So begins one of the most celebrated stories in fantasy literature . . . packed full of mystery, deep themes and incredible prose, meet Severian the Torturer and follow him on his journey across the great world of Urth
Severian is a torturer, born to the guild and with an exceptionally promising career ahead of him . . . until he falls in love with one of his victims, a beautiful young noblewoman.
Her excruciations are delayed for some months and, out of love, Severian helps her commit suicide and escape her fate. For a torturer, there is no more unforgivable act. In punishment he is exiled from the guild and his home city to the distant metropolis of Thrax with little more than Terminus Est, a fabled sword, to his name.
Along the way he has to learn to survive in a wider world without the guild – a world in which he has already made both allies and enemies. And a strange gem is about to fall into his possession, which will only make his enemies pursue him with ever-more determination . . .
Winner of the World Fantasy Award for best novel, 1981
Winner of the BSFA Award for best novel, 1982
Readers can’t stop reading The Shadow of the Torturer:
‘Full of rich characters and great imagination’ Mark Lawrence, author of Red Sister
‘A dark jewel . . . He has a mastery of language not often seen in fantasy writing . . . Couple this with an original and unique, highly imaginative and complex worldbuilding and the high praise is warranted‘ Goodreads reviewer, ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
‘This is a picaresque fantasy with a difference, for our hero Severian is no wide-eyed country boy from the shire, but an apprentice torturer, thoroughly schooled in his trade’ Goodreads reviewer, ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
‘There are certain books that can be considered life-changing experiences. Gene Wolfe is an author who has written one of those for me’ Goodreads reviewer, ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
‘The Book of the New Sun Tetralogy is one of the great achievements in science fiction and is a MUST READ for fans of the genre. HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION!!!’ Goodreads reviewer, ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
‘In addition to being unique in style, The Shadow of the Torturer is a gorgeous piece of work: passionate storytelling (heart-wrenching in places), fascinating insights into nature and the human condition, beautiful prose’ Goodreads reviewer, ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
‘Genre fiction at its finest. Original, difficult and well-crafted, it is easy to see how Wolfe is regarded as a writer’s writer’ Goodreads reviewer, ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