The Furies

Suzy McKee Charnas, Author
Suzy McKee Charnas, Author Tor Books $22.95 (383p) ISBN 978-0-312-85717-2
Reviewed on: 05/30/1994
Release date: 06/01/1994
Mass Market Paperbound - 384 pages - 978-0-8125-4819-8
Hardcover - 384 pages - 978-0-7043-4422-8
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-312-86606-8
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Powerful and poignant, but hopefully not prophetic, Charnas's sequel to Walk to the End of the World and Motherlines presents an action-packed, if upsetting, dystopia in which men have used women as chattel and have even contemplated raising them for food. The story continues the adventures of heroine Alldera, who leads the Free Fems, freed female slaves, against their former masters. As she returns from the Grasslands with a small army of Free Fems, Alldera's soldiers are now on horseback. Using superior bows, they retake the lands of their former bondage, joined in their victories by newly liberated slaves and by the Riding Women, nomadic females who have no biological need for men because they use horse sperm as a catalyst for their own reproduction. The women's taste of victory in battle leaves them nearly as bloodthirsty as their former masters, and Alldera's leadership is always in jeopardy, in part because she decides to protect the master who freed her long ago; the latter and a eunuch, Setteo the seer, are the only ``good'' males here. Hugo and Nebula award winner Charnas's story is not for the weak of stomach. For as Alldera asks, ``Who can make a new, whole self without spending the ocean of old poisons first?'' That spending is here vicious, bloody and wrenching. (June)
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