Gene (Rodman) Wolfe Thomas D. Clareson - Essay

Thomas D. Clareson

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Gene Wolfe has scored again with The Claw of the Conciliator…. Successful as it is, however, it differs in tone from The Shadow of the Torturer. That first volume introducing Severian had a special intensity—in large part because Wolfe had to concentrate upon his protagonist in order to make him a convincing individual whose awareness acted as the catalyst giving significance to the novel. For that reason, Wolfe focused upon those events which led to Severian's exile; if one looks at the narrative carefully, one finds that most of the action takes place within a period of several days, while the setting is limited to the City Imperishable In contrast, the effect of The Claw of the Conciliator...

(The entire section is 567 words.)