epiphany_maria (epiphany_maria) wrote,

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Book Reviews: Under The Yoke + 33 Women

Under The Yoke by S.M. Stirling

This 1989 novel is Book 2 of the Draka series. Europe has been utterly defeated by the Draka who have conquered and peopled half the world. We see the effects on both serfs and Draka as the draka impose their autocratic, racist, violent and extractive form of rule. A nun is a serf on a plantation in what was once France.

An OSS agent infiltrates the world-conquering Domination. We see how profoundly different the Draka are. They are death dealing slavers who act as a world apart. They have strategic cunning and to them violence is an essential part of rule.

They have a sense of purpose which is the unequivocal triumph of evil over good and rejoicing in it. Serfs are subjected to the Drakas delusional, psychotic mindset and malign fate. The nun has escalating misadventures and there is real meance and suspence. Draka enjoy the frisson of the illict, excessive physical aggression and have deliberate malice. They induce stark terror and don't believe there will be consquences for their behaviour. The Domination is callous, brutal and repressive. This was very good. Why Stirling never wrote the promised Books 5&6 is a mystery.

Best Lines:

“Isn't bein' abused, just used.”

“If she chooses to find it unpleasant, that's her problem.”

“Graphic demonstration of her own helplessness, on a level impossible to ignore or deny.”

“Willing, total submission.”

“Stalker-killer subs.”

“The deference of others...”


“Seen what awaited her,”

“Patiently ruthless will.”

“Slaughterous reprisals.”


“Looking as if they had desolate two generations instead of three months.”

“Sealed barns for breeding stock.”

“So they do plan atomic war,”

“The step that could not be taken back.”

“All too terrible to be borne.”

“Complete contempt for human life.”

“Risking capture by a people to whom mercy was scarcely even a word.”

33 Women by Isabel Ashdown

This badly written hackjob reads like it is self-published. A womens commune hides secrets. This was unreadable.

Best Lines:

“The backdrop I imagined a year ago bears little resemblance to society as we recognise it now.”

“Banishment is final.”


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