Read The Enchantments Of Flesh And Spirit by Storm Constantine Online

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The first part of Storm Constantine's fantasy epic Wraeththu trilogy establishes how it all started. Pellaz and Cal's stories.Pellaz is very young, just thirteen years, living a typically isolated homestead existence for the difficult times man is now experiencing, when Cal, a handsome stranger, makes a call; Pell recognises something special in Cal, and is tempted by Cal'The first part of Storm Constantine's fantasy epic Wraeththu trilogy establishes how it all started. Pellaz and Cal's stories.Pellaz is very young, just thirteen years, living a typically isolated homestead existence for the difficult times man is now experiencing, when Cal, a handsome stranger, makes a call; Pell recognises something special in Cal, and is tempted by Cal's offer to take him away. So Pell makes contact with widely rumoured and feared Wraeththu. The Wraeththu prove to be not quite as bad as rumoured, at least not all, but a new race born from a mutation and which can incept new members. There is neither male nor female; perhaps they could be described hermaphrodite or androgynous, they are the perfect combination of male and female; the complete person. But to external appearances they are male, and they are remarkably good looking, even beautiful, some exceedingly so. They of course mate male with male, and can be either father of hostling (mother) or vice versa.We follow Pell as he joins other Wraeththu, and is himself incepted, and as he rises through the different levels of Wraeththu; Pell is clearly someone special. But the course he must follow to attain his full potential is difficult and fraught with danger. Cal and Pell travel together, and are devoted to each other, but will their love be able to withstand all the problems ahead.They encounter various other Wraeththu in different tribes, and we gradually gain a greater understanding of the complexity of this new race. Some of those we meet are dangerous, even sinister, others, such as Cobweb, are delightful.It all makes for an exciting, moving and magical tale. The characterisation is very good, and Constantine Storm has clearly put a great deal of thought into the creation of the Wraeththu, considering all aspects of their physical, mental, and magical make up, along with a complex caste system. First class....

Title : The Enchantments Of Flesh And Spirit
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780356145488
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 318 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Enchantments Of Flesh And Spirit Reviews

  • Aimee ~is busy sleeping~
    2019-02-01 14:16

    I waited for so long to receive my paperback copy with all three volumes. I was excited and expected to spend a pleasant time immersed in it during my spring break (yes, my spring break is so crazy and exciting this year). I had really high expectations, expecting to love this as I did The Merro Tree, another really old lgbt sci-fi that turned out to be such a great find. And I was very fascinated with the premise for this series, which essentially is about how the human population is dying off as a newly evolved hermaphrodite species called the Wraeththu take their place. The MC Pellaz is a farm boy who was easily seduced by a traveling Wraeththu named Cal into joining one of their tribes and fully becoming one of them. It's a strange mix of both fantasy and sci-fi. It sounds so promising. But the execution and the characters left me cold, frustrated, and ultimately disappointed. 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)] and things that just didn't make sense (view spoiler)[ (like how within the first 5 pages, he just decided to abandon his entire life and family for a stranger without any sort of discussion at all.)(hide spoiler)]. The dialogue was odd and sometimes bordered on the plain atrocious. Perhaps I am just still burnt out from my midterms week, but I had to reread several conversations and passages to make sense of what was being said. The dialogue did become a little smoother, but overall, I never became enamored with the dry and stilted writing. -The Wraeththu. They look down on humans as they are supposed to be the evolved, more 'perfect' species. So far, they seem to just be ragtag tribes scattered in random places of the world, each tribe that Pellaz encounters being more sinister and flawed than the next. I'm going to try to hold off my impatience and hope that the big picture will be explored in the rest of the trilogy. As for plot? This was an extremely meandering story where not much really happened, or at least, nothing interesting did. No political intrigue, no building climactic action, no sense that the plot was moving forward to...something (I just have to trust that it is). Instead, the focus is on the personal angst (VERY boring angst) within the very open and ever changing relationships among the Wraeththu. They get together and hook up with each other freely, though the scenes are very brief and not descriptive. This wouldn't bother me except for.....-...the characters. If I had been able to just like any one of them at all. The problem? Inconsistent characterization. I am not able to describe to you any of the personalities of any of the characters, because even after reading a whole book about them, I don't know what they're like. (view spoiler)[ I don't understand their motivations or what drives them. I can't tell if I liked or hated the MC. I couldn't feel a strong emotion either way. He was very much a special snowflake kind of character, where it is repeatedly said and hinted at by other characters that he was mysteriously chosen to fulfill some greater destiny. He did grow up from the naive and sheltered boy at the beginning. At times he was still whiny. He became a little interesting when he grew briefly curious about developing his powers and made some insights into the ugly truths behind the Wraeththu tribes. Not that he ever actually thought of doing anything to change it. He was mostly interested in not rocking the boat and not questioning too closely the crimes and abuse in the tribes. And then for the rest of the book, back to being dependent and wholly absorbed in his romantic entanglements with other seductive Wraeththu and angsting over.... (hide spoiler)]-....Cal. Who effectively killed any leftover enjoyment of the book. And judging by other reviews, he has an even more prominent presence in the later books. So maybe I won't read on. (view spoiler)[ I just could not see or feel the "romance" between him and Pellaz at all, and I know they are set up to be the endgame. He was just so confusing! Back to that inconsistent characterization. He came off as uncaring, manipulative, and callous, but then described as actually really sensitive underneath it all (we NEVER got any evidence of that). But I guess his beauty is so magnificent that it transcends all of that because he is still charismatic, desired, and even obsessed over by other people. He didn't like Pellaz hooking up with other people but then he hooks up with the even more coldly calculated Tenriz and considers abandoning Pellaz because he is tempted by the offers of power and riches. I even learn that he eventually will (view spoiler)[ hook up with Tenriz again and than Tenriz's SON and then his freakin birth-father who was saved by Pellaz(hide spoiler)].(hide spoiler)] So no. He seems to be the character just there to create drama and havoc, to drive the story along since there's no other action. He was just an unlikeable character that NEVER went away because the author is somehow so fond of him. In the end, this was not what I was hoping for. It was one of the most disappointing reads after all my initial excitement. Writing this made me realize that reading on will likely just leave me in more frustration, so I'm going to hide my paperback at the back of my shelf and find something to lift my spirits.

