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22gigantes.com - What if heterosexuality were a crime?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?
Most helpful customer reviews 0 of 0 people found the following review helpful. Insightful and intriguing By wifie29 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 5 stars. 0 of 0 people found the following review helpful. An intense, memorable and thoughtful story By pao "Bastia: The Early Years" is an intriguing exploration into an alternate reality where heterosexuality, instead of homosexuality is a crime. Similar to "Becoming Clissine" (I highly recommend it if you haven't already read it), the opening scene is dark, cold and gripping. It will certainly be one of those stories that will be hard to dislodge from my memory. The book is split into three parts, and my favourite is Part One: The Wives of Jakal which gives readers a background on how Bastia grew into what it is now, through Jakal's wives. The writing is purposeful and lyrical, the chapters aptly named. Of the four chapters in the first part, chapters 3 and 4 are the most powerful ones for me because it is so harsh and shocking and so skilfully written.If you have read any of this author's books, you will know that physical descriptions are kept at a minimum. This book is similar, and as such the story is unencumbered by over description, allowing the reader to use their imagination to the fullest and to feel every emotion the characters feel. Moving on to Part Two, readers are introduced to Soris, Karielle and their respective families. As readers follow these two characters living their daily lives, readers will learn more about Bastian law and culture. Both characters struggle to accept each other and find balance in their new roles as a newly wedded couple under the strict laws of Bastia. What I especially liked in this part is the way the author describes emotions because it all matches the characters' points of view and matches their personality. Part Two while much lighter than Part One, is certainly not fluffy.Part Three is a mixture of emotionally heavy and light reading and an extension to the last chapter in Part Two as it gives a bit more background to the events in that chapter. The first chapter for this part is a display of the unforgiving consequences of breaking the laws of Bastia and perhaps, also a reflection of the attitudes we have observed in our own world regarding homosexuality. The chapter is intense and certainly memorable in many ways. All in all, I enjoyed this story very much! Not only because it was a long awaited installment to the 'storyverse' but also because it is a thoughtful story on the human condition and a reflection of our own prejudice against people who do not fit the norm. I highly recommend this book. 1 of 1 people found the following review helpful. Wonderful! By LisaW I enjoyed this book from beginning to end. As a fan of Becoming Clissine, I was curious as to the origins of Bastia. In the collection of stories in this book, we learn about the wives of Jakal, that included Altrea (the leader of the Bastian government). We also learn about the young women, Soris and Karielle, who would later be tasked with the re-education of Clissa. Finally, we meet Tay, the child given to Clissa and her Dis.This is a must read! See all 7 customer reviews...
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