Other Sellers on Amazon
Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. Learn more
Read instantly on your browser with Kindle Cloud Reader.
Using your mobile phone camera - scan the code below and download the Kindle app.
Enter your mobile phone or email address
By pressing "Send link," you agree to Amazon's Conditions of Use.
You consent to receive an automated text message from or on behalf of Amazon about the Kindle App at your mobile number above. Consent is not a condition of any purchase. Message & data rates may apply.
Wild Seed (Patternist, 1) Paperback – March 17, 2020
Enhance your purchase
Doro knows no higher authority than himself. An ancient spirit with boundless powers, he possesses humans, killing without remorse as he jumps from body to body to sustain his own life. With a lonely eternity ahead of him, Doro breeds supernaturally gifted humans into empires that obey his every desire. He fears no one -- until he meets Anyanwu.
Anyanwu is an entity like Doro and yet different. She can heal with a bite and transform her own body, mending injuries and reversing aging. She uses her powers to cure her neighbors and birth entire tribes, surrounding herself with kindred who both fear and respect her. No one poses a true threat to Anyanwu -- until she meets Doro.
The moment Doro meets Anyanwu, he covets her; and from the villages of 17th-century Nigeria to 19th-century United States, their courtship becomes a power struggle that echoes through generations, irrevocably changing what it means to be human.
Frequently bought together
Customers also search
"Brilliant, endlessly rich...pairs well with 1984 or The Handmaid's Tale."―John Green, New York Times(on Parable of the Sower)
"Wild Seed is a book that shifted my life . . . It is as epic, as game-changing, as moving and brilliant as any science fiction novel ever written."―Viola Davis
"If we're talking must-read authors like Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, and Toni Morrison, the one-and-only Octavia Butler needs be a part of the conversation. The groundbreaking sci-fi and speculative fiction author was a master of spinning imaginative tales that introduced you to both the possibilities -- and dangers -- of the human race, all while offering lessons on tribalism, race, gender, and sexuality."―O, The Oprah Magazine
"An internationally acclaimed science fiction writer whose evocative, often troubling, novels explore far-reaching issues of race, sex, power and, ultimately, what it means to be human."―New York Times
"More than any novel I've ever read, Octavia Butler's Wild Seed examines power, what it means to wield it responsibly and what it means to resist it when it is wielded capriciously."―Rion Amilcar Scott, PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize-winning author of Insurrections
"In the ongoing contest over which dystopian classic is most applicable to our time, Octavia Butler's 'Parable' books may be unmatched."―New Yorker (on Parableof the Sower)
"Butler is one of the finest voices in fiction-period . . . A master storyteller with a voice that cradles and captivates, Butler casts an unflinching eye on racism, sexism, poverty and ignorance, and lets the reader see the terror and beauty of human nature."―Washington Post Book World
"Haunting . . . apocalyptic . . . compelling."―Essence
About the Author
- Publisher : Grand Central Publishing; Reissue edition (March 17, 2020)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1538751488
- ISBN-13 : 978-1538751480
- Item Weight : 8.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.25 x 0.75 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #46,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The book starts off in 1690, in Africa, and ends in 1840s in the United States. It follows the immortal man/spirit Doro – born in Africa in the days of ancient Egypt, and Anyanwu, an African woman with astonishing powers that set her apart from everyone around her. Doro brings Anyanwu to America, and she becomes part of his “people”: an extensive group of individuals who are ruled by, and selectively bred by Doro to enhance their various special abilities.
With that as its starting point, ‘Wild Seed’ becomes a haunting, rich, and compelling story of Anyanwu’s struggle to survive in the new world under Doro’s rule, exploring themes like good and evil, slavery and oppression, race and eugenics, family and friendship, love and the essence of life itself: what makes life worth living? what is a good life? what is worth living for? what is worth dying for?
Butler’s cast of characters add to the richness of the book: they are all complex and conflicted, and even characters that pass by only briefly in the story are so well-written that they stay with you afterwards. And Anyanwu is one of the most interesting and likable literary characters I’ve encountered. She is a good, but flawed, person, fighting tooth and nail to stay true to herself and her own convictions, and to keep her freedom and self-determination – even under excruciatingly difficult circumstances.
‘Wild Seed’ is compelling, unique science fiction, and it’s a book that lingers in the mind long after you finish reading it.
Wild Seed is easy to read, but there’s a lot going on underneath the surface. There’s so many different topics at play here – race, slavery, gender, sexuality. Basically, if it’s a topic relating to power structures, Wild Seed deals with it. It doesn’t deal much with LGBTQ themes, but I’m still listing it under the tag since Anyanwu has a wife at one point (happens between chapters) and could probably be considered bisexual.
Wild Seed deals with the difficulties of being immortal and the inherent loneliness of watching everyone you know die. This is the focal point of the relationship between Anyanwu and Doro. Anyanwu may not be able to condone what Doro does, but he’s the only person who will remain constant as the families she builds for herself die around her.
I hate Doro, but I think you’re supposed to hate him. He’s spent his extraordinary long life on a eugenics project, creating a race of people with special powers. He’s controlling and manipulative and thinks nothing of killing others. He wants people to be under his control, to respect and obey him in all things. But Anyanwu cannot respect him, and she does not always obey him. She’s wild seed – a talented person born outside his breeding programs.
I’m really not sure what to think about the relationship between Anyanwu and Doro. I really hope the ending wasn’t supposed to be an instance of the woman “changing” her man with her feminine influences, but I’m not sure. Anyanwu was also so passive. I really wanted to see her stand up to Doro and to oppose the things he did that she hated. But it feels more like she accepts powerlessness.
A large part of why I have these feelings is that I don’t think Wild Seed had a real conclusion. The book just sort of ends. There problems with Doro’s actions haven’t been dealt with. Maybe it’s because this is a first book in a series? I’d want to keep reading to find out what happens to Anyanwu, but I’ve heard she’s not the protagonist of the next one.
Do I recommend Wild Seed? Definitely. I can see why it’s considered a science fiction classic, one that I think I’d need to reread to appreciate more fully.
Top reviews from other countries
I have loved the characters. Anjanwu is just awesome, and Doro, even if he's not exactly the most sympathetic character ever (oh well, he's actually NOT synpathetic, at all) is wonderfully portrayed. I loved even him in the end, and I won't say anything more about the final of this wonderful book, because you *must* buy it and read it up to the end. But the character I loved the best was Isaacs. A wonderful, three-dimensional character.
I thank so much Orson Scott Card, who suggested this book in his "How to write science fiction and fantasy" (a book I suggest any aspiring writer to read). Otherwise I would never have bought it, and it would be a shame.
I’m glad I did, as this book kept me engrossed from start to finish. The author takes the central idea, that some people are born with special abilities, and explores it in many different ways. So it remains fascinating all the way through. The story was compelling as well, as the two main characters tried to outwit each other, with frequent verbal confrontations.
I’m not into the fantasy genre, because I often feel cheated by the way conflicts are resolved, where the hero overcomes the enemy simply by summoning up enough strength. But I never felt cheated by the progression of this story.
I’m only learning about how to write, so I can’t judge the technical merits, and I quickly forgot that I was reading it to learn. But as a reader I can say that this book has the following qualities: It keeps the tension going throughout. The writing is clear and straightforward, so that it’s the story, not the writer’s technical brilliance, which is on show. Unlike the other book recommended by Card, this is a great example to learn from.