The Enchantments of Flesh and Spirit (Wraeththu, No 1)

The Enchantments of Flesh and Spirit (Wraeththu, No 1) - Storm Constantine [These notes were made in 1993:]. This is the first in the Wraethtu trilogy, and it is told from the point of view of Pellaz, the boy who is singled out by the mysterious Thiede to become King. As in The Bewitchments of Love and Hate, which I read first though it is second in the series, much of this novel is actually about life as a gay male. More emphasis is given here, though, to the creation of the mythology and the passage through various levels of spiritual attainment (a structure in which Constantine appears to have lost interest almost entirely in the second and third books). The figure of Cal, who is common to all three books, is here much less embittered than in the sequel, though still carrying around some burden from the past, not fully explained. Pellaz undergoes a death and resurrection/transformation half way through the book which is quite interesting, though it does seem as though it breaks the unspoken rules of the world, and wrenches him rather ruthlessly out of the incipient relationship with Cal. There was only one place where I felt the real world encroach too closely on this fantasy world, and that was where Pellaz finds himself in what for all the world can only be described as a gay disco, and seduces Caeru, who later bears his child and becomes his formal consort. Otherwise, I liked the settings: nice symbolic landscapes of ice and desert, high castles, etc. A very dramatic photo in the back of this book confirms (at least I think it does) what I suspected - Storm Constantine is a "she".