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The Wraiths of Will and Pleasure

(Wraeththu Histories #1)

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  891 ratings  ·  48 reviews
Hailed as "a literary fantasist of outstanding power and originality" by Michael Moorcock, Storm Constantine is one of the most exciting and innovative fantasy writers of her generation. The author of many acclaimed works of science fiction and fantasy, she is best known for her daring, stylish and provocative Wraeththu trilogy (The Enchantments of Flesh and Spirit, The ...more
Hardcover, 496 pages
Published May 23rd 2003 by Tor Books (first published January 1st 2003)
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Jan 10, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read Wraeththu and enjoyed it so I was looking forward to this series as well. Unfortunately, half-way through I found myself wondering why I was reading the book. I didn't find myself caring about any of the characters. There didn't seem to be anything happening that was holding my interest. I found I just didn't care. By the end of the book none of that had changed. The book is a well written walk through a very imaginative world. But I never found myself relating to any of the characters. I ...more
May 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All lovers of speculative fiction
The Wraiths of Will and Pleasure fleshes out much detail of the original Wraeththu trilogy. I tells the story of Flick after he left Salrock to find what happened to Pell's family and tells the stories of Pell's siblings.

Much more detail is given about the 'science' of Wraeththu physiology, their origins and the nature of Wraeththuian Sex 'Magic'. The nature of the Kamagrians is explored in detail. A Pagan bent is prominent in this new trilogy, hinted at in the original.

Much had been made of
The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears
Storm Constantine is one of those rare authors who can do absolutely NO wrong in my eyes. If she were to write a phone directory, it would still be all kinds of dark, delicious awesomeness. Okay, so the fact that she's also a huge Fields of the Nephilim fan is also very cool as well. I mean, there aren't a whole lot of us out there, lol.

I've been a fan of her Wraeththu saga for ages so it was nice to revisit these androgynous beings and immerse myself once more in their politics and beliefs.
Richard Derus
May 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Rating: 3* of five

Wraeththu 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.
Sep 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book was better than I had anticipated. Like the original books ("Wraeththu" collection), the story didn't have a conventional straightforward plot as such, but a chain of events: stuff happening to the characters and the characters doing stuff. This time the chain of events was more easy to follow and also made more sense. I'd say this book is better than the originals.

I found I cared about the main characters more. They were different and distinct people and I could understand their
May 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Storm Constantine easily pulls the reader into this strange world by use of strong, realistic, fleshed out characters and complex conflict. Her writing is brilliant. It's a thought provoking yet enjoyable and entertaining read. I highly recommend The Wraiths of Will and pleasure.
Randy Ernst
Apr 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing

This serie gives u a better vieuw of who and what the Wraethu are, the storyline is alsow great, these books are one of my faves ever!
Alicia Gutierrez
I loved this book! I thought it would deviate a lot from the main story but no! Once again the author manages to perfectly blend all the different stories of every character.

I got so excited in the chapters were characters reunite, it's like a freaking telenovela!

I loved that we get to see more of the origin and history of Wraeththu (view spoiler), and how the characters explore the possibilities of their bodies and minds.
At first, I thought it was a bit weird
Jason Tinkey
May 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a great followup

This book pulls together any loose ends or secrets left by the original trilogy while introducing new and wonderful characters in this future earth where humans are no more. Storm Constantine did it again with this remarkable book. I am looking forward to the next and will be saddened at the end of this trilogy.
May 19, 2018 rated it liked it
the characters are wonderfully developed and I was delighted by the consistency of the world and the plot. would I read the others in the series? probably not because this book alone was quite involving, but I don't regret the time spent.
Oct 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Next time someone mentions Le Guin’s Left Hand of Darkness, I’m going to refer them to Constantine. If you like androgyny/gender bending speculative fiction this is very well written and strange.
S. Div.
Dec 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book in the second Wraeththu trilogy by Storm Constantine

Again, I'm really blown away by her beautiful writing style and the characters I keep falling in love with. This book actually is timed between the second and third in the first trilogy. It is very much the story of the secondary characters in that trilogy. You would think initially that would belabor the story, or at best be "Ground Hog's Day" ad nauseum. It works splendidly. I found myself very grateful not only for the
Nov 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Not quite as mind-blowing as the original trilogy, but still terrific

Warning: This review might contain what some people consider SPOILERS.

Rating: 9/10

- The world-building in this series is amazing: detailed, beautifully written, and unique. Constantine is particularly good at using concrete descriptions to bring abstract ideas to life.
- Events related in this volume serve to illuminate incidents and characters introduced in the original Wraeththu trilogy. When I read the trilogy, I
Nerine Dorman
Jan 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am possibly the worst Storm Constantine fan ever, because I have to admit that I’m yet to read all her books (at time of writing).This is mostly due to the fact that it’s only during the past few years (thanks to the advent of digital publishing) that it has become easy to lay hands on her work all the way out here in South Africa. But I admit my consumption of the Wraeththu Mythos books has been gradual; not only do I not want to rush to get to the end, but I also wish to revisit some of the ...more
Aug 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
First, a little backstory. For some time now, I have had Constantine's book The Shades of Time and Memory sitting on my shelf, unread. A product of some bargain bin sale, the good-as-new hardcover was begging to be picked up. So that's what I did.

Only to find it was the second book in the series. Deja vu! (See my review for Orphans of Chaos)

I found The Wraiths of Will and Pleasure at my local library. Checking it out, I hoped against hope that it wouldn't be terrible. Please let it at least be
The first book in the Wraeththu Histories trilogy and fourth Wraeththu novel, this book is a rehash of events from the first three books, but told from different points of view. We see the world of the Wraeththu through the eyes of Flick, Seel, Lileem, Ulaume, Mima, and a few others. The result is a disjointed, emotionally-uninvolved story that covers very little new ground and frankly didn't need to be written.

