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The Shadow of the Torturer

The Shadow of the Torturer

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, ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
The Book Of The New Sun: Volume 1

The Book Of The New Sun: Volume 1

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.
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