  • Bookwatcher
    2019-01-24 19:25

    Wraeththu are self-sufficient energy organisms. We never fall in love, because love does not exist for us in the same way as it does for lower life forms. In essence, we are love, expressions of the source of creation.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?No, better say, why you shouldn't read it.It's not a romanceAs you may see in the quotation I added, no, it's not a romance. Pellaz is the protagonist and his narration will be, all the time, from the point of view of someone deeply in love.Yes, it's not a romance... but Pellaz is in love. It's not a gay story because it's everything. I add it as trans* and maybe I prefer to consider it a trangender-transsexual because of Wraeththu nature. They are not female, they are not male, they are... both.It's not a fantasy or a sci-fi it's both. You can consider it strict sci-fi, neither fantasy. It's in the future, where humans are almost a extinct specie, where a new race is taking our place on Earth. Creatures that share energy, magic creatures, strange creatures... the Wraeththu.It's not a good book, it's much more. It's perfection. The writer created new words, she used it freely, combining English with it. "Anyhar" "somehar", in my ignorance I thought it's was a typo, "any har"... no, it's her creation, her world. You will rejoice, cry, despair, and most of all, you will be addicted to Pellaz voice. that's why I'm saying you should not read it... because you will not live if you start it. My days at work was thinking about him, my free hours were all to this book. I couldn't get my head out of it. 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.Just two more commentsSome book can make me think as if it's a music. If this book was a song, it would be A kind of magic by Queen."It’s a kind of magicIt’s a kind of magicA kind of magicOne dream one soul, one prizeOne goal, one golden glance of what should beIt’s a kind of magicOne flash of light that shows the wayNo mortal man can win this dayIt’s a kind of magicThe bell that rings inside your mindIs challenging the doors of timeIt's a kind of magicThe waiting seems eternityThe day will dawn on sanityIs this a kind of magic?It's a kind of magicThere can be only oneThis race that lasts a thousand yearsWill soon be doneThis flame that burns inside of meI’m hearing secret harmoniesIt’s a kind of magicThe bell that rings inside your mindIs challenging the doors of timeIt’s a kind of magicIt’s a kind of magicThis race that lasts a thousand yearsWill soon be, will soon beWill soon be doneThis is a kind of magicIt’s a kind of magicThere can be only oneThis race that lasts a thousand yearsWill soon be done - doneMagic – it’s a kind of magicIt’s a kind of magicMagic, magic, magic, magicIt’s magicIt’s a kind of magicPellaz and all of his kind is it... a kind of magic.another and last comment: this series was original released in 1987. Recently, in 2007, the writer release a 3° edition, and that's the one I got. I strongly recommend it. I know we are in the era of ebooks and some readers (like myself) prefer to buy ebooks... well, this paperback edition is wonderful. 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). So to end it (sorry, long review, I know but I'm VERY enthusiast about this book!) yeah... 5 stars. I wish I could give more... seriously... I wish I could give endless stars. Keep reading it, because now, I can't stop. I cry reading the end, and will not spoil saying for the happiness or sadness of it. Read to know... or better, avoid it, if you want to have a life and don't be, as me, completely in love with Pellaz... addicted to him, his life, his... magic.

  • Jason Bradley
    2019-02-21 18:35

    The author has created a world in this book that is beyond compare. I am impressed by her boldness in this piece especially for the time period in which it was written. The characters are amazingly vivid and although there are anatomy questions that are left unanswered, plot points were connected so that by the end of the book I felt sure of the reasoning and explanation of all the events. I am eager to continue this series!

  • The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears
    2019-01-29 15:36

    Dark fantasy has a great deal in common with the original faerie tales. Not the iron-jawed heroes/cheerrful doormat heroines type cartoons as pushed by Disney, but the older, scarier stories told to children around the fire by the wise ones of the village, warning them of dangers in the forests and enchantments in the lakes and streams. Dark fantasy brings our deepest fears and our forbidden fantasies to life. 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.Constantine, whether she knows it or not, is sort of a faerie goth mother to many of us old school goths were have a more literary bent than just dressing in black and pissing off our parents, LOL. Her stunning visual worlds and her words are dangerously hypnotic and once she sinks her ghostly fingers into your consciousness and even your subconscious, you will find it hard to tear yourself away. Yes, this series is that good.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. Cal and Pell--once you meet them, you will never forget them. The Wraeththu are beautiful and yet they frighten me with their beauty and their cruelty--even when being kind. I desire them and are repelled by them. In short, they're not just characters on a page, but actualized beings.

  • Paul
    2019-01-24 12:27

    5 STARSConsidering 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. Yes there is mpeg BUT for once it is NOTHING like you'd expect at all.It's M/M status for a book written WAY before its time in this genre is very impressive and very different from anything I've read before. I wouldn't place it as dark as the ICoS, Fallocaust or Strain series as yet but I can see the potential is there yet I doubt it will go that way. Still, it's a very interesting read for the lovers of the darker side of M/M dystopian Sci-Fi.

  • Victoria
    2019-02-02 19:12

    I don't normally read books out of a series... I literally stay away from them because I must have a fear of commitment. However, this book has long intrigued me and sat on my shelf for a long period of time. I couldn't find it at the library or any book stores, I eventually found it through Thriftbooks. SCORE! Why isn't this book more well known? Shame on you people! lolI have completely savored this intricate plot, enjoyed the rich deep language, awestruck at the vivid imagery, loved the memorable characters. I read this a little slower then my norm, because I just loved it that much! I didn't want it to end. 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? Probably wont happen thanks to this ill labeling system. That is SAD! Labels take away something special from this book.This is magic surrealism, fantasy, dystopian AND IT IS FILLED TO THE BRIM with beauty. I really do not like labels as you can see. There were no uncomfortable romance scenes, the species has a different way of sharing romance with one another, it is a sharing of breath/essence, it is profoundly beautiful. I don't enjoy reading blatant sexual scenes of any gender, I usually skim them and squirm through it. But None of that was needed here, I acutually enjoyed it, because it was unique, tender and different. I never thought that so much could be included into this reading adventure. Yu have a new species of human, a new world that they are conquering, and there is also a new language. The languagetakes a while for you to learn. 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. BE PATIENT, IT IS WORTH IT!I need more from this Author's world. I do not feel satisfied with this as a standalone, and it is hard to jump into another novel without longing for a continuation of this series. Hook, line and sinker, you got me! I am officially a Storm Constantine fan. :)