The narration of this book wraps up just before the end of book 3, but it's obvious
Mar 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read the first trilogy "Wraethu" by Storm Constantine some time ago, so I had forgotten quite a lot of what happened in those 3 books. I had also sort of forgotten just how good a writer Storm Constantine is, but was soon reminded as I started to read "The Wraiths of Will and Pleasure". This book takes place between the 2nd and 3rd books of the Wraethu trilogy. We are reacquainted with some of the characters from those books and new characters are introduced as well. I thought this book was ...more
Feb 20, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spec-fic
I love the way this author can start a book with a new main character, making me go, "Ugh, again? I want to go back to Pellaz/Swift/Cal/any of the previous protagonists who I've gotten to know and love and want to hear more from!" And then Storm Constantine smiles in a mysterious and knowing way, and before long, I am totally enthralled with this new headspace and can't imagine having anyone else telling me the story. So whatever disappointments you might feel in the beginning, if you've trusted ...more
Sep 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well that was different. I'm not really sure what to rate this as three or four stars I guess. I can't say I loved this book and I can't say that I'm ambivalent about it either. It took me a while to get through it since it wasn't a easy read for me. The book felt very dry to me and I was never very sure what kind of story the book was trying to tell. It wasn't a romance even though there are certainly many pairs or couple or couples that break up. It wasn't a political intrigue book either ...more
Mar 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
I haven't read the original Wrathethu series for, oh, apparently 20 years, so I had forgotten a lot, but knew I wanted to spend more time in their world (I lent my book to a very good friend and he hasn't returned it yet). I don't read e-books so it is difficult to get hold of Storm Constantine books and I was delighted to come across this one. It's been on my to read list for years!

Despite not remembering the previous story clearly, I remembered the world and characters and loved the details
Mar 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
I came across this book at my local library and was immediately drawn in by the cover and the title. After reading it and the rest of the "Wraeththu Histories", I was surprised when I found out that this was the second trilogy! I immediately went and bought the first set, and found it easier to read after reading the histories set first. I feel as if If I had read the original set before, it wouldn't have been as enjoyable as going back to it, because it expanded on my knowledge of the ...more
Aug 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has overturned everything I thought I knew about what fantasy could do. Usually concernted about good and evil and personal virtue, Storm Constantine has turned fantasy into a potently charged social commmentary by the simple act of making her main characters, the Wraeththu, humanity's successors, an androgynous hermaphroditic race - a very sexual race and a very tribal race. This story is about identity and belonging, about cruelty and ostracism. It's about finding one's place in a ...more
Books of the first trilogy The Enchantments of Flesh and Spirit; The Bewitchments of Love and Hate & The Fulfilments of Fate and Desire

The Wraiths of Will and Pleasure, first book of the second Wraeththu trilogy
Aug 29, 2011 rated it liked it
A book whose strength lies in invention, its characters and the exploration of each. Looking back after having read it, I can see a variety of places where it dragged into characters sitting around brooding, and I can see how that could cause the impetus of the book -and the interest of the reader- to slow, but for me, it was an enjoyable read. I don't read vampire fiction. I read it because the first few pages promised it to be a well written and engaging book, and it was. 3 stars seems low, ...more
Feb 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read the Wraithu trilogy in college and loved it. Years later I found this at a yard sale (I actually have 2 copies both from yard sales). Somehow I just didn't think I would enjoy this 2nd trilogy as much as the first. They were written 17 years apart. It sucked me into the Wraithu world just like the first time, I found myself caring deeply for the characters and thinking about their emotional trials and challenges at odd times through out my day. I'm surprised I haven't read more Storm ...more
Feb 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The first of the Wreaththu Histories novels, this continues on examining the lives of the first generation of Wreaththu and, almost more importantly, starts examining the lives of the second generation - the truly pure-born Wreaththu. Read the first three Wreaththu books first to be familiar with the world and the major characters, but then don't miss this and the following two books of the Histories. Read as a NookBook.
Aug 08, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008
The second of three books I own on the Wraeththu series, this one focuses on several lesser characters from the original trilogy. It's told between the second and third books and ends briefly before the final events of the third. It not only expands a bit of Constantine's mythology but sort of also retells and gives more information on the events of what happened. I'm enjoying this and can't wait to see where the next book leads. I'm now 2/3rds done with my goal books! yay.
Dec 31, 2007 rated it really liked it
I finished this a couple of weeks ago. For fans of sci-fi, I highly recommend the Wraethuthu books. This book is set between the 2nd and 3rd books of the original series and sheds a little light on what happens between those two. I haven't read any other books by Storm Constantine but they are on the to-do list and I will keep you posted.
Julia Phillips
Dec 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Coming back to the Wraethhu world after such a long absence --- would it still work? The answer is an emphatic yes and moreover, the world has developed in amazingly wonderful ways. I think the introduction of the Wraethhu gods has added a depth to the universe and probably says something profound about the need for humans (or Wraethhu, or Kamagrian) to create gods.
Jul 24, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A massive story but one told from the perspective of a smal group of characters that manage to keep things nicely grounded. Expands the mythos and raises several questions which - hopefully - will be answered by further books in the series.

Although it did drag a little in places this is a strong start to the Wraeththu Histories and I will be keeping an eye out for the next installment.
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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 Histories (3 books)
  • The Shades of Time and Memory (Wraeththu Histories, #2)
  • The Ghosts of Blood and Innocence (Wraeththu Histories, #3)