I don t know what else to say but that I love Constantine s Wraeththu world I only started reading them a few years ago, so am behind , which is why I just got to this one It was wonderful to dive back into the world created here, and I loved the characters anew in this episode The world is so unique that I loved every minute of reading about it As always, these books are dense and take a while to read, but it sthan worth the journey Mind blown why did I wait so long to read this second book Prior to using GR, I didn t stay on top of authors as well I ended up reading this a year after it came out This world building is just fantastic Ms Constantine writes at a level I need every so often to stimulate my mind. Rating 3 of fiveWraeththu as a concept strikes me now as not terribly gay At the time I read this, maybe I thought it was on a par with Ethan of Athos as social commentary, but now it feels forced and slightly silly to me.And my question after reading this book was, how s that aruna thing work again Can not grasp the logic of this book. Storm Constantine is a name only a writer can pull off Well, that might not be true, my dentist was named Storm Briggs but I always thought it made him seem like a super hero In any case, I feel a little weird reviewing this book as I haven t read anything else in the Wraeththu series of books and might be a bit judgmental of some of the themes because I didn t see how they evolved over the course of the stories but never the less I read this book and I m writing a review based on the po Storm Constantine is a name only a writer can pull off Well, that might not be true, my dentist was named Storm Briggs but I always thought it made him seem like a super hero In any case, I feel a little weird reviewing this book as I haven t read anything else in the Wraeththu series of books and might be a bit judgmental of some of the themes because I didn t see how they evolved over the course of the stories but never the less I read this book and I m writing a review based on the point of view of someone who hasn t read the other books and I gotta say, there s a lot of sexual weirdness going on in this story First off, apparently humanity was wiped out or taken over when some kind of evolution took place which changed men into these kinda ambiguous sexual creatures with I guess hermaphrodite sexual organs which I kept imagining as being kind of tentacle like, or like a sea anenome or something and sexual maturity comes at like 7 years of age and since there s negative effects to not getting laid constantly family members are supposed to have sex with their kids as soon as they are ready Frankly the entire concept seems very wanky, and apparently the author really really encourages fan fiction via her website and considers a lot of the stories that get told to be cannon for her shared universe I m trying not to be judgmental because different strokes for different folks, but all of it seems like it s just a step away from furry porn and the book made me feel a little oogie reading it Don t get me wrong, the book is well written, and there are a lot of really interesting concepts which get developed through the course of the story, but since all the combat and magic is based on sexually opening up chakra s inside the body and thereby accessing other realms of consciousness Like literally going so deep into an orgasm that they are able to travel through to other pathways of existence on these weird demon horse things I can t imagine any of these books being made into a television or movie unless it was animated and X rated If you ve read any of the other stories and want to discuss this stuff with me I m willing to have my opinion changed but from where I m standing just reading this one book I m just like what the hell I like that it is acknowledged that the characters have changed over time, and that much of the relationships that were so important a couple of books ago can no longer be the same as they were And I love that it is not ignored by the characters Things were at last confronted that I ve been waiting to witness since the end of the first trilogy But I think a part of me still wants the old connections and goals from the first trilogy, and maybe that s why I don t want to give it as high a ratin I like that it is acknowledged that the characters have changed over time, and that much of the relationships that were so important a couple of books ago can no longer be the same as they were And I love that it is not ignored by the characters Things were at last confronted that I ve been waiting to witness since the end of the first trilogy But I think a part of me still wants the old connections and goals from the first trilogy, and maybe that s why I don t want to give it as high a rating.But it s not that I wasn t as emotionally invested Or that I wasn t surprised by new revelations, or afraid for the characters in peril The book is still of the same caliber as the others, with the promise of even greater revelations to come Maybe I m worried I ll be disappointed by those revelations though why I should think so, when I have not been let down by the story so far, is puzzling Maybe it s just because I detect the Something that is being led up to is just So Big Or maybe I m just reluctant to reach the end of the saga That could be it Perhaps its just a worry that I ll never get to see the characters have what I ve wanted them to have from the beginning However, the story s always been so muchgripping because they ve been denied it No, the rating should be the same It s not my story I m reading, heh This book delves deeper into what Wraeththu can do with their sex magic It s interesting, but isn t explored with the kind of detail it deserves.The characters continue to have mostly the same voice all the time, but at least that voice is mostly fitting Unlike with the previous book The Wraiths Of Will And Pleasure , I found myself unable to identify withof the characters and failed to understand their deeper motives, even though I think I did understand the immediate reasons why they This book delves deeper into what Wraeththu can do with their sex magic It s interesting, but isn t explored with the kind of detail it deserves.The characters continue to have mostly the same voice all the time, but at least that voice is mostly fitting Unlike with the previous book The Wraiths Of Will And Pleasure , I found myself unable to identify withof the characters and failed to understand their deeper motives, even though