The Book of the New Sun
From dust jacket notes: "...Blending the lyric extravagance of fantasy and the keen edge of science fiction, The Book of the New Sun weaves a powerful tapestry of awesome terror and dreamlike beauty. It begins in a future so distant our civilization is no longer even a memory, and the remnants of our science seem like magical forces. It is a time when the Sun is dying, and legend speaks of the return of the Conciliator, who will bring about the birth of the New Sun. In the great Citadel, young Severian is apprenticed to the order of the Seekers for Truth and Penitence - the ancient Guild of the Torturers - until he is banished for the sin of mercy. Armed with the sword Terminus Est, Severian wanders the lands of Urth on his way to a post in distant Thrax. It is an odyssey fraught with monsters and mysteries and woven about with strange portents. For into his hands falls a miraculous gem whose powers move him to a grander destiny...a destiny he dare not refuse."
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