Banished for the sin of mercy, Severian, one of the ancient guild of Torturers, flees from exile. In a mountain wilderness Severian, the disgraced apprentice torturer, has reached his place of exile – Thrax, the city of Windowless Rooms, where he must take up his post as Lictor, executioner and torturer. However, he flees the city and heads into the mountains. There he meets the Alzabo, in whom those eaten seem to live on, adopts a son only to lose him in battle and discharges an old debt to vengeance. As his exile takes stranger and stranger turns, he encounters fanged aliens who hide behind masks of beauty, and meets the mysterious Dr Talos . . .
An extraordinary epic, set a million years in the future, in the time of a dying sun, when our present culture is no longer even a memory. The torturer’s apprentice, Severian, exiled from his guild after falling in love with one of his prisoners, is now the Lictor of Thrax, a city far distant from his home. But it is not long before Severian must flee this city, too, and journey again into the world. Embattled by friends and enemies alike, pursued by monstrous creatures, the one-time torturer’s apprentice must overcome hitherto unimagined perils, as he moves closer to fulfilling his ultimate destiny. This edition contains the concluding two volumes of this four-volume novel, The Sword of the Lictor and The Citadel of the Autarch.