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The Book of the New Sun is unanimously acclaimed as Gene Wolfe's most remarkable work, hailed as a masterpiece of science fantasy comparable in importance to the major works of Tolkien and Lewis by Publishers Weekly, and one of the most ambitious works of speculative fiction in the twentieth century by The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Shadow & Claw brings together the first two books of the tetralogy in one volume: The Shadow of the Torturer is the tale of young Severian, an apprentice in the Guild of Torturers on the world called Urth, exiled for committing the ultimate sin of his profession -- showing mercy toward his victim.Ursula K. Le Guin said, Magic stuff . . . a masterpiece . . . the best science fiction I've read in years! The Claw of the Conciliator continues the saga of Severian, banished from his home, as he undertakes a mythic quest to discover the awesome power of an ancient relic, and learn the truth about his hidden destiny. Arguably the finest piece of literature American science fiction has yet produced [is] the four-volume Book of the New Sun. -- Chicago Sun-Times The Book of the New Sun establishes his preeminence, pure and simple. . . . The Book of the New Sun contains elements of Spenserian allegory, Swiftian satire, Dickensian social consciousness and Wagnerian mythology. Wolfe creates a truly alien social order that the reader comes to experience from within . . . once into it, there is stopping. --The New York Times Book Review
Gene Wolfe has been called the finest writer the science fiction world has yet produced by The Washington Post. A former engineer, he has written numerous books and won a variety of awards for his SF writing. He lives with his wife Rosemary in Barrington, Illinois.