Author(s): Octavia E. Butler
Series: Patternmaster #1
Publisher: Warner Books
Date: February 1, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Genres: Science Fiction
Doro is an entity who changes bodies like clothes, killing his hosts by reflex--or design. He fears no one--until he meets Anyanwu. Anyanwu has also died many times. She can absorb bullets and make medicine with a kiss, give birth to tribes, nurture and heal, and savage anyone who threatens those she loves. She fears no one--until she meets Doro. From African jungles to the colonies of America, Doro and Anyanwu weave together a pattern of destiny that not even immortals can imagine.
While Wild Seed was the fourth book published in Butler’s Patternist series, it is the first book chronologically. The story opens on the continent of Africa in the 17th century and travels to the New World (New York and New Orleans) while following the relationship between two immortals. Anyawu is a healer and shapeshifter and Doro is a telepath who transfers his consciousness into different hosts, killing each host in the process. Anyawu and Doro are at odds throughout the story as Anyawu disagrees with Doro’s murderous transferences and his selective breeding programme. Doro spends his time searching for individuals with special abilities and setting up communities where he can interbreed them to develop a species of super-human abilities.
What I love about this book is the tension that Butler creates between the two antagonists. The bond between these two is initially established because they are the only immortals but there is a love/hate relationship as their ideas of family, ethics, and morality are diametrically opposed to each other.
Butler explores several controversial issues including slavery as Anyawu is continually forced to bend to Doro’s will because he holds the fate of her progeny over her head. This emotional slavery is juxtapositioned against the American slave trade going on around them. Other issues that Butler tackles are those of gender, race, and reproductive issues. The book’s title, Wild Seed is how Doro perceives Anyawu — someone that he cannot quite control.
Music I’m Blogging To: VooDoo by D’Angelo