Book Review

The Matriarch, Women of the Dust #1

The Matriarch, Women of the Dust #1

Annabelle McInnes

AKM Publishing Pty Ltd., Oct 2020, 358 pages

Dystopian Fantasy Sci-Fi

Provided by Pub via NetGalley

⭐⭐⭐⭐🌙

The artwork and richness of the colors used on the cover really drew my eye. I loved the cover. I read this book right after I got it and put my review on GoodReads, but never posted it anywhere else. Sorry. This is my review straight from GoodReads and it is revealing.

Ms. McInnes loses half a star for all the little things that bothered me, but mostly for the snakes in Yolanda’s gut. They got to me after about the third reference. And how many ways can you describe a man as big? We get the idea. That said, let’s get on to the good stuff. This was a dystopian situation, post-apocalyptic, so we’re looking at sci-fi, but it felt like a fantasy. Anything can happen. Physically the land is dried up sand and rock and sun-baked. It lacks water, supposedly. Its people have congregated into small nations controlled by a council. Yolanda is the seventh generation Matriarch of the Horde. The Horde is a mostly female nation that has been banished by the Council and has no water access. The sixth-generation Matriarch, Marta was warlike and aggressive. She made the Horde strong and the Council feared the Horde. Yolanda is more a humanitarian and wants to end the war and get rid of the sanctions against the Horde, get back their access to water, save her people. She’s a strong and deadly warrior and a good leader, but she knows her people need peace and a chance to thrive or they will die.

As she goes to meet her neighbor in battle, the Axe, she discovers that all is not well in his nation either. Before the two leaders can exchange blows, his son, the Hammer, decapitated him and surrendered to her. The Hammer, Sasha, convinces the Matriarch she needs to meet with the Council to learn the truth of the situation. This starts them on a journey to the Council and a truth that will break Yolanda’s heart. However, Yolanda and Sasha learn about each other as a man and woman and they quickly fall into a very close relationship that later evolves further into love.

Throughout this whole ordeal, we are witness to Yolanda trying to find herself and her path in her mother’s teachings. Her mother was feared and respected as the Matriarch. Yolanda is respected and loved. Will her path keep her people alive? Her whole focus is on taking care of her people. She makes sacrifices for them throughout the book, small and great. She knows Sasha is right for her when he is so moved over the plight of his own people.

I am looking forward to seeing what Ms. McInnes does in the next book of this series. Recommended.

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