n 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.
Mother of All by Jenna Glass is the exciting conclusion to a women empowerment fantasy trilogy that simply left me awe over the world-building. The last few chapters ultimately won my heart. They fueled my desire to reread the trilogy, so I could marvel once again at the heroes’ journeys, the bits of wisdom bestowed, and the overall wonder of this magnificently built world.
What I Loved
I found the magic system to be completely unique and thoroughly intriguing. In this world, everyone can see these tiny motes. Some are feminine and can only be seen by women, some are masculine and can only be seen by men, while still others are neutral and can be seen by all. These motes fuel spells and magical gadgets, like talkies which is a 3-D virtual communication tool. But, ultimately and unfortunately, they also helped create this misogynistic world.
I loved the surprise heroes that came out in an abundance of twists towards the end. Characters that I had only given a modest amount of attention to throughout the series are now among my favorites along with the expected ones, and maybe even more so because their heroic actions are totally unexpected. I cannot even tell you about my favorite character for fear that I will give away a spoiler.
Women empowerment stories are always among my favorite tales, and that is the central theme of this trilogy, not just a by-product. In this world, women are property and only property to be used and thrown out as the male that fathered or married them sees fit. Until one day, a multi-generational spell that required sacrificial motes was cast, and suddenly women had a say in what happened to them and their bodies. The beginnings of equality emerged. And, through the entirety of the trilogy, women had to fight to maintain that power and hopefully change the world to a place where women and men are equal in spell crafting, in marriage, in childbearing, and in politics.
To Read or Not to Read
Suppose you are looking for a fantasy story with a well-honed magical system, a complex and detailed world, and characters you enjoy rooting for. In that case, this is a story you will not want to miss.