I think I did understand the immediate reasons why they did what they did and said what they said While understanding Pellaz was still difficult, it was easier now than before Calanthe was a lot easier, but I think even I was just slightly annoyed about his being too perfect Snake and Moon were better characterised, even if they were mostly dragged around Tyson felt like a shadow, and Ponclast mostly like a puppet Diablo had potential, but he wasn t developed Caeru was strange On one hand, he was a pretty clear case, and on the other, a complete mystery.There are a lot of characters who just appear briefly or are mostly in the background I d have liked to readabout them, but then not everything can be told in one story, especially if their parts aren t that crucial to the main story.The plot is quite clear in this book It isn t just a chain of events now as there s a bigger whole to the story There are a lot of loose ends and I hope they will get attention in the third book Wow This second in the series really getsinto the energetic origins and capabilities of the Wraeththu,than dwelling in the stories of the characters themselves Again, Constantine brings to the fore the backstory of yet other past characters and there issynergy between them than dissent, as before most of the characters are facing deep personal crises This book was tough to read, though She really departed from a lot of what had become clich d writing for her though I love Wow This second in the series really getsinto the energetic origins and capabilities of the Wraeththu,than dwelling in the stories of the characters themselves Again, Constantine brings to the fore the backstory of yet other past characters and there issynergy between them than dissent, as before most of the characters are facing deep personal crises This book was tough to read, though She really departed from a lot of what had become clich d writing for her though I love her style it works She definitely expanded her own understanding of what her characters and their world are and where they may be going Constantine spent a lot of the earlier books nailing down that the Wraeththu are unsure of themselves as a race The blinders are off now That is mostly what made it so hard for me to read It was sad The irony is that many of the relationships you had been wanting to happen find a foundation in this book, yet their wider lives are in such turmoil as a race what you ve been wanting for so long becomes an afterthought She really is a brilliant writer You really do go where she wants you to as reader She also leaves a ton of doors open, as usual to make you wonder where the next book will go The Wraeththu, once a wild and beautiful race living on the land and reveling in their power and sexuality, have become a bit tamed as the years have passed And with the creation of their city of Imanion, and the enthronement of the Tigron and Tigrina, the Wraeththu have become civilized And no are new Wraeththu created by the Inception of human boys, there are no human boys, or girls Now the Wraeththu reproduce themselves, through aruna and the creation of a Pearl that will grow to be a young harlingThe race of hermaphrodites has come into its own Now it must learn to survive politics, and governing, and wars amongst itselfHailed as a literary fantasist of outstanding power and originality by Michael Moorcock, Storm Constantine is one of the most exciting fantasy writers of her generation, best known for her daring and stylish Wraeththu trilogy The Enchantments of Flesh and Spirit , The Bewitchments of Love and Hate,The Fulfillments of Fate and Desire The series, which chronicled the rise of a new race of seductive androgynous beings with awesome powers, was hailed as a modern fantasy masterpiece, winning an avid international following of devoted readers I have such mixed feelings about this book Reading it was a roller coaster of wishing it was over already and wishing it would never end It was like a deus ex machina fest in thatandpowerful creatures, many of which we ve never heard of, kept appearing out of nowhere to give the heros and villainsandincredible powers, and it really just got silly after a while You never knew who was going to pop up with some fantastical new magic weapon ally that gave them the upper ha I have such mixed feelings about this book Reading it was a roller coaster of wishing it was over already and wishing it would never end It was like a deus ex machina fest in thatandpowerful creatures, many of which we ve never heard of, kept appearing out of nowhere to give the heros and villainsandincredible powers, and it really just got silly after a while You never knew who was going to pop up with some fantastical new magic weapon ally that gave them the upper hand, or fracture reality with a new kind of magical sex act The plot just gotandimprobable On the other hand, I continue to love the characters and all their world altering interpersonal dramas that make this series the giant hermaphrodite soap opera that I adore All of the characters feel so alive to me The ending saved this book for me because there was a bit of a twist I hadn t expected, but it was a reasonable and understandable one that I could empathize with Here s hoping the series wraps up well Pleasantly surprised The original Wraeththu books were so appealing to me that when Constantine started a new set with the Wraiths of Will and Pleasure, I read it eagerly only to be disappointed by the disjointed nature of it However The Shades of Time and Memory, while not nearly as compelling as the original books, was much better than Wraiths The feel of things is much different, with Wraeththu becoming aware that the universe is larger than they knew and that there history is far differen Pleasantly surprised The original Wraeththu books were so appealing to me that when Constantine started a new set with the Wraiths of Will and Pleasure, I read it eagerly only to be disappointed by the disjointed nature of it However The Shades of Time and Memory, while not nearly as compelling as the original books, was much better than Wraiths The feel of things is much different, with Wraeththu becoming aware that the universe is larger than they knew and that there history is far different than they imagined The only thing this book suffers from is the inability to decide who the main protagonist is One might suspect that Cal or maybe Pell would be, but it really seems to move back and forth between them and others Anyway, definitely worth the read