Wild Seed

, #1

Hardcover, 245 pages

English language

Published Aug. 7, 2005 by Science Fiction Book Club.

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4 stars (8 reviews)

In an "epic, game-changing, moving and brilliant" story of love and hate, two immortals chase each other across continents and centuries, binding their fates together -- and changing the destiny of the human race (Viola Davis). 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 …

13 editions

reviewed Wild Seed by Octavia E. Butler (Patternmaster, #1)

Review of "Wild Seed"

5 stars

I finished this one a little over two weeks ago. This was the first book I've read by Octavia Butler, and I don't think it will be my last.

Sci-fi and fantasy aren't my usual genre preference (though, now I'm not sure I even have a preference), so I wasn't sure initially how I'd like this book.

The pacing and language of the book was skilled and enjoyable; I really felt like I was sitting down and listening to a story over a fire. The book explores themes of power, control, and freedom, and challenges traditional ideas of morality. Following the relationship of two immortal Africans over a hundred years, the book also speaks to larger social and cultural issues.

I was pleasantly surprised to learn the book was published in 1980. Some books do not age well–usually due to standardized sexism, racism, or homophobia of that writer's era–but I …

reviewed Wild Seed by Octavia E. Butler (Patternmaster, #1)

Review of 'Wild Seed' on 'Storygraph'

3 stars

A hard read, not because of the writing style, but the theme and the underlying metaphors: slavery, discrimination, power abuse. It's weird and disturbing, there weren't any lovable characters for me. I wasn't sure if it was sci-fi, magical realism or something in between. I was hoping the main character, Anyanwu, to have more active powers. She was powerful but at the same time powerless to deal with Doro's influence. It was a disturbing read at many moments for me, not really my cup of tea. The writing is excellent, tho.

reviewed Wild Seed by Octavia E. Butler (Patternmaster, #1)

Review of 'Wild seed' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Butler's way of introducing a superhuman premise up front in a matter-of-fact way then getting right to the implications for human characters and works well. You can feel strong undercurrents while engaging with a good story. Looking forward to continuing the series.


  • African American women
  • Women healers
  • Fiction
  • Science fiction
  • Fantasy
  • Speculative fiction