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Bastia: The Early Years by Anastasia Vitsky

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Bastia: The Early Years by Anastasia Vitsky

Book Info

Book Series
About the Author
Cookie queen, wooden spoon lady, and champion of carbs, Anastasia Vitsky specializes in F/F fiction. She hates shoes and is allergic to leather. When not writing about women who live spankily ever after, she coordinates reader and author events such as Spank or Treat, Love Spanks, and Sci Spanks. Her favorite event is Ana’s Advent Calendar, a month-long celebration of books, community, and making a difference.
She is too afraid to watch Doctor Who, but she adores The Good Wife and anything with Audrey Hepburn. In her next life, she will learn how to make the perfect pie crust. She can be found at and on twitter @AnastasiaVitsky.
Publication Date
October 23, 2016
In the world of Bastia, like must marry like. Basti, the supreme deity, has decreed so. Any deviation results in sanctions, imprisonment, torture, or even death. But how did this society come to be? How can a religion be based on hatred?

In these early chronicles of Bastia, we discover good intentions behind the benevolent theocracy gone wrong. Meet the founder of modern day Bastia, Altrea. Placed in a polygamous marriage to enrich her father, she finds love with one of her sister wives. Their husband’s reaction is swift and brutal. As Altrea struggles to make sense of the violence, she dreams of a world in which one woman can love another.

In this new perfect society called Bastia, justice reigns supreme. No one is above the law. The state will provide for all equally. But as Altrea quickly finds out, nothing is simple. Basti is love. Bastia is founded on love. So what went wrong? How did a land of idyllic happiness turn into the dystopian regime that persecutes a young woman for loving a boy?

Come and meet Karielle and Soris before they reeducate the criminal who dared to love the wrong gender, and ask yourself one question.

Why is love a crime?

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Insightful and intriguing
This is a series of short stories which provide some understanding into how Bastia became the intolerant society in Becoming Clissine. I enjoyed these glimpses, and I hope we’ll see more in the future.

The first part is a set of stories about the four wives of a wealthy man in an ancient civilization. This society almost seems built on the absence of any sort of consent. In fact, even more than punishing romantic love and physical expression between two women, it appears that what’s really taboo is autonomy. Like in Clissine, this is a perfect mirror of how fundamentalism views the roles of marriage partners and women in particular.

The second half of the book is about the married couple who are essentially responsible for Clissa’s “reeducation” or conversion therapy. I was torn in both stories as to how I felt about them. They are a loving couple, and they certainly provide insight into the minds of the strictly religious. However, I was still left with lingering unease despite their relationship. I’m not sure what the intended message is with regard to their marriage and their treatment of Clissa.

After reading both books, my conclusion is that I could never live in either of the societies presented here. In both, there is a distinct lack of choice, and binary family roles are strictly enforced. I already know what would happen in a strictly patriarchal society when a person does not fall neatly within the boundaries of gender or sexuality, and we know what happens to heterosexuals in Clissa’s society. But what happens in Clissa’s world to someone who doesn’t fall neatly into binary categories of gender, role, or sexuality? This is perhaps the best mark of the excellent writing, that it leads to further speculation.

On the whole, I enjoyed this slightly less than the first book, but I think that’s a function of being left with more questions than answers rather than it being objectively less good. I hope that means we’re in for further insights into Bastia and how it came to be.

For beautiful, evocative prose, outstanding characters, and an intriguing premise, this gets 4.5 stars.
Top 10 Reviewer 25 reviews
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