["The Book of the New Sun"] is a curiously elusive work. Throughout the tetralogy, the reader recognizes Wolfe's intelligence, questing spirit, and superb mastery of language. These attributes have earned the books praise as literary masterworks. The praise is deserved. And yet….
From my first encounter with Volume Two, The Claw of the Conciliator, I've made my way through the tetralogy like a baffled amnesiac. Who are all these characters? What was it Severian the Torturer did in those towns he passed through? How have his experiences served to shape his life and its tale? The answers lie somewhere in the recesses of the hero's all-encompassing memory, but Severian's casual references to...
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