The Women’s War

Jenna Glass. Del Rey, $28 (560p) ISBN 978-1-984817-20-4
Glass’s substantial novel stands out as both social commentary on contemporary issues of bodily autonomy, gender, and social power and as feminist retribution fantasy, made manifest through an appealing epic fantasy setting and grounded in a carefully designed magic system. The kingdom of Aaltah’s disgraced women are exiled to the Abbey of the Unwanted, where they sell potions and sex. Three generations of a powerful bloodline—led by Alysoon Rai-Brynna, mother of two and the widowed, disinherited daughter of the aging king of Aaltah and the abbess—perform a ritual that transforms the world to give women the power to prevent all unwanted pregnancies and fatally retaliate against rapists. Alysoon becomes a target for the wrathful response of men in power, and a leader in exploring the uses of a secret new source of feminine magic. Palace intrigue clashes into open rebellion as the women decide they have had enough of being chattel. Though female leads take center stage, Glass gives real depth to her male characters as well. Personal and political aspects of the story blend gracefully together to provide a high-energy story with sweeping forward momentum toward the next installment. Agent: Miriam Kriss, Irene Goodman Literary. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 11/19/2018
Release date: 03/05/2019
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 576 pages - 978-0-525-61836-2
Show other formats
Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
Discover what to read next