  • Chy
    2019-01-23 15:18

    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. I’m glad I read it. But I’ll never read it again."Apparently, I was full of shit. 'Cause now I've read it again, and didn't even remember those lines until I decided to reread that review before coming here.And I'm glad I reread it. Very, very glad. Being prepared for the things that frustrated me so much last time, I was able to see them more clearly. Last time, I didn't really know I loved Pell until I found out he wasn't the narrator of the second book. This time, I did. I felt like I got him this time. And everyone else in the book, too.Loved everyone I loved last time, only more. Except for maybe Vaysh, but that's good; I don't think I could have beared loving Vaysh more. I do believe it was the mystery last time, and seeing him change without knowing how he was going to change. Knowing, this time, made it not quite as magical, but that can't be helped. I still love him as much as I did.Cal's still my favorite, though. I'm still not sure how I'm going to take the third book, where he's the narrator. {crosses fingers and moves on to second book}Now, there were still some small, niggly things that weren't quite..."amazing." But here's the deal; I can't think of what they were---only that I had the thought. So, really, we're thinking of this as 4.5 stars. Or, maybe, like 4.7. But the five stars isn't just rounding up; it's taking into effect that I can't remember what those things were.(And no, I didn't read this book in a day. I started it before Stephanie came over with Crescendo, and then read that because I had to see the comments, then finished this today. And this book may have saved my life, since I was able to escape right back into this beautiful writing after Nora's hot mess.)

  • Richard Derus
    2019-02-10 18:35

    Rating: 3* of fiveWraeththu burst onto the barren LGBT science fiction scene in the late 1980s with a blaze of attention. It was unique! Hermaphroditic men who fucked each other and made babies (somehow, I never really got with that part of the program)! They look like human men because they were human men until It Happened.This book was the introduction of It Happening. In hindsight, it feels more like vampire fiction than gay men's fiction, but then I ate. it. up.

  • Tess Manicki
    2019-01-30 16:26

    I REALLY wanted to like this book. The premise is awesome. The world is awesome. The characters have the potential to be awesome. Unfortunately for me, the writing is so horrendously poor that I can't give it more than two stars. I wish I could love it more, and I really did try.

  • Kirt
    2019-02-01 11:11

    Pellaz, a young peasant farmer boy, runs away with a har ("har" is to "Wraeththu" as "person" is to "human"), is transformed into a Wraeththu, travels around meeting various Wraeththu tribes, is killed by humans and resurrected by a powerful har, & then becomes a King of the Wraeththu as part of a plot to unite all Wraeththu. The book ends right soon after he becomes King, after an unsurprising revelation about his patron.If it seems like nothing much happens for a full novel, you'd be right. It's more about showing off as much of possible about the Wraeththu & the world they have made for themselves. It reads less like a story & more like the digested journal of a teenaged supernatural being.Is it any good? I found myself blowing through the novel very rapidly. Part of this is because the novel is short, but part is because Storm has a very good sense of pacing.I liked it. There's a sort of teenage pretentiousness to it that some might find off-putting, but it reminded me somewhat of Michael Moorcock. So, then, what are the Wraeththu? The Wraeththu started with a mutant human, someone who was born as something else. Abandoned, while living on the streets an insane bum tried to sate his hunger by drinking the mutant's blood. After 3 painful days, the bum was infected by the nature of the mutant, becoming another mutant: The 2nd-ever Wraeththu.After that, many teenaged boys were chosen to become Wraeththu. Humanity ignored them until it was too late: By the time Pell becomes a Wraeththu, humanity is dying out. Tho the majority of the current Wraeththu were derived from men who were "incepted", Wraeththu are capable of sexual reproduction & having children. In a lot of ways, creating Wraeththu from men is just step towards creating enough of them that they can have kids.It's a lot like reading about a White Wolf RPG: There are splats (Wraeththu tribes) and there's a whole new vocabulary of words (aruna = sex, har = a Wraeththu, etc.) & each Wraeththu is a member of a caste, which, like a real caste, defines a role in Wraeththu society, but unlike a Hindu caste is a sort of level that one can advance to, like a strange White Wolf gamer take on Freemasonry.Har are very mystically powerful, having direct, creative connection to psychic powers which were latent but abandoned in mankind.Now, the strange bit: Har have only 1 gender. 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.The har are all universally beautiful and androgynous, with an aesthetic that's heavy on kohl & glitter.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.Hell, there is a female character, Kate, who is, in essence, a Wraeththu fag hag. She hangs out with har, wishes she was har & curses she was born a girl so she can't be har, & tries to set up her favorite hara with other hara.So, if the strange biology bugs you, don't bother reading the book. It didn't bother me because it doesn't focus on sex. The flower-penis is described once, & all sex scenes are in vague terms as to how wonderful and mystical "aruna" is...As a thought experiment & as an alternate concept of how a species could repoduce sexually, I find the Wraeththu very interesting. Also, as a child of the 80s, I find the whole sensual glitterboi aesthetic very enjoyable, especially as it's combined with a proper amount of decaying decadence and a feeling of youth: The Wraeththu are, as a whole, a young race. It is a fun read if you can dig the vibe.

  • Bri
    2019-02-16 16:15

    What an amazing book. I've never read anything more beautifully written. The entire book reads and flows together like an elegant poem. The amount of thought and heart that went into creating this story is not lost on me. I love the overall statement that she makes about the human race and how beautifully she has pieced together this "evolved" race of beings. The characters are intriguing and the plot never let's up. She has a real talent for easily introducing strange new ideas and plot twists and making them believable and accepted by the reader. I hope that non m/m fans are able to see past those subtle aspects of the plot and see its importance to the overall plot line and the message she is trying to get across. Her writing has a very hypnotic quality and it all comes together in a powerful, enchanting, and incredibly emotional tale. This will remain in my top 3 for a long time and be reread over and over again, I'm sure.

