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|Shadow & Claw
by Gene Wolfe
Published by Tor Books, 1994
Highly recommended by: Elliot Hanowski
Shadow & Claw collects the first two volumes of The Book of the New Sun Shadow of the Torturer and The Claw of the Conciliator. Since the narrator picks up the story in Claw a few months after he left off in Shadow, it's handy to have these two together so that the reader immediately knows that they're not suffering amnesia.
A fan can therefore own the complete five-part New Sun saga by buying three volumes: Shadow & Claw, Sword & Citadel, and The Urth of the New Sun.
This four book series, Shadow of the Torturer, The Claw of the Conciliator, Sword of the Lictor, and Citadel of the Autarch are extremely complex but delightful renderings of a world so far in the future that it is hard to recognize as our own. Yet Severian, the torturer who shows mercy, becomes a strange Everyman, who shows us decency and wonder in a strange, but absorbing place. Christians will not find an obvious tract here: this is a dense literary journey, but it will bless you. Diane Joy Baker
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