REVIEW: “Maiden, Mother, Crone” by Ann Leckie and Rachel Swirsky

Review of Ann Leckie and Rachel Swirsky, Maiden, Mother, Crone, Podcastle: 500 — Listen Online. Reviewed by Heather Rose Jones

The basic story structure is one of religious intolerance: the conflict between a magical woman-centered tradition and a murderous patriarchal monotheistic tradition, mediated by fear, lack of communication, and a really bad winter storm, the sort you don’t want to get caught in when you’re about to give birth. While the story hung together competently in narrative terms, I confess that stereotypes involved in the religious world-building felt unimaginative. I did like the hopeful (if far-fetched) plans the protagonist had at the end, though I don’t think it could be called a happy ending overall. I think I was hoping to be blown away by the special 500th episode story–Podcastle is really good about blowing me away on a regular basis–and it fell short of doing that for me.