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
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. Severian, a torturer’s apprentice, is exiled from his guild after falling in love with one of his prisoners. Ordered to the distant city of Thrax, armed with his ancient executioner’s sword, Terminus Est, Severian must make his way across the perilous, ruined landscape of this far-future Urth. But is his finding of the mystical gem, the Claw of the Conciliator, merely an accident, or does Fate have a grander plans for Severian the torturer . . . ? This edition contains the first two volumes of this four-volume novel, The Shadow of the Torturer and The Claw of the Conciliator.