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La Garra del Conciliador (El Libro del Sol Nuevo, #2)
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La Garra del Conciliador (The Book of the New Sun #2)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  8,310 Ratings  ·  283 Reviews
La sombra del Torturador, primer volumen de El Libro del Sol Nuevo, nos presentó a Severian, un torturador que ha sido enviado al exilio por haberse enamorado de una de sus víctimas y haberle permitido que se quitara la vida en vez de someterla a los refinados métodos de tortura en los que Severian ha sido instruido con tanto cuidado. En este segundo volumen Severian tiene ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published 1993 by Minotauro (first published 1981)
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Apr 01, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2016
I have the same feeling about The Claw of the Conciliator as I had about the first part of the Book of the New Sun. This series is meant to be read for the second time.

And to be able to do that, I have to get through the tedious journey to the end...
Kat  Hooper
Sep 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

The Claw of the Conciliator is the second book in Gene Wolfe’s The Book of the New Sun quartet. If you read The Shadow of the Torturer and felt like you were lost (or drunk), and weren’t sure whether things would get clearer in the second book, I have to tell you that no, they don’t. But if you, like me, enjoy that dreamy I’m-not-sure-where-I-am-or-how-I-got-here-or-where-I’m-going-but-everything-sure-feels-fine literary experience, then read on, because S
J.G. Keely
Wolfe has an almost legendary status amongst fellow authors; Gaiman called him 'a ferocious intellect', Swanwick said he's "the greatest writer in the English language alive today", and Disch called this series "a tetralogy of couth, intelligence, and suavity".

You can rarely trust the popular market to single out good authors, but you'd think it might be safe to listen to the opinions of other writers (especially an assemblage of Nebula and Hugo winners in their own right). I will give his fans
Mike (the Paladin)
Well, this one was not as enthralling to me as the first. Here we follow our hero (so to speak) through many, varied and esoteric adventures and...finally, at long last, as the book ends (view spoiler)

I mentioned in my review of the first volume of this series that there is, especially through the internal dialogues a very existential part of this story. That comes more to the forefront here. We also get lots and lots
Sep 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sciencefiction
I finished this book and I'm looking forward to the next one in the series. I will add a more comprehensive review later. It's tough to figure out how I feel about this series. I like it. I might love it.

Words I had to look up online:
indanthrene - a shade of blue.
cacogen - an antisocial person.
hexaemeron - the first six days of creation.
meretrices - plural of meretrix, a prostitute.
baluchither - a now-extinct mammal that was 18 feet tall, 30 feet long, and weighed 20 tonnes. Also called Paracera
There is no magic. There is only knowledge, more or less hidden.

This quote sums up this book for me because the world which Wolfe presents to us has forgotten the use of the technology and using any kind of technology is magic to them. But uncovering this magic is what makes this world so hard to understand for the reader and it is not helped by the fact that it is exclusively told to us from the pov of Severian. Also there are lot of things hidden in the book with regards to symbolism which Wol
Jan 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy, dark
The Book of The New Sun is one of Wolfe's more contraversial post-modernist experimentations in narrative structure, in which it is hard to judge each volume on its own; -to be fair, I feel one should read the cycle as a whole and judge it as a whole.

...and as to the accusations of misogynism, I don't really see much misogynism in Severian's sexual escapades as much as in his continual judgement of women as being "weak" and his continuous harping on this theme, which does come across as pretty m
Sarah Anne
I really liked the first half of this, but although I still thought the story was cool, I got kind of bored. Still, it was a good story and I'm curious to see where it's going next.
Jun 27, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fifantasy
Well, this volume starts out by abandoning all the characters introduced to spend time with the last character introduced at the very end of the first volume. If this doesn't catch you off guard, you're a Gene Wolfe fan in the making. Again the environment seems as much a character as the protangonist, the stalwart Severian. Half the time while I'm reading I feel I'm way over my head wading through the middle of some allegory of prophetic literature and every sci-fi/fantasy literary allusion tha ...more
Oct 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
If Gene Wolfe's The Shadow of the Torturer (1980) is Severian's bildingsroman, depicting his growth from a boy apprentice to a young journeyman of the guild of torturers and his exile into the world outside it, The Claw of the Conciliator (1981), the second novel in Wolfe's four-book science fiction classic The Urth of the New Sun, is his romance, relating his experiences--many involving women he loves--outside Nessus, the City Imperishable, as he attempts to travel north to become the lictor of ...more
4.5 stars. The second volume in The Book of the New Sun Tetralogy continuing the story began in The Shadow of the Torturer. This is one of the most imaginative science fiction/fantasy epics ever written. Highly Recommended!

