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Literature / Wraeththu

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Likely the only Storm book you've ever seen in a store.
Wraeththu is a post-apocalyptic series by Storm Constantine. It was the author's first work and is probably the most widely known and most popular of her works. The series consists of six novels, the first trilogy written in the 1980s. Storm revisited the series in the early 2000s, revising the first trilogy expressing embarrassment over her early writing, and writing a second sequel trilogy that also explained and expanded upon some of the unanswered questions of the first trilogy.

Wraeththu Chronicles

  1. The Enchantments of Flesh and Spirit (1987)
  2. The Bewitchments of Love and Hate (1988)
  3. The Fulfillments of Fate and Desire (1989)

Wraeththu Histories

  1. The Wraiths of Will and Pleasure (2003)
  2. The Shades of Time and Memory (2004)
  3. The Ghosts of Blood and Innocence (2005)

After the End, human society has completely broken down. Without national governments, communities have become small, localized, and increasingly xenophobic. A problem that is only made worse by a threat known as the Wraeththu. Everyone knows that they will steal your sons and kill you and your family.

Pellaz is the son of Mexican sharecroppers, living with his parents and his five brothers and sisters on a plantation. His life is changed forever when a beautiful stranger named Cal rides through the area in need of a place to stay. Cal quickly seduces Pellaz and takes him away to a Wraeththu free-town called Saltrock. And it all only gets stranger from there.


There is also a Tabletop RPG adaptation, which is ... not universally admired. See one famous review here.

The Wraeththu series contains examples of:

  • After the End
  • Animal Motifs: Some tribes are associated with animals. The Colorastes are associated with snakes because of their snake-like hair. The Kalamah tribe is compared to cats. Wraxilan, the leader of the Uigenna tribe, is compared to a Lion.
  • Anti-Hero: Calanthe
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Thiede does this but then comes back.
  • Baby Factory: Harling Gardens used to be one. The character Lisia was a worker in this facility where birthed many harlings (Wraeththu children).
  • The Baby Trap: Played with. Pellaz deliberately impregnates Caeru without Caeru's knowledge, then Caeru later turns up with the child. Pellaz has the gall to feel trapped anyway.
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  • The Beautiful Elite: The Gelaming.
  • Bishōnen
  • Brainwashing for the Greater Good: Attempted on Terzian and later Cal by the Gelaming.
  • The Chessmaster: Thiede.
  • Child by Rape: Flick and Ulaume's son Aleeme gets one of these after he is raped by Ponclast.
  • Creepy Child: Especially Darquiel, although some of the characters find all Wraeththu children creepy.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Though Pellaz and Swift are the focus of the first two books, when Cal takes over in the third book it becomes clear that he was the real protagonist all along.
  • Deus Sex Machina: "Grissecon."
  • Evil Parents Want Good Kids: Swift is shielded from the unsavory activities of his father, Terzian, and is undoubtably raised to be a good person, however, Terzian is still angry when Swift turns on him.
  • Extra Parent Conception: Darquiel is the child of three parents: Pellaz and Cal are his fathers and Caeru is his hostling.
  • Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong: They "set" the transformation via sex.
  • Femme Fatale: Ulaume says that when he lived with the Kakkahar tribe he was a Femme Fatale. Could also describe Cobweb.
  • Free-Love Future
  • Hellhole Prison: Good thing it's inescapable, or else all those guys you abandoned in there to learn their lesson/go insane/have a ton of kids might come back to cause trouble in a later book.
  • Hermaphrodite
  • Kissing Cousins: Loki and Geburael. Loki is actually Geburael's uncle, but because they are the same age, Geburael prefers to think of them as cousins.
  • Level-Up at Intimacy 5: Wraeththu can reach higher magical levels through grissecon (sex magic).
  • Long Hair Is Feminine: Hara with longer hair are often described as being more feminine, especially among the Varrs, while hara with shorter hair are more masculine.
  • The Lost Woods: Take Aokigahara, surround it in a fence of (more) evil, and you've got Gebaddon.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Normally revolves around Cal.
  • Love Is a Weakness: This seems to the philosophy of whole Wraeththu tribes, including the Gelaming, who see themselves as better than human because they don't give in the weakness of love. Seel Griselming strongly believes that love is a weakness, but he later falls in love with Swift.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Some Wraeththu tribes believe that love leads to jealousy which leads suffering and violence. In the earlier books, the more non-violent tribes like the Gelaming reject the idea of love while violent tribes like the Varrs accept it.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Thiede again.
  • Master Race. The Wraeththu. As Darren McLennan put it: "That reminds me very much of The Draka...They had the same 'We are superior, they are the old breed, and we will crush them' thing going, along with the wanton cruelty and complete lack of scruples. (And an author who basically handed them an I Win button.) So do the Wraeththu."
  • Mr. Seahorse: Their reproductive cycle almost literally resembles that of seahorses.
  • Mother of a Thousand Young: Ponclast essentially becomes this when he lives in Gebaddon and births many children.
  • Muggle Power
  • One-Gender Race: The Wraeththu appear male—and, in some cases, start out male—but are hermaphroditic. Later, we're introduced to the Kamagrian, a similar species that appears female.
  • Parental Incest: Ponclast has sex with his son, Diablo.
  • Poison Is Corrosive: The Wraeththu's semen is a caustic poison.
  • Purple Eyes: Cal. Also, Tyson.
  • Rags to Royalty: Pellaz.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: In a world where consensual sex is so readily available and so necessary for spiritual balance, rape is almost a kind of blasphemy.
  • Sex Slave: Panthera.
  • Superior Species: Taken far enough to arguably reek of Mary Sue.
  • Villainous Incest: Ponclast.
  • The Virus: They change young men via blood.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Swift tries very hard to make Terzian proud of him, but Terzian pretty much regards emotion as being weak.
    • Abrimel wants Pellaz to love him, but Pellaz pretty much views Bree as the reason he's stuck with Caeru. Even though he got Rue pregnant on purpose.
  • Yaoi Guys: What they look like to humans (and possibly the reader).


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