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The Enchantments of Flesh and Spirit

(Wraeththu #1)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  1,393 ratings  ·  87 reviews

In this powerful and elegant story set in a future Earth very different from our own, a new kind of human has evolved to challenge the dominion of Homo sapiens. This new breed is stronger, smarter, and far more beautiful than their parent race, and are endowed with psychic as well as physical gifts. They are destined to supplant humanity as we know it, but humanity won't d

Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages
Published December 28th 1989 by Tom Doherty Assoc Llc (first published 1987)
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Average rating 3.88  · 
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 ·  1,393 ratings  ·  87 reviews

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Aug 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all fantasy or sci-fi readers
Wraeththu are self-sufficient energy organisms. We never fall in love, because love does not exist for us in the same way as it does for lower life forms. In essence, we are love, expressions of the source of creation.
Thiede's speech, telling Pellaz what is a Wraeththu

What can I say? I just finish this book and I must write some words, convincing you to read it too?

No, better say, why you shouldn't read it.

It's not a romance
As you may see in the quotation I added, no, it's not a romance. Pellaz
Aimee ~is busy sleeping~
Apr 05, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 1-2stars
I waited for so long to receive my paperback copy with all three volumes. I was excited and expected to spend a pleasant time immersed in it during my spring break (yes, my spring break is so crazy and exciting this year). I had really high expectations, expecting to love this as I did The Merro Tree, another really old lgbt sci-fi that turned out to be such a great find. And I was very fascinated with the premise for this series, which essentially is about how the human population is dying off ...more
Jason Bradley
Jan 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebook, favorites, m-m, fantasy
The author has created a world in this book that is beyond compare. I am impressed by her boldness in this piece especially for the time period in which it was written. The characters are amazingly vivid and although there are anatomy questions that are left unanswered, plot points were connected so that by the end of the book I felt sure of the reasoning and explanation of all the events. I am eager to continue this series!
The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears
Dark fantasy has a great deal in common with the original faerie tales. Not the iron-jawed heroes/cheerrful doormat heroines type cartoons as pushed by Disney, but the older, scarier stories told to children around the fire by the wise ones of the village, warning them of dangers in the forests and enchantments in the lakes and streams. Dark fantasy brings our deepest fears and our forbidden fantasies to life. Storm Constantine has been one of the authors at the forefront of dark fantasy and her ...more
Dec 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review
Considering this was first written in 1980 and then expanded and re-edited in 1987, it's one excellent M/M, dystopian, sci-fi and fantasy novel aimed at the much darker side of those genres, I loved it and encourage fellow lovers of darker books to read this trilogy, I bought book 2&3 without a thought but I know outside of Australia you can get all three novels as a single volume.

Yes there is mpeg BUT for once it is NOTHING like you'd expect at all.

It's M/M status for a book written WAY
Jul 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I would like to start with the final lines of my A Writer's Gotta Read review from the first time I read this, over two years ago:

"The novel is interesting, if nothing else. I’m glad I read it. But I’ll never read it again."

Apparently, I was full of shit. 'Cause now I've read it again, and didn't even remember those lines until I decided to reread that review before coming here.

And I'm glad I reread it. Very, very glad. Being prepared for the things that frustrated me so much last time, I was ab
Apr 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I don't normally read books out of a series... I literally stay away from them because I must have a fear of commitment. However, this book has long intrigued me and sat on my shelf for a long period of time. I couldn't find it at the library or any book stores, I eventually found it through Thriftbooks. SCORE! Why isn't this book more well known? Shame on you people! lol
I have completely savored this intricate plot, enjoyed the rich deep language, awestruck at the vivid imagery, loved the memor
Tess Manicki
Nov 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
I REALLY wanted to like this book. The premise is awesome. The world is awesome. The characters have the potential to be awesome. Unfortunately for me, the writing is so horrendously poor that I can't give it more than two stars. I wish I could love it more, and I really did try. ...more
Richard Derus
May 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Rating: 3* of five

Wraeththu burst onto the barren LGBT science fiction scene in the late 1980s with a blaze of attention. It was unique! Hermaphroditic men who fucked each other and made babies (somehow, I never really got with that part of the program)! They look like human men because they were human men until It Happened.

