Mother of All

Del Rey: Ballantine. (The Women’s War, Bk. 3). Jul. 2021. 656p. ISBN 9780525618423. pap. $18. FANTASY
In this trilogy’s previous installment, King Delnamal severely damaged Aaltah’s Well to quash the powerful magic it allowed women to harness; he seemingly died in the effort. His half-brother Tynthanal has become regent to the infant king; he struggles with the role and for having left his heart (and unborn child) in Women’s Well. Meanwhile, in the Abbey of the Unwanted, Mother Leethan has visions of a young girl on a journey and a war of succession; at its center are three women up against three men to determine the future of their world. Delnamal turns out to be alive, but in a new form, and he’s intent on finding his way back to power. He becomes the symbol and weapon in a war to decide the future of Aaltah. With its gender binary focus and Western Europe–inspired setting, this story does not offer much diversity, but its themes of patriarchy and women’s autonomy resonate.
VERDICT Glass’s final volume of the “Women’s War” trilogy is a satisfying, if lengthy, conclusion to the series.
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