Winner: Nebula Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1983)
Winner: Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel (1983)
Nominee: Hugo Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1983)
Nominee: Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Best Novel (1983)
Nominee: World Fantasy Award for Best Novel (1983)
Eric Kibler
Jul 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the second volume in Wolfe's tetralogy "Book of the New Sun". In the first volume, lead character Severian starts out as an apprentice torturer and it's not a spoiler to say he ends up as the ruler of a continent (the Autarch) in the final volume. These books are his memoirs, written from the seat of power.

The setting is our world of perhaps thousands of years hence. Space travel had once been common, as had contact with extraterrestrial races. Now there is no more space travel, and we'r
This is the second book in the series The Book of the New Sun. I liked it at about the same level as I liked the first. I was particularly wrapped up in the story for the first half or so, but my interest started to fade a little toward the end.

One of the sections near the end that I really had trouble getting through was the play. There’s a fairly large chapter in which we’re given the script for a play that is performed. I’ve never been crazy about reading things in that format to begin with,
Massively boring wheel-turning middle novel in a series that somehow won a Nebula in 1982. The last lines of this novel are:

“Here I pause. If you wish to walk no farther with me, reader, I do not blame you. It is no easy road.”

And I am very tempted to take you up on that offer of abandonment Gene, because your second novel in The Book of the New Sun was such a huge pain in the ass to get through, even at its scant 275 pages. I will say this though, there are enough cool little tidbits in here th
Feb 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
While the plot continues with the story Wolfe started in The Shadow of the Torturer, structurally Wolfe gets a little funkier with his second book. I liked it a lot, even though understanding it is sorta like seeking clarity in a broken mirror floating down in swift-flowing river.
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Iako sam se nadao da će biti bolje, moram da priznam da sam se razočarao - ono što me je kod Viteza/Čarobnjaka jezivo iznerviralo prisutno je i ovde - bespotrebno putešestvije sa hiljadu skretanja s puta koja ni na koji način ne doprinose priči.
U globalu, svet je sjajno osmišljen, protagonista privlačan, poredak stvari obećava, ali realizacija je klimava i, što je nagore, dosadna. Digresije radi digresija radi popunjavanja papira udavile su suštinu.
Vulfu dajem kredit zbog trilogije o Latru, naro
Megan Baxter
I finished this book over a week ago, before I was away and busy and stressed for a week. I left myself just one note in the draft file for the book review, and it reads: "oh my god, having characters that do not care about anything is not interesting!"

Note: The rest of this review has been withheld due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.

In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook
May 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a reread. Second of the four volumes of the Book of the New Sun. Last time I attempted the book I only made it 2.5 volumes in. Hoping I'll do better this time.

Dialogue contrived (some of the characters are far too eloquent, and the lower-class ones are indicated primarily by dropped g's). Severian is a cold fish emotionally, and while that fits with his character (he tortures and kills people for a living), it can keep stakes low.

But this a trip into the deep future, a pleasure to read
Mar 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, fantasy, read-2016
I found this one much more confusing than the first book. Going to try the third one anyways.
Jun 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am by no means competent to review this literary masterpiece, but — having read the litany of confusion on the review pages of this volume and its companions — I wish to state the following, simply in order to be helpful.

1. The four volumes of The Book of the New Sun are one long novel, not four separate books. It was originally published in four volumes because it was too expensive and cumbersome to print as one. Don't expect the satisfaction of an ending at the conclusion of every volume. Ex
If ever there was a "marmite" series in fantasy, it would be Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun. To its admirers, it's one of the most brilliant, literary works in the genre; to its detractors, it's frustrating and overly cryptic.

Either way, Wolfe's creation is like nothing else in fantasy. Set eons in the future, when the planet is covered in the remnants of long-forgotten civilizations and the sun is beginning to go out from some mysterious ailment, the cycle follows the journeys of Severian, th
Mar 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Welcome to Conan the Librarian set in the far, far distant future as he lops off heads, resurrects the dead, watches creation-epic plays, and misunderstands the meaning of the universe.

