There are journeys that we never know where take us. I was not impressed. I was angry, and this anger stayed with me. I found it hard to forgive Anyanwu for loving Doro. When we first meet Anyanwu she has been living for 300 years in different villages, serving as their medicine woman. She is a healer and can change her body shape at will, changing from old to young, from human to animal, from woman to man.
Doro can sense her and he diverts his path to seek her out. He has been collecting people from the world to live in special villages where he breeds only those showing magical abilities with the goal of creating a species of superior beings. Doro is a spirit inhabiting bodies at will, he is a spirit and yet he is so much more incurring respect and adoration and loyality in his people. He is a frightening creature and Anyanwu is made out to be his match.
Though she is 300 years old she is much younger than him, she knows less and within hours of meeting him she lets him become her lover. She did not feel like his equal and I felt her weaker for loving him.
The communities of Doro are depicted as freedom, but they are slavery like anything else. Anyanwu is only brought along because she has abilities that Doro wants to breed. None of Doro’s “citizens” have any freedom under his will, not even Anyanwu. Doro determines who lives and who dies. Anyanwu eventually runs away from him; hiding in animal form where he can’t sense her. She starts her own farm, but focuses on creating a family from the misfits that show special power. Essentially she ends up, inadvertently, fulfilling the same goal as Doro, but through compassion and love rather than fear and strength.
And it was the fact that this woman, Anyanwu, possesed enough love and compassion to even love Doro that touched me so deeply. She is patient and kind in showing Doro that there is another way to create a better future for those that are different and it is not one of calculation and scientific experiment, but one of nuture and love. Doro lived thousands upon thousands of years and Anyanwu knew this withing only 300 – I wonder what she will know when she has lived thousands upon thousands of years…