Mother of All

Jenna Glass. Del Rey, $18 trade paper (656p) ISBN 978-0-525-61842-3
Glass neatly ties up her epic Women’s War fantasy trilogy (after Queen of the Unwanted) in a doorstopper that sees kingdoms rise and fall on the willingness of their leaders to embrace change. Ex-King Delnamal of Aaltah’s unsuccessful attempts to reverse the magical Blessing/Curse that provides the women of Seven Wells with perfect control over conception and the capability for lethal retaliation for rape has left Aalwell’s precious magical well profoundly damaged and has transformed Delnamal into a walking cadaver. He keeps himself alive by fatally plucking the life-giving mote of Rhokai from living beings, making him the perfect weapon for a patriarchal holy war. Meanwhile, Mother Leethan of the Abbey of the Unwanted wrestles with visions of a succession war, a girl child on a journey, and three powerful women facing down three men to secure the fate of the world. Glass brings her creative, gendered magic system back to center stage, which will leave some readers longing for a more nuanced, less binary take. She carefully builds the individual relationships between family members, allies, and foes, deepening emotional immersion. Despite the hefty page count, no individual interaction feels like filler, though readers will be anxious to get to the inevitable climax. This is a worthy conclusion. Agent: Miriam Kriss, Irene Goodman Literary. (July)
Reviewed on : 03/18/2021
Release date: 07/20/2021
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
Book - 1 pages - 978-0-525-61841-6
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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