Top positive review
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Something original in all aspects
on December 12, 2003
If you have found yourself in the same position as I, were time and again you run into typical cliché formulated fantasy and science fiction. Then I feel you will find this novel and its predecessors truly captivating. The novel tells the story of a Severian, an apprentice of the guild of torturers, who through his own mercy becomes an outcast in a world as alien to him as it is to the reader. The series guides Severian through a long a struggle filled journey filled with characters and locations that range from humorous to out right bizarre. Summing up the depth and elegance of Wolfe's creation is something that can only be achieved by reading the novel itself. The language, the intricate story that weaves its web in subtle ways, the philosophy, the mysteries that uncover the identity of the world all bring something new to the table of fantasy. I was truly captivated by this novel and recommend it to any advanced reader. I say advanced because I will admit the language is difficult and from what I read from other reviewers this seems to bother a few people. This is not romp along cheesy fantasy and if that is your ticket I'll suggest you should avoid. Anyone who is looking for something that provokes the mind, and has a bit of rich texture go no further then this novel and its follow up Sword and Citadel.