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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...
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May 18th, 2017
This is the first book of a tetralogy (which itself is part of a more overarching series). Despite being a mere 211 pages, it is impossible to quickly give any good summary. Severian, who forgets nothing, is recalling his life. As a child, he was abandoned to the Seekers of Truth and Penitence (the torturers guild), which sort of explains the title. Gene Wolfe is held in special awe by readers and writers of S/F alike. You need to pay very close attention and/or reread his books to figure out just what is going on, even though they seem to be deceptively simple. I've read these books multiple times and will do so again.
Jul 30th, 2013
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