  • Carrie Clevenger
    2019-01-22 17:29

    This was different than most fantasies I've read. The author sucked me into the story much like Elizabeth Chadwick. The use of sexual connotations without actually using them was ingenious (as were the terms). The characters were better than most I've seen in a lengthy jog such as this one. It wasn't disgusting or even really weird. She removed me so far from reality that I was able to embrace her universe and leave mine for a little while. On the other hand, the plot plods along. It's very much a Dark Tower-esque book, a journey to destiny. Action-seekers may not like the book. I tend to fall in love with characters and Pell was fairly likable. The very end was a little abrupt, but I think I've been spoiled by the "oh here is the end, all tied up neatly". It was a big fantasy story with one hell of a journey to the top. The outcome was mostly unexpected. I suggest you give it a try and open your mind to new possibilities.

  • Spider the Doof Warrior
    2019-02-20 11:24

    I'm reading this book again. It's just so enjoyable. I love the way her characters develop. Metamorphosis, after all, is a theme of the book. A race of people metamorphoses from the ashes of men who must adapt to being both male and female with mystical powers. So, through the eyes of her characters you get to see this process. You get to see how a race matures and evolves and becomes better.2015So I read this one again. It's my favourite in the series. Cal is a bad boy(?) done right. I felt sympathy for him. I loved watching his character grow and develop, loved watching him claim his power. You just have to read this entire series, but this one, omg this one!

  • Anna
    2019-02-18 17:36

    I don't even know where to start, except to say Thiede is the Wraeththu I thought he was! BAM!!! I'd like to kick Pell in the ass and tell him to grow a pair. Vaysh, needs to stop whining, and I hope Rue lets Pell have it.Anyway I saw many similarities between the world Eresse created and what Storm Has written! In love with both authors...

  • Nexus Redsnow
    2019-02-11 11:12

    (This review consists of my raw thoughts right after finishing this book within three days. Really finished reading just a moment ago. I might edit it later to be more coherent, or to fix up errors. Excuse my poor choice of formulation sometimes, English is my third language.Please be aware that the review might contain spoilers in the later parts where I talk about the events of the book. It is also EXTENSIVELY LONG and I have not betaread it yet because of this sole reason, so if you find some bullshit words and typos, try to uhh... ignore it, I shall re-read and edit this later.) I feel kind of bad for giving this book a three, because I know I gave the same rating to Cassandra Clare's City of Bones, and BOY was that one a shit book. But unfortunately I can not give half-stars, thus I can not raise the rating to 3.5/5 (which is what I would realistically give, 3.5), and it does not sit right with me to raise it up to four. Now that I think about it, I'm gonna go edit that and give City of Bones a two. Why did I ever give it a 3 in the first place?!Why that is, you need to understand a thing.There are two facts relating to this book for me. -I enjoyed it greatly. Really fucking much. I loved it. More, please, this instant. -Still, under no circumstances am I under the illusion that this was a great book, only because I really loved it. It was not a shit book. It was good. But it wasn't the best of books.This book has a whole plethora of problems I could not overlook even through my great enjoyment of it. In a way, the story's really fucking trashy. It reads a little bit like a really good, trashy guilty pleasure fanfiction. It is shrouded within eloquent and at times mildly pretentious flowery language, yet messes up frequently on the front of consistency of world-building, believability of characters and events, and the flow of the story. It is a book from a series that was written for me. It has been gift wrapped for me, it has everything I would have ever wanted from the premise of the book (hermaphrodite species consisting of androgynous-looking handsome men that never age and solve all of their problems with sex (and violence but mostly sex)? Sign me the fU CK U P ...!!! ... You know. That kinda thing. I can not believe it took me 23 years of my life to start reading this thing. (I only found out about it about a year ago.) If you tried to explain this premise to a "normie" person, they would either stare at you in horror and disgust or stop listening to you after the mention of the word "hermaphrodite". Likely the latter, among the people I know. With greater execution, this book could have been top of the game. This way... It is what it is, something great that is also trashy and a little bit of a guilty pleasure, and reads like a crazy internet fanfiction. A friend of mine introduced me to the series (she has written I think two? short stories for the series, both of which I have read a while ago without having read the actual initial books, and I have greatly enjoyed them). She tells me some of the inconsistencies I had problems with get resolved later on, some in more insane ways than others (...lol). No problem, gonna look forward to it. For now, I judge the book as it is, a piece of work standing on its own, as it once, a long time ago, surely was. First, a thing I see many people having problems with, that I actually do NOT have a problem with: The books's lack of female characters and it's apparent "woman-hating" premise, as many put it. ...I am probably a woman-hater, then, as in my opinion the book could have done with even fewer female characters, haha. And by that I mean, oh god, do I hate Kate for no apparent reason. I just, uh. Find it troublesome to identify with female characters. None in a book? Heck yeah, sign me up. (This has been a brief and useless personal intermission.) On to my problems with the book.(From here on the review shall contain spoilers.) -Some (many) events just kind of... happen. Many lead nowhere and happen for no reason. As I Hate Everything puts it in his movie reviews on youtube, "BECAUSE MOVIE!", many things in this book just kind of... happen like that. "Because book". The motives are not really consistently understood or explained, and often nothing comes of it. I understand that it might partially because the book is written from the subjective point of view of Pellaz, and many things' reasoning may not be known to him, but in a way this bothered me greatly. -Speaking of Pellaz. BOY is Pellaz a horrible asshole. BOY is he also a gosh-darned Mary Sue. Like. ...We can totally agree that he's a Mary Sue, right? Sometimes, Cal gets not only equally as insufferable, but oftentimes even surpasses Pellaz's levels of assholery. Especially when he's throwing hissy fits for no reason. Boy, what an ass. (I love him.)-The Wraeththu language, castes (levels?) and culture. Personally, I find it impossible to get over the fact that some of this stuff, and how it has come to be, is not only not explained, but makes no damned sense. In the context of the book, Wraeththu started as a mutation, conveniently spreading as a viral infection. Wraeththu arose from men. If we take that as a premise, then:-Who made up the Wraeththu language, if it doesn't resemble any human language it could have evolved from? (By language I mean the names for the rituals, words like chesna, aruna, etc, the consistend Wraeththu language) Did Thiede kind of just sit there making shit up, like, okay, uhhhhh, what are we going to call these things? And he kind of just came up with random fantasy-esque keyboard mashups? -Who made up the castes? Was it Thiede again? If no one really even knows too well how to make babies, therefore Wraeththu could not have been around all that long (I'd assume something around 100 years at the very best), how has this caste system spread so quick? How did they determine these level things? How can somebody tell who is what level just by looking? What? Just what? I just have so many questions? Help. -The whole fall of man thing. It's just not really explained very well. It's a somewhat weak subplot that kind of happens for no reason and everyone talks about it all the time, but for the entirety of the book I felt like I actually knew nothing about it. (I feel like the whole collapse of civilisation could have been executed much better.) -It is once explicitly stated that the world has little electric power left, since power plants are the invention of man and they have been breaking down, so Wraeththu can not effectively communicate by internet/phones/whatevs, but Ferelithia totally has electric lights and ...clubbing. Oook? -The whole thing with Lianvis was just.... dude, a very meh subplot. (Although I do love Ulaume)-Sometimes, the speech patterns of the characters are very inconsistent. The very same character speaks in a very polished, eloquent and flowery manner at times, and just quite .... normally (+swear words) at other times. -For literally ALL of the book, I had not a damned smidgen of an idea /where/ we actually were. Not at all. I suppose this would be distant future, but if we are still in the world of men.... Where the fuck? For the longest time I assumed that the story started out in India or the Middle East, but... apparently not? I'd argue that Megalithica is Euroasia, and Book Two takes place somewhere in North America, but .... huh ? -Thiede and his motives. He kind of just .... acts as an omnipotent Deus ex machina, everyone that knows him obeys him absolutely. But. ...Why? Because he is the first? Because he is hecka powerful? Sure, valid reasons, but has nobody like... ever tried to defy him? Why does everybody just automatically obey? Are there truly no records that could have been mentioned of revolts against Thiede's manipulation, like "No fuck you brah", and Thiede consequently just kind of smiting them to demonstrate his power and hold on people? You know. Plus. /WHY/ THE HECK DOES THIEDE ANY OF THE STUFF HE DOES? ...And why does Pellaz just go along with it so easily? No questions asked? "Go here and here to become a king". "Yep sure. No problem."....Only once Thiede tries to hook him up with somebody with a working hoo-hah does he start to rebel. I know this is probably a weak issue to have with the story, but to me Thiede is kind of just an Uber Mary Sue buddy to Pellaz.....Man, this has turned into a rant, haha. I'm sorry! I truly don't hate this book, whatever it might seem like. I loved it. Things that I absolutely adore(d), often beyond measure: -Wraeththu as a concept. -Vaysh. He is my son and I will protect him forever. Hashtag Justice for Vaysh 2k17. -The odd we-are-both-horrible-assholes-but-love-each-other chemistry between Calanthe and Pellaz. They work together really well, they totally sold me their love story. -Calanthe's name. Love it. -The inception and subsequent transformation of Pellaz into Wraeththu was written fucka sweetly. -Cobweb is also my son. -The scene where Cal and Pell bicker about still viewing themselves as male and not paying too much attention to their baby ovens. -How somehow nobody knows how the fuck to actually reproduce, ahaha. From what I've read, people have had a problem buying it, but to me, it just amused me greatly. -Have I mentioned Vaysh. Because I fucking love that guy. To conclude my thoughts and my stream of incessant bitching about the book I actually claim to have adored reading, so that now y'all probably don't believe me for shit (lol),Have I enjoyed this book? -Oh yes, greatly. Is this the best book there is?-Quite definitely not. Does this book have major problems? -Hell yes, so many. Do I think it has any re-read value?-Actually, yes. Am I going to continue reading this series? -....About to do that just now, gimme more of this shit. Let me draw each of the characters like 78 times too, for good measure. Final verdict: 3.5 out of 5, if this concept is for you and you've got a thing for a guilty pleasure insanity fest of a book, hop right in, you're going to love this stuff.

