The Claw of the Conciliator : Book of the New Sun

  • by Gene Wolfe
  • Narrated by Jonathan Davis
  • Series: Book of the New Sun
  • 11 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.

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What the Critics Say



Nebula Award, Best Novel, 1982

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Keep reading, for the prose style

This book (The Claw of the Conciliator) and the next (The Sword of the Lictor) have more of a standard fantasy plot than the first book (The Shadow of the Torturer): a singularly talented guy on a quest carrying some powerful artifacts. These two books also begin to feel claustrophobic, as the same handful of characters keep showing up.

But after reading the first book, one should realize that one doesn't read these books for their plot or characters, but for Wolfe's amazing style and Severian's reflections. An example is probably more illuminating than my description:

"...Now it struck me that the will itself was governed, and if not by reason, then by things below or above it. Yet it was very difficult to say on what side of reason these things lay. Instinct, surely, lay below it; but might it not be above it as well?...
But is instinct truly that "attachment to the person of the monarch" which Master Malrubius implied was at once the highest and the lowest form of governance? For clearly, instinct itself cannot have arisen out of nothing--the hawks that soared over our heads built their nests, doubtless, by instinct; yet there must have been a time in which nests were not built, and the first hawk to build one cannot inherited its instinct to build from its parents, since they did not possess it... Perhaps that which came before instinct was the highest as well as the lowest principle of the governance of the will. Perhaps not. The wheeling birds traced their hieroglyphics in the air, but they were not for me to read."
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- ely

Brilliant Enought to Engage a NON Fantasy Reader.

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.
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- Darwin8u

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-23-2009
  • Publisher: Audible Studios