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To say that Gene Wolfe is a difficult author is both a compliment and a knock. In Shadow of the Torturer, the first in a four book series known as The Book of the. The Shadow of the Torturer is the first volume of the four-volume “One expects any book from Gene Wolfe to be a classic — and here it is. Gene Wolfe’s science fiction is neither operatic nor scientifically accurate; his In the early part of the first novel, “The Shadow of the Torturer,”.

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This series is the one that started my obsession with comic books. I’ll lend the book out to some fantasy-loving shhadow and they’ll buy the next one, which I’ll then have to borrow from them so I can see if there’s ever a real payoff.

He is warned against warming her bed in case she should become pregnant and the Guild be unable to carry out such excruciations as are eventually ordered for herand in order to reduce his temptations, Severian is sent, with his other friend, the journeyman Roche, to the Witches — in effect, the Guild of Prostitutes. The language is beautiful, poetic; however it’s also a touch ov. It pays for website hosting, postage for giveaways, and bookmarks and t-shirts. Notify me of new comments via email.

But at that point, they don’t like the book Wolfe wrote, they like the book they are writing between his lines. Nevertheless, it’s a crackin’ good book.

The Shadow of the Torturer: SFF’s greatest and most challenging epic

Despite having lived there all of his youth, he has not been anywhere except a few paces beyond the Tower of his Guild. View Edit Discuss History Print. How will Severian reach the destiny we are told about almost at the beginning of the book?


In a thoroughly decadent world of the future, Severian the torturer is cast out from the torturer’s guild when he falls in love with one of his victims and allows her to die.

Gene Wolfe’s The Shadow of the Torturer

Work people tell me that, in my case, the opposite is actually true. Retrieved from ” https: There are certain books that can be considered life-changing experiences. So, I had next-to-none knowledge of the book, and for the first, I don’t know, perhaps quarter of the book I was still uncertain whether I liked it or not.

Now that’s a good start: Although they are always actual words, their definitions never quite fit the context. Some have even run with this false assumption and presented it as fact, describing that book as “full of unrelenting rape”.

Oct 17, Mark rated it it was amazing.

Gene Wolfe’s The Shadow of the Torturer – Kate Macdonald

There are layers of meaning that remain obscure even after multiple readings, but it is clear that Wolfe has crafted a masterpiece that is worth the attempts to conquer it, a literary Mt. In addition to being unique in style, The Shadow of the Torturer is a gorgeous piece of work: The Guilds have returned as well as aristocracy, kings and peons. Shadow of the Torturer and the subsequent series are not for beginners in the science fiction or fantasy genre.

Severian, still dressed in tortuerr garb of his Guild, leaves immediately, anxious both to begin his penitence and to enter the outside world, though it will take the remainder of Shadow before he reaches the Wall surrounding Nessus in the north.

She it was who played the silent hipparch in their shop, the whole duel being an elaborate shadoww to get their hands on Terminus Est. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: I was extra annoyed this time because I’d been told that the beauty of this series lies in the twists and turns brilliantly laid out by Wolfe.


I know that much. The Shadow of the Torturer is like a Preraphaelite canvas — the ancient perishing world, painted in unbelievably vivid colours, is washed in the sanguine rays of a long fatal sundown. If you’re missing some of our book cover images, please pause ad block. He should have skipped the entire soul-reincarnation bit.

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He eventually commits a grievous sin against his Guild oath, and is reassigned to be a carnifex of Thrax. What can she do when the very thing that produced her new name left her scarred in far more ways than I first read torurer in my early twenties, and recently picked it up again because I wanted to visit the world of Urth again.

This is a heinous thee for a member of the Guild, so Severian, after readily confessing to his wolff, is banished from the Citadel in disgrace and ordered to a small rural outpost where he will be Carnifex and guild representative, a thankless task since he is likely to be hated by everyone. To say that the world of Severian is grim is more than an understatement; it is unable to fully portray the stagnation and moral latitude the characters show.

Severian is a young man who is an apprentice to the Guild of Torturers in a sinister place called the citidel. It relies on the same tricks over and over: