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The Book of the New Sun: Volume 2: Sword and Citadel: Sword and Citadel Vol 2 (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) Paperback – 28 Dec 2000

3.6 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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£9.99 FREE UK Delivery on book orders dispatched by Amazon over £10. Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we dispatch the item. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
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  • The Book of the New Sun: Volume 2: Sword and Citadel: Sword and Citadel Vol 2 (FANTASY MASTERWORKS)
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  • The Book Of The New Sun: Volume 1: Shadow and Claw (S.F. MASTERWORKS)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (28 Dec. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857987004
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857987003
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 3.9 x 17.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 266,590 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

One of the most acclaimed "science fantasies" ever, Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun (1980-83) is a long, magical novel in four volumes. Shadow and Claw contains the first two, The Shadow of the Torturer and The Claw of the Conciliator, which respectively won the World Fantasy and Nebula awards.

This is the first-person narrative of Severian the lowly apprentice torturer, blessed and cursed with a photographic memory, whose travels lead him through the marvels of far-future "Urth", and who--as revealed near the beginning--eventually becomes his land's sole ruler or Autarch. On the surface it's a colourful story with all the classic ingredients: growing up, adventure, sex, betrayal, murder, exile, battle, monsters and mysteries to be solved. (Only well into book two do we realise what saved Severian's life in chapter one.) For lovers of literary allusions, they're here in plenty: a Dickensian cemetery scene, a torture-engine from Kafka, a wonderful library out of Borges and familiar fables changed by aeons of retelling. Wolfe evokes a chilly sense of time's vastness, with an age-old, much restored painting of a golden-visored "knight" who is an astronaut standing on the Moon; an ancient citadel of metal towers which are grounded spacecraft. Even the Sun is senile and dying, and so Urth needs a New Sun.

The Book of the New Sun is almost heart-breakingly good, full of riches and subtleties that improve with each rereading. It is Gene Wolfe's masterpiece and strongly recommended. --David Langford --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

Award winning quest of discovery through an Earth fantastically transformed by aeons of humanity.

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A great masterpiece.
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Format: Paperback
At one time it was common to see some run of the mill fantasy author lauded as the "the new Tolkien", either in magazine reviews or, modestly, on his or her own book jacket. Almost invariably, however, the novels themselves were disappointing parodies or imitations of Tolkien and a few other good fantasy and SF authors, lacking in originality, literary flare and, perhaps most importantly, any sense of place and atmosphere in the worlds they imagined.
Where all these writers failed Gene Wolfe, in his four part "Book of the New Sun" succeeded majestically. Although the book is in some senses clearly derivative of other SF works, most notably Jack Vance's "Dying Earth Series, Wolfe draws largely on classical history to and mythology to create and boundlessly vast world that is all the more mysterious and fascinating for the fact that it is almost as strange and new to Wolfe's hero, Severian, as it is to the reader.
Expelled from his place amongst the Guild of the Seekers for Truth and Penitence (commonly "The Torturers") Severian is obliged to travel on foot to his place of exile. The journey is his first time away from the citadel at the centre of the colossal but decaying metropolis Nessus (Rome, Contantinople?). The reader, therefore, has the chance to discover the world (Earth many millennia in the future) with the books protagonist. The result is a layering of reality not unlike that achieved by Ridley Scott in his early films, most notably Blade Runner. The universe of the story is not composed of a few truths and verities that are presented to reader as cast in stone. As in our own world room is left for varying shade of opinion and perception, distortion, half truths and half remembered truths.
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Format: Paperback
I've just finished reading this book, and i'm still feeling this kind of fever that seems to come when i read books so fantastically crafted that even when i finish reading them, it's as if i was still inside the world that was created, and living again some part of it in my mind, so i can't stop thinking about them even when i'm on the surface thinking of something else.
I think to try to tell here too much of the story would be to spoil the books to any who read them, and so i'll try not to.
The book, which contains the last two from the tetralogy "The Book of the Sun", that begun with "Shadow and Claw", tells the story of Severian, a boy raised on earth in a future so distant from us that the sun is but a dying star, all resources have been exausted ages ago, and our age is remembered by nothing but almost forgotten myths. The books are written as an autobiography, in which Severian tells us his adventures from a humble beginning in the long decaying Citadel of Nessus and his Guild, commonly known as the Torturers, and a future so strange he would never have imagined it. Along the way we get to discover the world in which he lives at the same pace he does, and to discover new mysteries faster than answers to them (as is usual).
This is one (or the best) books i've ever read, and i'm an ardent reader of science fiction and fantasy. I'm tempted to commit an heresy, and quite plainly state that i did enjoyed this book far more than i did The Lord of The Rings, although i love all Tolkien's books and have read most of them.
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Format: Paperback
This is a great book, but I'm not sure if it can really be described as fantasy. For me it works precisely because it is SF. If part of the aim in sci-fi is to do new and surprising things then Wolfe succeeds big time. His genius is in rendering the (extremely) far-future totally convincing, and paradoxically this is acheived by making it utterly alien. Where most SF basically transfers our own concerns into a technologically or socially 'advanced' society, Wolfe makes Severian and his world virtually incomprehensible. At various points in the novel space and time travel, teleportation, genetic engineering and biomechanics all feature, but they are all depicted as ancient, decaying and irrelevant. Furthermore, Wolfe fills the text with half remembered myths and historical misinterpretations from our own age and the millenia which have followed. Attempting to work out the possible source of these stories, and solving the other mysteries of the text, is great, and turns the reader into a kind of textual detective.
On the downside, the sheer 'strangeness' of this future can be quite offputting, as can Wolfe's laboured use of language. While both of these factors are vital to the novel's structure, they do take a bit of getting used to...
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Format: Paperback
If you're the sort of person who likes The Lord of The Rings but can't help but feel its too shallow to be the best book ever, this is the book for you..If you like philosophy, which this book has tons of, you will, like me, be astounded.
This book is clearly one of the most underated stories ever, its very irritating to see shallow children's stories like Thr Lord of The Rings get all the attention while this masterpeice is un-heard of.
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