  • Alicia Gutierrez
    2019-02-21 17:12

    Okay, I read this like 7-8 years ago and I felt like rereading it because I couldn't remember anything! And it's been like reading it for the first time ever, which is awesome!While it is true that there are some punctuation mistakes that sometimes bothered me (who edited this!?), the story is far too compelling and interesting, and what's more important for me... the characters!This book has made me think a lot, the premise is so fascinating. It's true, the author could do more in explaining how this new species appeared and how they start their civilizations but she somehow does that through the characters story. I like it this way, I'm far more interested in what happens to these characters and the explanations about this new world order are well-supported.I really recommend reading this book. The cover is horrible and it looks like a freakish read, and although it is, it makes you think a lot about how humanity is lost in materialism and how we should focus more in our spirituality and minds to thrive. The characters are very well constructed and you feel all the feels. Also, it is amazing how this book was written in the 80s but so many aspects discussed about humanity still apply nowadays.

  • Laura
    2019-02-18 12:21

    It's been a little while since I read this book, but I remember finishing it and thinking 'wow, that was really cool' and also 'wtf did I just read?' The latter not in a good way. The book has some really amazing ideas in it, and it's definitely worth a read for anyone interested in non-binary gender/sex. It is one of the books that dared me to try thinking even more outside of the box when I wrote. but the story line was really disjointed and confusing, and I did feel like things always fell a little short of hitting their mark. I ultimately never finished reading the whole series. I didn't care about the characters enough to do so. It's a great book to read if you're interested in feminist sci-fi or gender studies and sci-fi concepts, but I wouldn't recommended it to anyone else.

  • Mona
    2019-02-21 18:17

    Great book read this many many years ago and about to do a reread.If you like Urban Fantasy crossed with post-apocalyptic future type novels then this is the one for you. These books were written before Urban Fantasy became a genre in itself.Great storyline, great Characters who you can invest in.

  • Jarrod Phipps
    2019-02-21 17:40

    An emotionally jarring, otherworldly story

  • Regina
    2019-01-29 16:10

    Really hard to finish and the characters didn't interest me or draw me in.

