Book :: Shadow of the Torturer

Shadow of the Torturer
By: Gene Wolfe
Pages: 211
Published: 1980
Genre(s): Fantasy
Science Fiction
Post Apocalyptic
Rating: (4)


71 points

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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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bryanoz bryanoz

Jul 14th, 2018

forline forline

This was mesmerizing! Very different!

Apr 5th, 2018

sanayhs sanayhs

May 18th, 2017

beep beep

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

Shadow of the Torturer appears on these lists...

78th on The 20th Centrury's Greatest Hits by American Book Review

53rd on Top 100 Books by Harvard Book Store