To make life easier and release some of my frustrations, I'm going to list the problems I had. I also did kind of go off into mini-rants so I'll spoiler tag parts or else this review will look like an essay: -From the start, I couldn't get fully into the story because of small inconsistencies (view spoiler) (like how Pellaz had been completely isolated from the rest of the world his whole life, yet showed keen knowledge and insight about the Wraeththu or faraway places he couldn't have known) (hide spoiler)
Thiede's speech, telling Pellaz what is a Wraeththu What can I say? I just finish this book and I must write some words, convincing you to read it too? Pellaz is the protagonist and his narration will be, all the time, from the point of view of someone deeply in love. The sweet and the dark Pellaz made me forget my days, and be him, live with him, suffer and love with him. BTW I said it's a transgendler but as you can see I'm using the male pronoun because Pellaz question a lot if he is a male or a female creature, but he will see himself as a male Wraeththu. If this book was a song, it would be A kind of magic by Queen. From the preface, where the writer explain her reasons to this new revised edition, to the maps and the glossary, this book is a pleasure to read. Each chapter start with a nice drawn, there is a care with details and a lot of inedited scenes (the writer said it, I didn't read all editions). I wish I could give endless stars. or better, avoid it, if you want to have a life and don't be, as me, completely in love with Pellaz...
Storm Constantine has been one of the authors at the forefront of dark fantasy and her series about the beautiful, androgynous Wraeththu stands as a classic of the genre. This is my fifth journey to the rich and strange world of the Wraeththu and like an expert lover, its dark, seductive magic draws me back time and again.
5 STARS Considering this was first written in 1980 and then expanded and re-edited in 1987, it's one excellent M/M, dystopian, sci-fi and fantasy novel aimed at the much darker side of those genres, I loved it and encourage fellow lovers of darker books to read this trilogy, I bought book 2&3 without a thought but I know outside of Australia you can get all three novels as a single volume.
I don't normally read books out of a series... I also need to say, although this is labeled as gay romance, I think that is way to broad of a statement for this novel. The species are actually hermaphrodites, so firstly- gender queer would be a better label. BUT, I feel even this label may hinder more people from reading it, a cis male reaching for a gender queer romance novel? Labels take away something special from this book. I never liked learning a new language in order to enjoy a book, but this was easy, especially since there is a glossary in the back.
I would like to start with the final lines of my A Writer's Gotta Read review from the first time I read this, over two years ago: "The novel is interesting, if nothing else. Im glad I read it. 'Cause now I've read it again, and didn't even remember those lines until I decided to reread that review before coming here. Last time, I didn't really know I loved Pell until I found out he wasn't the narrator of the second book. (And no, I didn't read this book in a day.
They look like human men because they were human men until It Happened.
The characters have the potential to be awesome.
If it seems like nothing much happens for a full novel, you'd be right. Each har has an unusual penis which looks kinda like an orchid. It can operate like a normal penis, in a sort of male mode, or it can open up like a flower to operate in a sort of female mode. During aruna (i.e. sex), a given Wraeththu can be either male-like or female-like in operation. In essence, the Wraeththu are a SF metaphor for 1980s glitterboi male homosexuals, a literal "3rd sex". They're more creative than normal humans, more mystical, and their form of sex generally doesn't create children. The Wraeththu are kinda like a yaoi fangirl's view of 1980s glam sexuality writ large.
1956) is a British science fiction and fantasy author, primarily known for her Wraeththu series.