An evil new magic threatens to undo all the progress women have made in the third and final book in Jenna Glass's riveting feminist fantasy series, following The Women's War and Queen of the Unwanted.
In the once male-dominated world of Seven Wells, women now control their own reproduction, but the battle for equality is far from over. Even with two thrones held by women, there are still those who cling to the old ways and are determined to bring them back.
Now into this struggle comes a darker power. Delnamal, the former King of Aalwell, may have lost his battle to undo the spell that gave women reproductive control, but he has gained a terrible and deadly magic—and he uses these new abilities to raise an army the likes of which the world has never seen. Delnamal and his allies seem like an unstoppable force, destined to crush the fragile new balance between men and women.
Yet sometimes it is possible for determined individuals to stem the tide, and it falls to a unique triad of women—maiden, mother, and crone—to risk everything . . . not only to preserve the advances they have won but to change the world one final time.
A portion of the author’s proceeds from this book is being donated to Planned Parenthood, in support of women’s reproductive freedom.
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.