book 2 of The Book of the New Sun
by Gene Wolfe
In the excellent second installment of The Book of the New Sun, we follow Severian's eventful journey towards Thrax, including encounters with Vodalus and the Autarch, and the acquisition of a second set of memories. Much of The Shadow of the Torturer was spent setting the stage; in this book Wolfe really hits his stride. The atmosphere is enchanting, the prose polished, and the cast fascinating: a torturer cursed by mercy, a maimed space traveler, and a waif haunted by dreams that may or may not be from her past. Dr. Talos' play Eschatology and Genesis, like so many other stories in The Book, is a miniature, twisted image of The Book itself. Highly recommended.
copyright © 2001 John Regehr