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The Shades of Time and Memory: The Second Book of the Wraeththu Histories (Constantine, Storm. Wraeththu Histories, Bk. 2.) Hardcover – October 7, 2004


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Product Details

  • Series: Constantine, Storm. Wraeththu Histories, Bk. 2. (Book 5)
  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (October 7, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765303477
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765303479
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,120,603 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

No one navigates "the web of the wyrd" quite the way British author Constantine (The Wraiths of Will and Pleasure) does, as shown in volume two of her second fantasy trilogy about the conflicts within a warring hermaphrodite race, the Wraeththu, who've supplanted humans as the dominant species on Earth. Told in a lyrical, distant third-person voice, the erotic and sometimes hypnotic histories of Pellaz har Aralis, aka the Tigron (or ruler) of the land of the Gelaming, and other exotic characters unfold in a complex, at times ponderous plot that requires familiarity with previous installments to savor fully. In a key twist, Pellaz, with the aid of lovers Caeru and Calanthe creates a mystical pearl (or harling). Diablo, an agent of exiled Varr tribal leader Ponclast, later steals the pearl, which Ponclast wants to use to usurp the Tigron's power. The landscape, evocative of Mayan or Egyptian ruins ("a warm country that seethes with ancient spirits and capricious gods"), makes a great backdrop for characters struggling for love and transformation. Constantine fans should be pleased, but first-time readers might wish for a better introduction than the brief one here as well as a glossary for the often intricate language.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Storm Constantine is a mythmaking, Gothic queen, whose lush tales are compulsive reading. Her stories are poetic, involving, delightful, and depraved. I wouldn't swap her for a dozen Anne Rices!" --Neil Gaiman on the Wraeththu series

"Constantine delivers a complicated and ultimately engaging novel sure to be embraced."--Publishers Weekly on The Wraiths of Will and Pleasure

"Storm Constantine is a literary fantast of outstanding power and originality."--Michael Moorcock on the Wraeththu series

"Constantine is a tremendously impressive novelist."--Locus on The Wraiths of Will and Pleasure
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Few can match her world building skills or the deep interplay of emotions among her characters.
R.Parklane
The author includes explanations of essential events from the earlier books when such information is necessary to keep new readers from getting confused.
Charly T. Anchor
Pros: Compelling old and new characters, improved writing style, understandable story line, increased maturity of attitude.
J. B. Pritchard

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By H. Kim on October 14, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The Tagline for the sixth season of that smart cult TV series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer was "Oh! Grow up!", and for the second volume of the Wraeththu histories, *The Shades of Time and Memory*, the tentative direction of this new series seems to follow those lines.

My first reaction to the resumption of the series with *The Wraiths of Will and Pleasure* 15 years after the original ended was mixed. Delight at seeing more of it, slight disappointment that it didn't quite capture the magic of the original *Wraeththu*. The fleshing out of old minor characters, Flick and Ulaume, or Seel (no!) though vibrant and exciting, didn't make me fall in love as madly as the first one -and I'd read the holy trilogy only 2 weeks before. I didn't have years of building up their mythos in my mind. The switch to 3rd person from the brilliant mix of humor and pathos of the trilogy's 1st person didn't move me to tears and laughter, the story, while fascinating on its own terms, didn't have that legendary poignancy. The Original Wraeththu trilogy was breaktaking, heartbreaking, gripping (all sorts of -ing), and your heart threatens to hold onto them, not wanting to let go of their painful beauty.

Now that I've read the 2nd in this new series (and re-read *Wraiths* 5 times), I see this from a bit more measured perspective. These are, after all this nitpicking, the most exhilerating fantasy books I've read in years.

*The Shades of Time and Memory* picks up right where the final trilogy ended, rather than fill in the lost years between 2 and 3 as *Wraiths of Will and Pleasure* did. What happens after Cal stalks into Immanion, reunites with Pell, and takes his rightful place in Wraeththu?
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Gonzalez on January 25, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I remember the day the Wraeththu seduced me like it was yesterday. I was a 19-year-old art student when I walked into a bookstore in a busy mall back in 1985 looking for something interesting to read for my commute home and bought the first volume of the series because I liked the cover (I found it unusual and very well done). I began reading at the train station and did not stop for more than a couple of hours for two days. Long story short: Storm introduced me to her world. I was hooked. Willingly bewitched. What? You thought I was kidding when I say I was seduced?

I had to have more, I found the 2nd part of trilogy, and a couple of years later the 3rd. Still, I looked for more (it was like a drug) but nothing was available in the US market. Eventually, life marched on and my brain detoxed and I forgot about "that" one fantastic tale. Then I found this book last week and the fever's back (it's like the Pell & Cal reunion all over again).

I won't go into the plot details. I feel that too much has been revealed by other reviews. But I'll say this: You will even find a snippet of humor in this volume AND the ever-standing affirmation, that size does matter. The truth is that no one writes like Storm. The imagery is so utterly alive that it's effortless to imagine the places, characters and (even) emotions she conveys thru her work. I must admit that I was prepared to be sadly disappointed -- after all, everyone "know" that sequels are never as good as the original - but I am glad to be wrong.

Although, there is a big different in writing styles from her original work (when contrasted with this one book in particular), it becomes very unimportant past the first few paragraphs and goes unnoticed afterwards. If fact, one could say that this one book is actually a testament to her growth as a weaver of dreams.

Long live Wraeththukind!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By R.Parklane on July 31, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This has been an exhilarating few days for me as I finish the Wraeththu Histories. Like some of the reviewers I was a trifle dismayed yet hopeful when I learned that Storm wished to write a sequel to Wraeththu. It has been more than 15 years since the conclusion of Wraeththu. Yes I could still recall the last part of Wraeththu being rushed and there could have been much more in the reunion of Calanthe and Pellaz. But how does Storm hope to redeem this small but significant fault in Wraeththu, least of all equal the brilliance of this masterpiece. I do not doubt her story telling skill but there is a haunting originality, a sensuality, an innocence in Wraeththu which is not possible to duplicate or match.

My fear grew when I found Book 1 of the Wraeththu Histories a sort of a "fill-in-the-blanks" which does not feature and if so, limited roles of the enchanting and alluring characters in Wraeththu. And it was not written in the first person view which I love so much in Wraeththu. However my fear was unfounded a third through Book 1. Storm has not lost her magic though I still miss Calanthe, Rue, Cobweb and more of Pell of course.

Happily these endearing characters reappear in Book 2 which is just brilliant. My favorite characters take center stage again as Storm continue from where she left off in Fulfilments of Fate and Desire (3rd book of Wraeththu). I no longer miss the first person narration. Storm does not need that to inject emotions, intensity and life into her story and characters. Her characters have grown and I like the maturity in Cal, Pell and Cobweb. New characters appear, Moon, Snake, Raven just to name a few, and Storm weave them seamlessly into her magical tapestry of intriguing plots and sub-plots.
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