The Fortress

Erewhon. Mar. 2020. 288p. ISBN 9781645660026. pap. $16.95. SF
When Jonathon’s pregnant wife Adalia learns of his dalliances with the plethora of young interns at his company, she gives him an ultimatum—serve as a supplicant at The Fortress for a year, or divorce. The Fortress is a territory controlled by the Vaik, warrior women who live largely agrarian lives and use male labor (in the form of volunteers and criminals from the rest of the world) to work and procreate. Entering The Fortress requires that Jonathon submit to the will of the Vaik in all matters, and the struggle he endures there breaks him and reforms him.
VERDICT Jones (Isabelle of the Moon and Stars) creates a world that, while perhaps lacking in worldbuilding elements, deeply explores the meanings of consent and power. There are moments of graphic violence and sex. Fans of Joanne Ramos’s The Farm and Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments may enjoy this role-reversal story.

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