  • Nerine Dorman
    2019-01-22 14:29

    2009: Finally able to get hold of the first of the Wraeththu series. I think for its time, Storm was very daring to suggest such a creature and I enjoyed the sexual ambiguity very much. Am definitely going to go read the others in this series, which are currently available on Smashwords... Instant gratification, yay!Feb 22, 2014: Possibly one of my biggest sins so far is the fact that I keep meaning to read all Storm Constantine’s Wraeththu Mythos stories but don’t ever quite get round to doing so. So, this is on my “to do” list for 2014. After all, Storm is one of my top favourite authors of all time. I first encountered her novel, Calenture, and also a number of others way back when I was in my teens. I don’t know quite what it was that drew me to her writing – quite a number of things, actually. Her subject matter always hints at the unfolding of some greater mystery and is filled with references to esoteric subject matter, which is grist for my mill.Not just that, but you get the idea that events are set up against a greater backdrop of epic proportions. There is an underlying current of eroticism without being explicit. I like that – sexual gratification is often implied rather that gratuitously depicted, which is refreshing in this day and age.Settings and descriptions are lush. Storm takes her time to place you in her world and, as you read it, it is easy to build up a very vivid image of place and characters in one’s head. The Wraeththu Mythos has, from what I can see, a small but devoted cult following among Storm’s fans. The world itself has also been expanded by the release of anthologies of stories written by fans of the milieu, not to mention fan art to be found on sites like deviantart.com.The premise is simple – mankind’s successor, the hermaphrodite Wraeththu, has come into being, and mankind as a species is on the wane. Naturally this shift in the balance of power does not come without a price, and the world we discover is in turmoil.But instead of putting up a united front, the Wraeththu themselves are in conflict with each other and seemed doomed to repeat the same mistakes as humanity before them.Wraeththu come across essentially human – like viewing a woman superimposed over a young man. They do not appear to age visibly, and many of them develop magical abilities. They are a young race, and their abilities have yet to be fully explored, so there’s not telling what sorts of powers or abilities will crop up.It’s clear why Storm begins her story where she does – essentially a coming-of-age tale for one Pellaz, who has spent his formative years as a peasant cable farmer (as for what cable plants truly are, Storm doesn’t tell us – and that’s fine by me. The name and uses suggest a singularly utilitarian crop that is about as inspiring as baked beans. Kinda like young Luke Skywalker working on his uncle’s moisture farm on Tatooine.)Which makes Pell’s elopement with the mysterious Wraeththu Cal all the more delicious and forbidden. They head off to a settlement known only as Saltrock, which is run by a Wraeththu named Seel – who has envisioned a Wraeththu community where all can live in productive harmony in their self-made Utopia.We discover the Wraeththu culture through the eyes of Pell the outsider, who like us is unaware of all the subtle undercurrents – and in that way we know only as much as he himself discovers. The first part of this novel is pretty much just a travelogue of Pell and Cal going forth and adventuring, and some fascinating folks along the way.Then, of course, everything changes. I won’t say what, but there’s enough of a foreshadowing at Pell’s inception for you to figure out that there are larger plans afoot, whether Pell likes it or not.All I can add is that this mythos will not have broad appeal, especially in this day and age where authors are encouraged to start their stories off with a big bang and lots of trauma. Of course I love the Wraeththu Mythos, for all its intensity and wild beauty and the textured, slow-moving prose. Storm concerns herself with creating moods and weaving a rich tapestry that constructs her rich mythology. Emphasis is placed on complex relationships and vivid world-building. The story is ripe with detail, and I was surprised by how much of it felt new even with the second read-through of this novel. Mainly, this story is one of those feel-good, self-indulgent tales for me that I can truly immerse myself in the setting – a not-so-guilty pleasure. The Wraeththu themselves are fascinating, enigmatic beings, and if you’re looking for a supernatural creature that is a magical departure from the bog-standard fare of fairies, angels or vampires, then you really cannot go wrong with the Wraeththu Mythos.

  • Gerard Villegas
    2019-01-24 11:27

    The sad part with the Wraethuthu series is that I would have loved this back in the early 90's where I was going through this emo-goth period in my life and just about anything transgressive and nonsensical would have some sense of meaning in my already depressing world. Reading this as an adult, I can't believe this is what makes for literary high fantasy where Storm Constantine is trying too hard to build a post-apocalyptic world of magic, mysticism, and un-PC gender bending LGBT characters. This book is such a hot mess that I can't believe I got almost halfway through without chucking it in the trash after the first chapter. Well, it certainly killed some time on my long 15 hour flight. It's so bad that I couldn't finish it and I've left this true gem of trash literature in the hotel library where I'm sure some unsuspecting guest is going to discover it and form a cult from it like Scientology. As for me, give me a good ol' Jackie Collins novel any day. At least that is trash that is worth reading.

  • Sagal
    2019-01-23 14:30

    Best trilogy ever!!I recommend for all Fantasy lovers to read it.

  • jojo
    2019-01-31 18:31

    The Wraethu are dominant here, whereas the human race are failing, but amusingly reliant on them. It' s somewhat like an Earthly colonial, predatory elite, but uses religion traditionally suppressed by them.Wraethu culture mixes parts of a lot of very different Earth cultures, including the Hindu caste system, tantric sex, Buddhist practises, Western Occultism, Existentialism, historical racial genocide, cults, body horror, erotica, Catholic ritual and Anne Rice-inspired vampirism. Some people will like this dramatic mix, others may find it somewhat distasteful or muddled especially as it presents a lot of world culture as alien and amorpheus, started by a literal mutant. Of course cultures do rise, fall, and influence each other. So in this sense it is accurate.The Wraethu contradict themself- each claims to follow the 'true' path or to all have superior morals, but this only extends to their own kind. Constantine has a pessimistic view of human nature, which makes her books more uncomfortable but also more interesting to read. I'm thinking of Pratchett's humorous points on 'good' and 'superior' elves, and Wells' Eloi and Morlocks. To me the magical, beautiful, Elvish others in stories often give out creepily eugenic vibes. Constantine acknowledges this, I think. There is often something disturbing about Utopia, with squelchy foundations. It's not really a political book, though, as events are shown through a sensual, personal lens. This first book only had one (minor) female character, and all the characters were hostile to women. The description of the characters as hermaphrodite is only true in the reproductive sense, not in the social or visible physical sense. Males adopting a childbearing role are the most stigmatized. It's a gay male fantasia rather than a world of dual-sexed humans, and I agree with the omnibus viewer who felt something interesting was lost in the failure to address the hint of female genocide.At points I felt as if I was eating a potent and indigestible soup, made of very strong pickled herring, chocolate pudding, and Stilton cheese. It started feeling fresh, but became exhausting after the first third, with almost physical claustrophobia. Little things distracted me, mostly minor jarring omissions and sequence errors. However, I did like a lot of the characters- there was a tendency for them to 'merge' and lose their individuality, but Pellaz was a good choice for narrator. He was funny, good-natured and observant. I'm not sure I will like the next Calanthe- POV books as he is a difficult character to like. I also loved the fact that Constantine created a world populated by gay (and in some readings transgender) characters that spans such a long series. There is a real lack of LGBT characters in fantasy fiction and this book was way ahead of its time in that regard.