Sound interesting? I've got a claw here I'd like to sell you. It comes with about three tomes of myth references couched deeply in imagery, an insistence on making us think that we must, actually, be living in a disjointed dream, and admittedly damn awesome world-building taking Clarke's maxim to the max but letti
Rachel (Kalanadi)
2.5 stars? Better written and more action than the first book. The worldbuilding became clearer, and a few things (like the antechamber) really caught my attention.

Still didn't really like it though, with all the stomach churning torturer stuff and vaguely misogynistic parts about women's physical weakness and luscious half-clothed bodies. (view spoiler)
John Devlin
It weaves a spell perhaps not as powerful as the first, but surreal fantasy is such a hard line to follow. Balancing the character and the events enough to make them connect with the reader and at the same time give the impression of the phantasmagoric can easily become too unmoored and unengaging. Wolfe succeeds and I will read the 3rd installment. Just not real soon. There's only so much odalisquing eidolons with teratoid eremites that apotropaic heliotropes can counter with cacogens.
Kate Sherrod
For an in-depth assessment, check out my blog series SUNS, SUNS, SUNS at
aPriL does feral sometimes
I think the author got caught up in showing off and forgot he was writing a novel. While brilliant, I can't imagine anyone saying at this point, "wow, exciting series, can't wait for the next one!" And mean it, unless you are a student of mythology, experimental literature and want to do some showing off yourself in reading almost incomprehensible books. Probably readers who have completed Infinite Jest and Ulysses are bragging about having 'enjoyed this brilliant literary tour-de-force!' Which ...more
First, full disclosure: on forums/websites where I'm using my Contrarius email address and I'm required to give a full name, I use Contrarius Est as my name. :D

This installment of the "series" picks up right in the middle of everything and gives you very little recapping of what's come before -- in fact, it was so confusing that I had to go back and listen to about the last quarter of Shadow of the Torturer again to be sure I hadn't missed something, despite the fact that I've read Shadow about
Roddy Williams
Gene Wolfe’s baroque masterpiece continues with Severian still on his rambling journey across a far future Earth. Although this was recently republished under the Gollancz Fantasy masterworks imprint it does have to be noted that this is not Fantasy. It slips all too easily into the Science Fantasy label. The hero appears to inhabit a pseudo medieval world in some dark ages of the future and carries a sword called Terminus Est. At heart however it is solid Science Fiction. It’s disguised up to i ...more
Jeff James
Jul 24, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This volume of the Book of the New Sun was a bit slow-going for me. It's a relatively short book - 250 pages - but the storyline is complex, the cast of characters is large and confusing, and the narrator is possibly unreliable even though he claims to remember everything that happens to him. This part of the story definitely amped up the surrealism, too, which didn't help as far as keeping things straight. I'm really enjoying this series so far, however, and I look forward to eventually reading ...more
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  • No Enemy But Time
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  • Stations of the Tide
  • The Healer's War
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  • The Moon and the Sun
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  • A Time of Changes
  • The Terminal Experiment
  • The Einstein Intersection
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  • On Wings of Song
  • Slow River
  • Man Plus (Man Plus #1)
  • The Pastel City
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  • The Eyes of the Overworld (The Dying Earth, #2)
Gene Wolfe is an American science fiction and fantasy writer. He is noted for his dense, allusive prose as well as the strong influence of his Catholic faith, to which he converted after marrying a Catholic. He is a prolific short story writer and a novelist, and has won many awards in the field.

The Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award is given by SFWA for ‘lifetime achievement in science fict
More about Gene Wolfe...

Other Books in the Series

The Book of the New Sun (5 books)
  • The Shadow of the Torturer (The Book of the New Sun #1)
  • The Sword of the Lictor
  • The Citadel of the Autarch (The Book of the New Sun #4)
  • The Urth of the New Sun (The Book of the New Sun, #5)
“That we are capable only of being what we are remains our unforgivable sin.” 40 likes
“Time itself is a thing, so it seems to me, that stands solidly like a fence of iron palings with its endless row of years; and we flow past like Gyoll, on our way to a sea from which we shall return only as rain.” 8 likes
More quotes…