Customer Reviews for

The Wraiths of Will and Pleasure (Wraeththu Histories Series #1)

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2003

    An historical perspective to the Wraeththu world

    Storm's Wraeththu series is one of the best narratives to come, different from the rather tiresome panorama of Tolkien's imitators. After the enchanting, bewitching first Wraeththu trilogy we hoped to see more of these beautiful characters. And now, Storm gives us an expanded and enlarged perspective of the Wraeththu world. In the first trilogy we shared the POV's of individuals - Pellaz, Swift and Calanthe, destined to become rulers.In Wraiths we see the point of view of the average hara, represented by naive Flick. We witness the tragedy of the murder of Orien (set in a nearly Kafkian athmosphere) through his innocent eyes. Meanwhile, the death of the soon to be reborn Pellaz is sensed by an Ulaume who shall let go his Shambleau mode for the gentle caring of Lileem, cruelly abandoned in the desert. Flick and Ulaume will meet at Pell's old cable farm. Here they will save and recover what remains of Pell's family, Mima and Terez. Gentleness, charity, respect for the less fortunate: I think that beneath a gothic neopagan veneer, a very Christian sensibility inhabits Storm's soul. We witness the somewhat ambiguous Seel's political career, his obsession whit Cal, his strange behavior in Imbrilim and Galhea, when he treats poor Flick quite ignobly.Finally, We marvel at the otherwordly flight of Lileem (one of the best moments of the book). Here we're shown a grand panorama of the Wraeththu geography and history . From the desert tents of the Kakkahaar, the soda lakes of Saltrock, the haunts of Ricardo House, the river who bring Flick,Lileem,Mima and Ulaume to the house of Forever, so rich in memories; and the shining towers of Immanion, the mystical haunts of Shilalama...It's a wonderful vista of a world as superbly detailed as Tolkien's Lord of the Rings.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2003

    Different from 'The Original' but just as magical

    Unlike some other online reviews I've read so far, I didn't read the original Wraeththu trilogy as a teenager, but rather as an adult. I think this at least in part explains why my reaction to this book is so very different than theirs. While those reviewers express disappointment and a feeling that the 'magic' is gone, I on the other hand feel that Storm Constantine has breathed life into the series and written a novel which although different from the original, is a wonderful complement and furthermore surely the beginning of yet another wonderful trilogy. In reviewing Wraiths, some have voiced complaints about the narrative and the way it uses the third person rather than the original books¿ first person. They seem to miss the point, as Wraiths is the first volume in a new trilogy that presents the history of the Wraeththu, not the diaries of the Wraeththu elite. The book employs the third person to show a more complete picture of the Wraeththu world. Set in a time period which stretches the length of most of the original trilogy, Wraiths offers fresh perspectives on those events previously described from the first-person narrative. We learn that things are not always what they seem and that one har's perspective on events may be limited. As for those complaints about Wraiths lacking the 'magic' of the original books, I have to say I disagree with that as well. It's true that Wraiths is different than those books, but then again the shift in feeling is quite appropriate given that this new trilogy is a history not the musings of individual hara. Wraiths sets before us a world without the distortion of all the fuzzy gauze of the original books. To me, it's as if those books are stories told from within a dream, but in Wraiths we have the actual, solid world that has materialized over the years. Let me go on to the parts of the book I loved. First off, it might not be some people's cup of tea, but I was blown away by the first chapter which features a death and a birth. Absolutely gripping stuff that is really profound and signals a change from what was Wraeththu WAS to what it becomes from that point forward. After that, the interweaving storylines were fascinating and I loved seeing the way the characters came together and then developed their personalities and relationships over time. There are some new characters who turn up as well as old characters like Ulaume, Flick and Seel who we see a lot more of. We also get a whole cast of characters in the 'dehara,' a god/goddess system Flick discovers and which exists as a product of the collective Wraeththu soul. There are lots of fun, juicy scenes in the book, like Flick and Ulaume going to a party at Forever which takes a serious left turn. And Seel's scenes certainly contain some major shocks!

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Intriguing speculative fiction

    The number of humans is dropping rapidly but no species has stepped forth to claim planetary superiority. The hermaphrodite Wraeththu are on the verge of being the next master race adding to the reduction of the human populace by ¿converting¿ captured males into their species. The Wraeththu celebrate the Festival amidst their tribe, but this year is different as the tribes begin to realize what they can become.<P> The desert tribe Kakkahaar exiles a member Ulaume. In his solo travel, Ulaume finds an abandoned infant Lileen, whom he takes with him. Soon the Wraeththu follow, as Lileen is a special individual who defies the accepted normal order of the race and its Gods. Ulaume vows to keep the baby safe.<P> This novel takes place somewhere in the middle of the previous Wraththu trilogy. As such events and references that previously occurred will prove confusing to newcomers. To obtain a full savoring of this complex tale, read the others first. Different individuals looking back in time tell the tale of THE WRAITHS OF WILL AND PLEASURE. This makes for an interesting complicated perspective that at times seems convoluted yet really works if the reader keeps in mind that an individual brings their interpretation to the mix. Storm Constantine provides a powerful look at several key players from her previous trilogy that her fans will appreciate as the Wraththu universe keenly expands.<P> Harriet Klausner

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    Posted July 25, 2011

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