  • Zie Renea
    2019-01-23 11:16

    I was leery of this book, very leery, even about a quarter of the way into it. I kept finding myself put off by certain things, even while I was drawn inexorably in by Constantine's beautiful prose and fascinating characters. One of the things that put me off is the concept of a dying earth and dying mankind around which the novel revolves. To me, the mechanics and characters of this story could've taken place without that. A superior species that can convert other species, and the infighting that results, as well as Pellaz's journey of self-discovery...somehow these never seemed to fully interact with the concept of the decline of mankind. I'm not sure why I get this feeling. Perhaps I just expected more "post apocalyptica," so to speak, and that isn't what this story is about. It's very much about Pellaz working through the concept of Wraeththu and what that must mean to him.That being said, one thing about the Wraeththu bothered me to an extent, although I suppose it makes some sense. Only men (human men) are made into the hermaphroditic Wraeththu. I assume, because while there is discussion on the topic there is no definite conclusion, that this is because men have the necessary phallus and therefore only have to change within, but in the appendices even the makeup of the phallus changes when the man becomes Wraeththu, so I don't really see why women can't...well, grow one during the process.That being said, I don't feel that it interfered too much with the story. Pellaz and the Wraeththu he encounters are fascinating. They are a higher species, to be sure, a more evolved form of mankind, but they suffer from many of the same vices. I found the most fascinating character to be Vaysh, who becomes important in the latter half of the book. I would've liked much more of him, and to my disappointment, I believe the second book is from a point of view far from Pellaz and Vaysh. (If I don't see him again by the end of the series, I'm going to be searching for a spinoff. I might have fallen in love with Vaysh a little bit to be honest.) In my opinion, the moment where (view spoiler)[Pellaz comforts Vaysh with aruna (hide spoiler)] was one of the most poignant in a book full of poignancy.The physical descriptions of the characters, as well as their personalities - Constantine manages to shape these characters almost without your even knowing it - are stunning. For her prose alone, the book is worth it. Seriously, even when I was a little fidgety about the abovementioned things, I couldn't put this book down, and I already have the second one in hand. (And will have to find the third online somewhere, most likely...) The Enchantments of Flesh and Spirit is very much a discovery of what it means to love and what it means to be human, even when you aren't human anymore.

  • Dahlia
    2019-01-28 12:36

    Jedna od boljih knjiga koje sam čitala ove godine! „The Enchantments of Flesh and Spirit“ (napisan 1987!) je prvi dio Wraeththu kronika (Wraeththu je nova vrsta nastala od ljudi) koja govori od dječaku Pellazu koji odrasta na farmi sa svojom obitelji. Oni žive u nekom zabačenom dijelu zemlje (postapokaliptična Amerika po svemu sudeći) izolirani od svijeta koji se mijenja. Mračne vijesti o novoj vrsti koja je nastala negdje na sjeveru i njihovim moćima dolazi sa ljudima koji bježe iz gradova, prolazeći pored njihovog doma. Priče o nestancima dječaka samo je jedna strašna priča za Pellaza, sve dok jednog dana na vrata im ne dođe Cal.Pellaz shvaća da je Cal Wraeththu i odlazi s njim na put. Njih dvoje završe u gradiću Saltrock, gradu nastanjenom samo ovim neobičnim bićima. Nakon što Pellaz postane jedan od nove vrste, on i Cal zapute se na sjever u potragu za skrivenim gradom Immanionon. Na tom putovanju Pellaz uviđa da Wraeththu nisu tako prosvjetljeni i lijepi kako mu se u početku činilo. Ljudska vrsta je skoro izumrla, ali nije zamjenjena ništa boljom-što idu dalje na sjever nailaze na opasnije i krvoločnije pripadnike Wraththu plemena.Što mi se svidjelo? Pa skoro sve. Knjiga govori o postapokaliptičnom svijetu, novoj vrsti (nema više muškaraca i žena, Wraethtu su svi hermafroditi). Opisana je njihova kultura, običaji, čak i jezik. Interesanto je kad ljudi razmišljaju o vrsti koja bi se razvila od ljudi uvijek smatraju da bi bili pametniji, osvješteniji... Ali to su samo puste priče kojima se zavaravamo. Likovi u romanu su svi lijepi i savršeni izvana, ali iznutra su ostali isti-pokvareni, krvoločni. Ljubav dvoje ljudi je izbrisana, ali su ostali osjećaji ljubomore. Nova vrsta ima telepatske moći i moći iscjeljivanja, ali ih ne koriste uvijek za dobro. I to mi se svidjelo. Jer, koliko god mi zamišljali da će jednog dana svijet biti pametniji, on to jednostavno ne može biti-ljudi u budućnosti dio su nas i nose našu prošlost, pa tako ne samo i kvalitete već i mane. Želja za krvlju i smrću ne može biti izbrisana.Isto mi se sviđa ideja o plemenima. Wraththu žive raštrkani po zemlji, podjeljeni u plemena. Svako pleme ima svoje običaje i karakteristike. Jedni cijene mir, drugi cijene rat.Svi su hermafroditi, pa je također zanimljivo čitati i o muškarcima koji odjednom otkriju kako imaju i žensku stranu. Ahaha Ovo sigurno je dovoljno nekima da preskoče knjigu na policama, ali meni je baš drago naći nešto drukčije od ostalih knjiga.Što se tiče stila i pisanja, meni baš odgovara. Nije pretjerano kičast stil, ali opet se tu i tamo nađe lijep opis. Stil je pomalo poetičan, ali ništa pretjerano!Svako preporučam svima koji žele pročitati nešto novo i kome je dosadilo čitati o istim problemima koji se provlače kroz većinu romana.

