Triumphant conclusion to the Wraeththu Histories, following The Shades of Time and Memory (2004).
The Wraeththu are a race of hermaphroditic beings that evolved from and eventually all-but-replaced humanity. This installment follows the story of two Wraeththu brothers, Darquiel and Loki, who have been raised apart but whose fates are intertwined. Darq's childhood comes to an end when an attempt to “incept” a friend (that is, turn a human girl into a Wraeththu-like “Kamagrian”) goes wrong; his psychic call for help sets in motion events that lead Darq to discover his noble origins and a path to fulfill his destiny. Loki, meanwhile, is abducted and taken to a strange otherworld; his attempts to escape result in more revelations regarding Wraeththu mythology. Constantine succeeds best in his depiction of Darq's childhood, as Darq slowly learns of his uncanny abilities and explores his sexuality with a human female friend (with disastrous results). While the plot is a bit slow-moving, the elaborately constructed biology, rituals and culture of the Wraeththu are at once utterly alien and outright fascinating.
A fine exploration of “the other,” and an original alternative to the same-old fantasy cluttering shelves.