When I first read this book and series, I read them in chronological order. This time around I more or less read them in publication order, though I think this book came out before Clay’s Ark, and I just read that. Regardless, I do remember spending a lot of time and energy in my first reading of this book trying to piece together what is happening. This time around not only having read it and all the books before and again, I really enjoyed what this book is doing.
In this series, Doro is a supernatural being of near infinite power, at least in comparison to the human around him. He’s been alive for almost 4000 years and in that time he’s started and closed out hundred of families, birthed and sired hundreds of children, and even begun selectively breeding them. His exact nature is unknown but like all supernatural creatures with godly amounts of power, he’s amoral or beyond morality. Recently, he’s found Anyanwu, another supernatural being is only 300 years old. She is similar enough to Doro that she draws his attention, and different enough to be wary. He refers to her as “Wild Seed” meaning that she’s a being of great power, but not part of his clan. This makes her dangerous. Specifically, her powers involve self-healing and shape-shifting, and this presents some important elements he wishes to introduce into his line. He ensnares her with his charm, promises marriage with her, only to betray her later as he breeds her (marries her off) to his son Isaac, a white European. It’s 1690 by the way and we begin in Africa. The novel follows these path for several hundred years.