The Matriarch (Women of the Dust #1) by Annabelle McInnes

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Matriarch (Women of the Dust #1) by Annabelle McInnes

Her citizens are oppressed. His society is diminishing. In a frantic bid for survival, can their fiery union save their peoples?
On a scorched and barren future Earth, Yolanda is her people’s only hope. As Matriarch of an all-female nation, the battle-hardened commander fights an impossible war while desperately seeking a way to stop her subjects from dying of thirst. But when the enemy king is beheaded by his own warrior son, she’s offered a truce that will bring the water they urgently need… in return for leaving her populace defenseless.

With his father dead by his hand, the Hammer is determined to rebuild the shattered community the warmongering king’s brutality almost destroyed. In a bold move to strengthen his dwindling numbers, he offers armistice to a dangerous queen and her bloodthirsty horde of fighting women. All he asks in exchange is for her to accompany him to petition the Council to drop their poisonous sanctions…

As they uncover the truth behind the horrific war, Yolanda is surprised when her begrudging respect for her capable companion blossoms into unexpected desire. And though the Hammer learns there’s more to the impassioned fighter than her brutal reputation suggests, he fears giving himself to her could make him a traitor to his own kind.

When their united strength pits them against oppressive factions, will their growing bond become an unbreakable force?

The Matriarch is the thrilling first novel in the Women of the Dust dystopian romance series. If you like enemies-to-lovers, dynamic couples, and empowered feminism, then you’ll adore Annabelle McInnes’s gritty tale.


I received an advance copy of The Matriarch through NetGalley and I am excited to review the book. I absolutely love the premise of the story! A society run by women, facing and surviving in impossible circumstances, and really showing women can be anything? Sign me up. I think the writing and the language were incredible and I highlighted some quotes in the book that just really stood out to me.

When speaking about men who put the Yolanda’s people, The Horde, in their positions, she says, “They talk of our oppression and the eradication of our rights. They talk of our inability to have our voices heard on matters that directly impacted us.” – This really stood out to me because this is a fictional dystopian novel, but we see this everyday when it comes to men in politics controlling women’s rights.

I do think there could be less information given in the plot summary (above) because it essentially gave me spoilers. The entire seen where The Hammer kills his father, I knew what was going to happen and the outcome before I read it, and I think it could have been better with a more surprise element for the reader.

I really liked the protagonists Yolanda and Sasha (The Hammer.) They both had a great duality of traditional feminism and masculine qualities that really showcased we are not one thing bound by gender stereotypes. There was a bit of insta-lust/ love between the characters where I would have preferred a more natural growth of a relationship.

McInnes had great world building and was very detailed. Almost a bit too detailed for me because I prefer a faster plot progression, but that’s just me. Some great plot twists were thrown in and the book held my attention throughout.

I 100% recommend this book to others and I am really excited to read the second book in the series. This book is available on Barnes n Noble, Amazon and Kobo on October 12, 2020. You can find buy links and more about the author here.

Published by the_travelling_reader

Book and Travel blog. I am an avid reader who enjoys many different genres including fiction, fantasy, mystery, thriller, science fiction, nonfiction, and more. I have spent the past few years living and travelling around the world and I want to share my experience with you! This blog combines the best of both worlds.

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