Tor, May 2003, 27.95, 496 pp.
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.
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.
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.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner