Patternmaster: Clearly a first novel- Wild Seed is much betterOriginally posted at Fantasy LiteraturePatternmaster ( 1976) was written first in Octavia Butler ’ s 4-book PATTERNIST series, but comes last in chronology.
Society remains scattered and non-industrial, and power is divided between the Patternists, a network of linked human telepaths who can kill at a distance, and the Clayarks, now completely transformed into intelligent, sphinx-like animals with extreme strength, speed, and agility but no special mental powers.
The losers in this future world are the mutes, non-pyschic humans who are treated more like pets or servants by the Patternists.The story centers around Teray, a young Patternist who is one of he many sons of aging Patternmaster Rayal, and Coransee, an older Patternist who is also descendant of Rayal and a powerful Housemaster in his own right.
Initially he seeks the alliance of a strong female healer named Amber, but his ultimate goal remains to seize control of the Pattern, and when he tastes the feel of power from other telepaths linked to him, he savors it.It ’ s ctually the Clayarks that are the most nusual aspect of novel.
While the Patternists view them merely as highly-organized animals like dog or wolf packs, and don ’ t esitate to kill them on sight without question, we know from Clay ’ s Ark that they re in fact quite intelligent and have the power of speech.