This book was the introduction of It Happening. In hindsight, it feels more like vampire fiction than gay men's fiction, but then I ate. it. up.
Alex James
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-reviews
This book is a really 'enchanting' and absorbing story. There is religious mysticism, and it challenges stereotypical views of it. I've not read a book like this, having few references to compare with the themes and world, but some parts of TEOFAS really reached out to me.

There is a lot of anticipation and tension leading up to the ceremony and initiation into the beyond-human Wraeththu cult. It's written from the point of view of the main character Pellaz reflecting on his journey getting acqu
Carl Barlow
Jan 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
Over-sexed pretty-boy Goths inherit the Earth... and, yes, their collective hair was perfect.

Or that's what I'd say if I was being facetious about TEoFaS, but I'm not, because it doesn't deserve it.

Constantine has put a lot of thought into her Wraeththu (though, it has to be said, her love for 80s fashions is blaring), their exotic otherworldliness, their fractured society, their essentially hermaphrodite psychology and physicality, but especially their sexuality. She also knows how to keep a re
Suzanne Verhoeven
Jan 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
I find it hard to judge this book. Its quite an extraordinary story which came across more as an intimate story than sensual (which is what I expected)
Alex Ankarr
Apr 16, 2020 rated it did not like it
oh my Lord it's a terrible book. ...more
Jan 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kenya Starflight
Aug 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
I tried, I really did.

I actually first heard about this book when I came across a thread on the RPG.Net forums bashing the (admittedly horrible) tabletop RPG adaptation of this book, "Wraeththu: From Enchantment to Fulfillment." Naturally, me being big on train-wreck curiosity, I decided I should read the original source material. After waffling with myself over whether to inter-library loan it or not (our local library doesn't carry it), I finally stumbled across a copy in a used bookstore. An
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I just finished reading this book and all I can say is WOW. I had been facing a conundrum of "which book should I read on the plane?" and my friend picked out this book from my shelf. I had picked it up some time ago, but hadn't yet taken the time to read it. I had been missing out on an amazing story!

As I read it, I figured that this book must've been written rather recently. This assumption came largely from the depictions of gender and sexual fluidity; this was new to me in a book, and thus I
Oct 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What an amazing book. I've never read anything more beautifully written. The entire book reads and flows together like an elegant poem. The amount of thought and heart that went into creating this story is not lost on me. I love the overall statement that she makes about the human race and how beautifully she has pieced together this "evolved" race of beings. The characters are intriguing and the plot never let's up. She has a real talent for easily introducing strange new ideas and plot twists ...more
Carrie Clevenger
Jan 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was different than most fantasies I've read. The author sucked me into the story much like Elizabeth Chadwick. The use of sexual connotations without actually using them was ingenious (as were the terms). The characters were better than most I've seen in a lengthy jog such as this one. It wasn't disgusting or even really weird. She removed me so far from reality that I was able to embrace her universe and leave mine for a little while. On the other hand, the plot plods along. It's very much ...more
Spider the Doof Warrior
May 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-love-this-book
I'm reading this book again. It's just so enjoyable. I love the way her characters develop. Metamorphosis, after all, is a theme of the book. A race of people metamorphoses from the ashes of men who must adapt to being both male and female with mystical powers. So, through the eyes of her characters you get to see this process. You get to see how a race matures and evolves and becomes better.

