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. It is possible I already had some presentiment of my future. The locked and rusted gate that stood before us, with wisps of river fog threading its spikes like the. Overview: The book opens with the protagonist, Severian, barely surviving a swim in the River Gyoll. Severian is an apprentice in the torturers’.

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If you like fantasy or sci-fi, or just appreciate literature in general, you can’t afford to overlook this. Severianan apprentice in the torturers’ guild, barely survives a swim in the River Tortrer. The sexuality was not new, interesting, arousing, or mutual, it was merely the old game of ‘overcoming the strong woman’ that is familiar to readers of the Gor books.

The Shadow of the Torturer

I vene see why and appreciate why many people do believe this to be a great book and I have been told that the series gets better as it goes, but for me, this was just a struggle, and although some sections were enticing and interesting, they seemed always to be out of context if distant from the other sections which bored me so Much of the power of this novel comes from the sense that there is world-building and symbolism on a massive scale here, but that explanations and revelations for the reader would just cheapen it and remove the pleasure that comes from the experience of discovery.

Whilst I can certainly appreciate aspects of this writing, for example Gene has a wonderfully lyrical prose which makes Death sound lovely and Life dismal, or vice versa depending whadow what he wishes to get across, it’s SO long I don’t even know whether I liked this one or not.

Disch In a stunning blend of the lyric extravagance of fantasy and the keen edge of science fiction, meeting in a future so distant that it seems like the ancient past, Gene Wolfe begins his chronicle of Severian the Torturer, in this the first volume of The Book of the New Sun. It left me with the impression that Wolfe had hit the thesaurus hard but with an erudite discrimination.


The Shadow of the Torturer by Gene Wolfe

Severian refuses to sell the sword, shortly after which a masked and armoured hipparch enters the shop and challenges Severian to a duel. Aug 08, Penny rated it it was ok Shelves: Wolfe’s mockery is so on-the-nose that it is indistinguishable from other cliche genre fantasy.

What events ot a society to forget all it once knew and regress, other than a lack of industrial quantities of resources? The novel is told in the first person, from Severian’s point of view, and he is a fascinating character for many reasons. Nov 15, Robyn rated it really liked it Shelves: Adventure, pain, laughter, heartbreak. Wopfe Tade Thompson 9. Hell, even in the action scenes that are there, the main character never even uses his sword.

Now, I’m not saying that every book needs to be wall-to-wall battles, but in a book where the main character dresses like death and carries a wicked-ass sword, you expect there to be a little conflict.

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

One of the four books is Wonders of Urth and Skyfrom which Severian will read at later times. Paperbackpages.

If a guy punches himself in the nose and then insists “I meant to do that”, I don’t think that makes him any less of a dumbass. Dec 18, Laura rated it it was ok Shelves: As things come to a head Severian leaves the tower torturr commence a long journey.

In many ways, The Shadow of the Torturer has everything that I look for in a great read: Drones Rob J Hayes 8. First name Country where you live Book Your rating out of 10 1 2 3 4 5 6 tene 8 9 10 Your review. Dazed and confused, the woman follows Severian and Agia. I have hte this book many times, often with a dictionary beside me, but laziness and an assumption that many terms I did not recognise were made up, led me to not look them up. The story wolfd off well, it’s about Severian who is a young member in the Torturer’s Guild and he’s training to become a master.


My theory is that he has loosed some sort of creature that is causing quite a commotion. The are travelling mountebanks, who invite Severian to join them in a play to be performed the same day.

I appreciated his ‘created language’ more than most fantasy authors, but I didn’t find it particularly mysterious or difficult, because all of his words are based on recognizable Germanic or Romantic roots. What I will say is that we have another one of those books that straddles the line between science fiction and fantasy.

Therefore, switching back and forth between magical explanations and super-technological ones doesn’t mean much, on its own. I’m just not that one. I also found that on a subsequent read of the book the reader is better armed to pick up those oh-so-casual references that Wolfe makes to important facts or details that only become apparent when you know the full shape of the story to come.

What can she do when the very thing that produced her new name left her scarred in far more ways than Borrelli rated it it was amazing. Customers who bought this item also bought. Ready for a post-apocalyptic head-trip with an unsympathetic and unreliable narrator in a far-future world on the edge of further collapse In point of fact, this far-off time feels more like a feudal dark-ages and I really got into the novel by the point it felt like a shadow of A Canticle for Leibowitz. Severian is a torturer, born to the guild and with an exceptionally promising career ahead of him You will not be disappointed.

Severian, an apprentice of the Torturer’s Guild, is returning late to the guild with his fellows after a swim described in Chapter 2.