Very intriguing and entralling Narrator brings the characters to life keeps me listening and interested in what happens next very good book
Profile Image for Tina Barr.
125 reviews2 followers
December 2, 2021
Very intriguing and entralling Narrator is very good brins the characters to life keeps me listening
Profile Image for Lauren B.
173 reviews6 followers
February 12, 2022
A very quick insight into Katherine's story before the series started. 👏
Profile Image for Kate.
196 reviews2 followers
March 31, 2022
Interesting take on Katherine’s story just didn’t seem to match Katherine’s tone of voice or personality.
157 reviews7 followers
August 29, 2022
I enjoyed this book tremendously. The characters, the adventures, and of course the narrator, were fabulous.
Profile Image for Beverly.
142 reviews11 followers
March 13, 2017
This is a mini novel, a look into Katherine's life. How she became a renoun dressmaker for the Chardonnian women. Katherine started out like most women in Chardonnia. She was groomed at a young age to be sold to a Warlock. Some how Katherine's views of women are not the same . She knows women and those that are tarnish are worth more than just objects and things . Unfortunately tor Katherine she has come of age. Her father sells her to a warlock. Regardless of what she feels. She is presented to him. only to see he is an old man. An old rancid smelling man. On top of that he is very cruel. So as she ,he will either tarnish her or kill her. No other options are available.sits there in her room trying to figure out what she is about to do. Her mother comes to talk to her. She is giving her an option. She tells her to put a sleeping potion in his drink. When he falls asleep she must run away. So that is what she does. If she is found he will either kill her or tarnish her. On other options are available. Will the potion work? Can she escape the fate the her father decided for her? I highly recommend this read. it was very interesting in leading up to Katherine's path in life.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 84 reviews

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