So I read this one again. It's my favourite in the series. Cal is a bad boy(?) done right. I felt sym
Dec 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nexus Redsnow
Jan 29, 2017 rated it liked it
(This review consists of my raw thoughts right after finishing this book within three days. Really finished reading just a moment ago. I might edit it later to be more coherent, or to fix up errors. Excuse my poor choice of formulation sometimes, English is my third language.
Please be aware that the review might contain spoilers in the later parts where I talk about the events of the book. It is also EXTENSIVELY LONG and I have not betaread it yet because of this sole reason, so if you find some
Nov 30, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. I found this unsettling. It posed all manner of questions, some of them simultaneously although they seemed mutually exclusive. Like Matheson’s I Am Legend it explores the difference between ‘mutation’ and ‘evolution’, and does so in an innovative way. Unlike the new creatures in Matheson’s classic, or Cronin’s The Passage (or evening Atwood’s Oryx and Crake) these are highly intelligent, individual, sensual beings capable of complex interactions and culture. Here is my first conundru ...more
Aricia Gavriel
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
It's impossible to believe that it's around 40 years since this came out. It was the first of a trilogy ... and a debut novel ... and created quite a stir in the late 1980s. Even today it's one of the "weird ones," but also the best of the frst Wraethu Trilogy. The second one (The Bewitchment of Love and Hate) was good too, then the story somehow trailed away, didn't end with the wallop we'd all expected from The Fulfillments of Fate and Desire. You can actually ready this first one as a stand-a ...more
Harper Maze
Mar 21, 2020 rated it liked it
The Enchantments of Flesh and Spirit (Wraeththu #1)
This is an old series, first published in the late 1980s. The first trilogy is available on e-book, as is the extended series. I would class this as LGBTQ+, and Dystopian Fantasy too, possibly YA 😊
The lead character, Pellaz, would likely be gay but in the world created by Constantine encounters the enigmatic, broken and undependable Cal, the on-off love interest. Cal wanders into Pellaz’s life and fundamentally changes it. Cal is not gay, but i
Alicia Gutierrez
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Okay, I read this like 7-8 years ago and I felt like rereading it because I couldn't remember anything! And it's been like reading it for the first time ever, which is awesome!

While it is true that there are some punctuation mistakes that sometimes bothered me (who edited this!?), the story is far too compelling and interesting, and what's more important for me... the characters!
This book has made me think a lot, the premise is so fascinating. It's true, the author could do more in explaining ho
Dec 08, 2020 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 06, 2017 rated it liked it
It's been a little while since I read this book, but I remember finishing it and thinking 'wow, that was really cool' and also 'wtf did I just read?' The latter not in a good way. The book has some really amazing ideas in it, and it's definitely worth a read for anyone interested in non-binary gender/sex. It is one of the books that dared me to try thinking even more outside of the box when I wrote. but the story line was really disjointed and confusing, and I did feel like things always fell a ...more
Elizabeth King
Jun 26, 2020 rated it liked it
The Enchantments of Flesh and Spirit is the first book in the Wraeththu Chronicles, a series of queer science fiction/fantasy novels from the 80s. It follows the journey of Pellaz, a young boy who is initiated into a cult known as the Wraeththu. Wraeththu are an intersex species, a mutation of human men that is passed on by the drinking of blood in ritual inception. From Pellaz’s inception, he is then swept up into the world of cultish tribes, Wraeththu politics, and social/sexual relationships ...more
Raistlin (Rai)
Mar 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Another series that occupied the bookshelves of many of my friends that was always recommended, but never explored (The same with the Wheel Of Time series that I finally got around to.)

This has been sitting on my to read list for the better part of 30 years, and now that I have read the first book, I'm excited to dive into the second. In a way, I'm glad that I waited so long to read it. I can only imagine how the reception to some of the concepts of the book at the time of it's release were rece
Nixi Nicks
Dec 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read this book in one day, it was that good. However, I struggled with the writing a bit. There were many chapters that I had to push through, and many pages I had to read over again because I thought I had missed something. I think in part that is how the book is meant to be, the memory of the main character, and so some of it is almost fuzzy. But all in all the story was incredible, and I am looking forward to continuing the series.
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Storm Constantine (b. 1956) is a British science fiction and fantasy author, primarily known for her Wraeththu series.

Since the late 1980s she has written more than 20 novels, plus several non-fiction books. She is featured in the Goth Bible and is often included in discussions of alternative sexuality and gender in science fiction and fantasy; many of her novels include same-sex relationships or

Other books in the series

Wraeththu (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • The Bewitchments of Love and Hate (Wraeththu, #2)
  • The Fulfilments of Fate and Desire (Wraeththu, #3)
  • The Wraiths of Will and Pleasure (Wraeththu Histories, #1)
  • The Shades of Time and Memory (Wraeththu Histories, #2)
  • The Ghosts of Blood and Innocence (Wraeththu Histories, #3)
  • Breeding Discontent (Storm Constantine's Wraeththu Mythos)
  • Paragenesis: Stories from the Dawn of Wraeththu
  • Para Imminence: Stories of the Future of Wraeththu (Wraeththu Mythos)
  • Para Kindred: Enigmas of Wraeththu
  • Wraeththu: From Enchantment to Fulfilment

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