Patternmaster is the last and first book in the Patternmaster series. It was published first, but it chronologically takes place at the end of the story and has been collected with the other Patternist books in Seed to Harvest. After reading Patternmaster, I can see why Octavia E. Butler felt inspired to write the other three novels. There's so much that happens in Patternmaster, that the events ask for some sort of explanation or history. In passing, a long-lived creator is mentioned, who was killed by his own daughter, and a disease that was brought back by the only ship to ever visit another planet. There was so much involved in creating the Patternist world.
Patternmaster takes place hundreds of years in the future. After finishing it, I realized it was a dystopian novel before dystopian novels were a thing. Without the other three novels, a reader would have the question that they would have after reading so many dystopian novels, that I had after reading The Hunger Games and 1984, how did our society reach this point? Reading Patternmaster I didn't wonder that. I had read Wild Seed, Mind of my Mind and Clay's Ark. I knew exactly who that long-lived creator was, I knew what happened to our society, and I knew where the disease came from. If I had known the publication order before I started the series, I might have read Patternmaster first and allowed myself to have these questions. Though, I don't know if I would have been happy ending the series with Clay's Ark. Maybe one day if I ever reread the Patternist series again that's exactly what I'll do, though I doubt I would ever be able to forget this incredibly intricate story.
Patternmaster is a unique story with interesting and complex characters. I enjoyed getting to know to Teray and Amber. I also liked the antagonist Coransee, he had a Doro kind of vibe, and I appreciated that Iray did not do what I expected her to do. However, after reading the other three novels, I fully expected Rayal's behaviour. Also, I don't know if I am 100% satisfied with that ending. Not that I expect endings to tie up everything, but I like more of a sense of closure. I feel like there is so much more to know about these characters. Though maybe, I have just lived in this world for so long, I am wishing for more Patternmaster books. Patternmaster was exciting and the series was fantastic. It has me excited to read more from Octavia Butler.