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Sword and citadel by Gene Wolfe
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Sword and citadel (edition 1982)

by Gene Wolfe

Series: The Book of the New Sun (Omnibus 3-4), Solar Cycle (Omnibus 3-4)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,240285,319 (4.35)35
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" byPublishers Weekly. Sword & Citadelbrings together the final two books of the tetralogy in one volume: The Sword of the Lictor is the third volume in Wolfe's remarkable epic, chronicling the odyssey of the wandering pilgrim called Severian, driven by a powerful and unfathomable destiny, as he carries out a dark mission far from his home. The Citadel of the Autarch brings The Book of the New Sun to its harrowing conclusion, as Severian clashes in a final reckoning with the dread Autarch, fulfilling an ancient prophecy that will forever alter the realm known as Urth. "Brilliant . . . terrific . . . a fantasy so epic it beggars the mind. An extraordinary work of art!"-Philadelphia Inquirer "The Book of the New Sun establishes [Wolfe's] 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 no stopping."--The New York Times Book Review… (more)
Member:McCoyD
Title:Sword and citadel
Authors:Gene Wolfe
Info:New York : Tom Doherty Associates Book, [1982]
Collections:Your library
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Sword & Citadel: The Second Half of The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe

  1. 40
    Lexicon Urthus by Michael Andre-Driussi (AmySR)
    AmySR: There are maps, charts, time lines, and a few pictures. Best of all there are definitions for all those archaic words! I didn't regret purchasing this book one bit.
  2. 10
    Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges (LamontCranston)
    LamontCranston: "The composition of a novel in the first person, whose narrator would omit or disfigure the facts and indulge in various contradictions which would permit a few readers - very few readers - to perceive an atrocious or banal reality."
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» See also 35 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
This is a 5500 word essay on a reread of the full TBotNS, focusing on the narrative trap Wolfe has set, and my theory that his literary sleight of hand serves a religious/mystical goal, much more than it is the supposed puzzle for the reader to unravel. There’s also a short section on free will, and it ends with my overall appraisal of the book’s enduring appeal.

(...)

Even though Wright might be right in spirit, Aramini’s law still holds: “One of the most fascinating aspects of the critical discourse surrounding Wolfe involves how infrequently any two people will agree with each other.” That is because Wolfe has indeed set a trap – but his trap isn’t there to catch readers unwilling to question their assumptions in a post-structuralist way… The trap is there to catch post-structuralists and puzzle-solvers altogether. To understand that, I’ll have to turn to the Spiritual.

(...)

Full review on Weighing A Pig Doesn't Fatten It ( )
  bormgans | May 17, 2021 |
Represents 'Sword of the Lictor'. This is the actual edition that contains both books that I read. ( )
  fmc712 | Feb 18, 2021 |
This is going to be another review that I write on my phone so it's going to be kind of disjointed. Anyhow: the third book in the series is still maybe my favorite as it takes a deeper dive into Wolfes weird world (and has the incredibly creepy confrontation between Severian and the alzabo). The fourth book is much better than I remember it being, but it kind of feels like it meanders a little too much and dumps too much information on you at the end. Still, Wolfes work on BOTNS is not to be missed and I'm looking forward to polishing off Urth of the New Sun this winter. ( )
  skolastic | Feb 2, 2021 |
Guess I'm just not the right audience for these books. There was lots of interesting stuff, and a neat blend of what sometimes felt more like fantasy and what ultimately became much more like sci-fi, but it was such a ramble and sometimes it felt like it was written intentionally obscurely, which just didn't make it fun to read for me. I'm glad to've read the books but generally found both these and the first two in the series underwhelming. ( )
  dllh | Jan 6, 2021 |
I read this book because I read the first two books and it irked me that I never finished it. After the last book, which was a boring disaster, I thought it couldn't get worse and so I read this one.

Well, it is still not better than the first one. Parts are interesting, other parts are utter non understandable gibberish. Stuff happens, then other stuff happens and then this and that and really nothing makes much sense.

And then it ends and I am not wiser about what actually happened at all. ( )
  gullevek | Dec 15, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
Into the distance disappear the mounds of human heads.
I dwindle-go unnoticed now.
But in affectionate books, in children's games,
I will rise from the dead to say: the sun! - Osip Mandelstam
Dedication
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"It was in my hair, Severian," Dorcas said.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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" byPublishers Weekly. Sword & Citadelbrings together the final two books of the tetralogy in one volume: The Sword of the Lictor is the third volume in Wolfe's remarkable epic, chronicling the odyssey of the wandering pilgrim called Severian, driven by a powerful and unfathomable destiny, as he carries out a dark mission far from his home. The Citadel of the Autarch brings The Book of the New Sun to its harrowing conclusion, as Severian clashes in a final reckoning with the dread Autarch, fulfilling an ancient prophecy that will forever alter the realm known as Urth. "Brilliant . . . terrific . . . a fantasy so epic it beggars the mind. An extraordinary work of art!"-Philadelphia Inquirer "The Book of the New Sun establishes [Wolfe's] 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 no stopping."--The New York Times Book Review

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