  • Susan
    2019-01-21 16:38

    I don't know what to make of this? It wasn't good but it wasn't bad? Nothing happened but the premise was interesting enough to keep me reading... but the premise didn't quite make sense to me. Like, it just wasn't adding up; they have this society, with full tribes and a universal caste system they progress through with complex teaching and ceremony involved, despite starting as a viral infection, and magic... apparently? But then most Wraeththu don't know how reproduction works. I also didn't understand when or where this was set, like, the names... I assumed we were all in the distant distant future, because of the names, but then they had cars and one character is called Kate? I don't really understand.Also, the #discourse about gender and sexuality was really dated and really, really into the gender binary. If it was just about a new intersex race, sure, regarding a purely biological exploration of new beings who are both male and female... but it was really into discussing the ~inherent spirit and character of men versus women~. Like "What you are is Wraeththu; male and female in one body. Then it was just an abstract, but now I know we are made of the hardest part of woman and the softest part of man."Like, Storm Constantine, gender is a construct. There's no inherent female qualities for the Wraeththu to indulge in. It's made up. Also, considering how all the Wraeththu used to be men, used male pronouns, many still considered themselves distinctly not-female... and the book only really portraying their ~woman spirit~when in relationships or when they bore children..... again, that's purely biology, nothing to do with the "universal character of women". Just. ugh.It's kind of new age bullshit that was obviously trying to be progressive in the 80s, which I should have seen coming because the book starts with a quote from Starhawk, an author whose books I received often in my 'Gender and Sexuality' section when I volunteered at a used book store - which I always gave to the 'New Age' section or to the recycling box.Like it was honestly just M/M pairings with heteronormative trappings, but dressed up as deep and progressive lolThe worst crime is the fashion tho. Crimped and spiky mullet hair? Truly dystopian tbhI would drop, I've heard book 2 is way better, so I'll read on!!

  • Lindsay
    2019-02-12 15:18

    Though the bad grammatical editing (we're talking really bad!) occasionally interfered with my enjoyment of this novel, the writing itself has a poetic, almost entrancing quality. The Mad Max-esque dystopian setting gives it an unshakable 1980s feel, but this doesn't bother me so much. The exact location of the action (e.g. a bombed-out future version of Chicago) is never revealed, so although I had some difficulty imaging this taking place in our future, I can accept it as being a future. The idea of the Wraeththu, men who become unaging creatures embodying both male and female traits (hermaphrodites, in the vernacular), fascinated me. Sex is a necessary and sometimes magical act to the Wraeththu, and the detail and specific language given to their unique sexual experiences was mesmerizing. I went back and read certain passages over and over again because the experience was so transcending to me.Only the next novel will tell if the author was justified in taking up so much of this novel with Pell's extensive (and extensively meandering) travels, but I expect that the people he met and places he saw will play a large part in the future of the Wraeththu. Thiede, the near-mythical har who inducted Pell, is suitably incomprehensible throughout, leaving me to wonder if he's set to be a hero or a villain, and I expect (view spoiler)[Cal will be making a return appearance (hide spoiler)], though I can't guess at the ramifications of this. I feel deeply invested in the characters, who feel like people and not just words on a page. All in all, I was thoroughly caught up in the magic of this book and can't wait to read more of this epic post-apocalyptic hermaphrodite soap opera.

  • Surreysmum
    2019-01-24 11:31

    [These notes were made in 1993:]. This is the first in the Wraethtu trilogy, and it is told from the point of view of Pellaz, the boy who is singled out by the mysterious Thiede to become King. As in The Bewitchments of Love and Hate, which I read first though it is second in the series, much of this novel is actually about life as a gay male. More emphasis is given here, though, to the creation of the mythology and the passage through various levels of spiritual attainment (a structure in which Constantine appears to have lost interest almost entirely in the second and third books). The figure of Cal, who is common to all three books, is here much less embittered than in the sequel, though still carrying around some burden from the past, not fully explained. Pellaz undergoes a death and resurrection/transformation half way through the book which is quite interesting, though it does seem as though it breaks the unspoken rules of the world, and wrenches him rather ruthlessly out of the incipient relationship with Cal. There was only one place where I felt the real world encroach too closely on this fantasy world, and that was where Pellaz finds himself in what for all the world can only be described as a gay disco, and seduces Caeru, who later bears his child and becomes his formal consort. Otherwise, I liked the settings: nice symbolic landscapes of ice and desert, high castles, etc. A very dramatic photo in the back of this book confirms (at least I think it does) what I suspected - Storm Constantine is a "she".

  • Isana
    2019-02-15 17:38

    It was a pretty good book. My score is around 3.5 but I round up because it was too entertaining for me to round down. The characters are pretty interesting as is the plot. The story's excitement really stops at the middle of the book. Really nothing really happens but just basic story moving stuff. That kind of bothered me when I finally realized it was ending. It also bothered me how awfully misogynistic the idea of women not being able to become Wraeththu is. I mean, we have one female character who kind of does something at least, but other than her the treatment of women is off-putting. Pellaz mentions it a few times and Storm talks about women's possible loneliness but nothing is done to correct this. I get that there're more books but still. Not even a hint. And, yes. I understand that they are hermaphroditic but everyone is referred to as "he." Yeah, I guess it causes pronoun problems and the book is from the 80s but no one WANTS to be "female." No one ever says, "oh, I prefer 'she'." I suppose it will be interesting to see how the next generation breed by Wraeththu behaves, especially since creating a new pronoun was mentioned in the book, though it was in passing.ANYWAY. It was fun to read and Constantine really draws you into the story and makes you want to stay there. It ended too soon, if you ask me, but I guess that can happen when it's a memoir from a young person.