‘Never speak his name, never!’ Cobweb warned. ‘Never whistle in the dark for it summons
evil and he will hear it. In the
treetops, the feathered ones will know.
Watch them, Swift, watch the birds!’
night I had a terrible dream. In the
dream, the yellow-haired har was standing in a wreath of shadowy flames and his
beauty was ugliness. He saw me and
snared me in horror. ‘Call me,’ he
whispered and held out his hands, which were dripping red and shaking. I tried to turn away, run away, but I could
not move. His eyes transfixed me. ‘Call me!’
Swift is a young har, growing up in the town of
Galhea, among the Varrs, one of the most feared of Wraeththu tribes. His father
is Terzian, the phyle leader, his hostling the mysterious witch-har, Cobweb.
Swift is sheltered from the horrors beyond his home, where humans and hara are
still in conflict over territory, with the humans rapidly losing the fight. But
now, different factions of hara are also engaged in hostilities.
When a face from the past reappears, amid a host of
dire omens, Swift has to face the truth about his own kind and make difficult
decisions about what’s best for their future. The powerful Gelaming tribe seek
to take control of Megalithica, Swift’s home country, because the Varrs are
barbaric and cruel and commit atrocities against any who oppose them – or so
Swift is told. This does not match the memories he has of his happy childhood.
But perhaps the stories are true, and a vile canker eats at the heart of the
Varr hierarchy – a canker that must be cut out, whatever the cost.
The Bewitchments of Love and Hate is second volume in The Wraeththu Chronicles
trilogy, expanded and updated, with chapter heading illustrations by Ruby.
Author’s Note for the
The second edition of The Bewitchments of
Love and Hate, which was published in 2003, was re-edited thoroughly. I also
inserted new material, which I felt improved upon the original and gave more
substance to the tale. No major changes have been made to this fourth
edition. The only corrections are to typographical and grammatical errors,
and minor adjustments to the text to ensure this story is consistent with
current Wraeththu terminology and canon, which has developed over the past