Dream-laden fantasy kicks off this British author’s latest Gothic exercise.
The Books of the Wraeththu Histories, a bit of mythmaking, follows up Constantine’s earlier Wraeththu Trilogy (The Enchantments of Flesh and Spirit, 1986, etc.). Going back to the origins of the Wraeththu, this tale fits chronologically between the second and third books of the original series, all of whose involvements are spelled out on Constantine’s encyclopedic online site the Wraeththu Companion. The current metaphysical feminist volume is supposed to be a stand-alone, but new readers who have no idea what the post-apocalyptic Wraeththu are will have to dig hard to get some ground under their feet. Psychic mutants, disease-resistant and long-lived, the beautiful Wraeththu have displaced mankind, which has only a few remnants pocketed about the Earth. The unisexual Wraeththu are hermaphroditic, often homosexual, and have dismissed mankind for not respecting females. All Constantine’s stories are slow-moving and character-driven without strong plotting, so readers must fit themselves into various conflicting Wraeththu minds and tribes as they drop all human trimmings and morph into a new race entirely.
Constantine answers her fans’ endless demands.