- Title: The Citadel of the Autarch
- Author: Gene Wolfe
- ISBN: 9780671496661
- Page: 467
- Format: Paperback
Volume Four of the Book of the New Sun Severian the Torturer continues his epic journey across the lands of Urth, a journey as fraught with peril as it is with wonder Exiled from his guild he is an outcast, but his travels are woven with strange portents The Claw of the Conciliator, relic of a prophet and promise of a new age, flames to life in his hands He carries theVolume Four of the Book of the New Sun Severian the Torturer continues his epic journey across the lands of Urth, a journey as fraught with peril as it is with wonder Exiled from his guild he is an outcast, but his travels are woven with strange portents The Claw of the Conciliator, relic of a prophet and promise of a new age, flames to life in his hands He carries the great sword Terminus Est, the Line of Division The dwellers in the deep waters offer him a kingdom under the seas And he is hunted and driven by terrors from beyond Urth Now all his travels move him inexorably toward a grander fate, a destiny that he dare not refuse For a devouring blackness gnaws at the heart of the Old Sun, and the fate of Urth rests in the return of the Conciliator, the New Sun long foretold.
Recent Comments "The Citadel of the Autarch"
So now that all the big reveals have come through, plus a very nice one to redefine the rest of the series, I can officially say that I *like* this series instead of just sitting around being mystified and weirded out by it while wondering how to justify the traditional action events with the truly odd.And now I know.It's pretty awesome, but not quite up to the level of mindfuqery that I was prepared to expect based on all the multiple time-travel and memory-cannibalisms that we've been subjecte [...]
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 [...]
The conclusion of the Book of the New Sun—this series was apparently written as one manuscript and divided into four books for publication and they truly feel that way. I think that to properly appreciate it, I would have to go back and read through all four continuously. The second time through, I would know which details to pay attention to and a lot of the small confusions which I have regarding the plot would likely resolve themselves. Unfortunately, life is short and I’m unlikely to be [...]
4.5 stars rounded down. A very satisfying ending to a wild ride. :)The Book of the New Sun series overall gets 5 stars, and is automatically added to my "reread someday" pile.
Gene Wolfe’s deceptively long Book of the New Sun comes to a close with this, the final volume, The Citadel of the Autarch. (Actually, that’s not quite true – he apparently wrote an extra book in 1987 called The Urth of the New Sun, which I may or may not read in the future.)This was a difficult series to review because it’s really just one long book split into four, and – like many promising stories whose ultimate value hinges on how well they turn out – I couldn’t really judge it [...]
4.0 stars. Excellent end to a unique and ground-breaking science-fantasy series. I have never read anything like this before. Now that I have completed all four books, I will need to go back and re-read them (or re-listen to them) again as there is so much going on that I believe the second time through may be even more enjoyable than the first. HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION!!!Winner: John W. Campbell Award for Best Novel (1984)Nominee: Britsh Science Fiction Award for Best Novel (1984)Nominee [...]
I'm not entirely sure I'm any closer to understanding The Book of the New Sun after finishing it, but, on the other hand, maybe I am. Perhaps Wolfe's genius is leaving his readers unsure of what they know.(See my review of the full series here: examinedworlds/20)The more purely literary merits (of which there are plenty!) are better discussed by others (for instance: ultan/review-botns/). I will say that Wolfe's prose can be beautiful even as it's veering into incomprehensibility. And the intric [...]
This is the fourth book in the series The Book of the New Sun. There’s still one more book, but this was the conclusion to the main story arc that our main character, Severian, has been telling us. This review is therefore more of a review of the first four books as a whole than it is of this fourth book in particular.I’ve enjoyed this series quite a bit. It’s an interesting mix of genres. It was clear from early on that this was really science fiction, and that becomes increasingly appare [...]
In the first chapter of The Citadel of the Autarch (1983), Severian, no longer a lictor, is walking without career, sword, or companion towards the war. The perpetual conflict between the Ascians and his Commonwealth has been lurking off-stage in the first three of his books, but here we learn with Severian that "War is not a new experience; it is a new world." He watches energy weapons flash violet on the horizon and feels the ground shake beneath him. Hungry, thirsty, weak, and covered with ro [...]
And so concludes one of the strangest fantasy series I've ever read. At times I felt bowled over by the meandering narrative, beautiful prose and superb story telling but at others I felt a little lost trying to wrestle with the cryptic meanings and grasp just what he author was trying to say.I particularly loved the first half of this book, while Severian convalesces after a particularly severe fever, he is called upon to adjudicate between several suitors who are trying to win over a woman and [...]
Easily 5 stars for the series as a whole.4.5 stars for this 4th installment; the extra half-star is in appreciation of the fact that Wolfe managed to satisfactorily wrap up such a tangled and contorted plot. I've read many books that beg for a second reading, but this is the only one I've read where the narrator literally instructs you to go back and read it again. Who am I to argue with the Autarch, whose plot twists are the delight of his subjects?
Nemam puno za reći. Najbolja knjiga ovog ciklusa, maestralno privođenje kraju. Gospodine Wolfe, moj duboki naklon!!
From fragmented miasma to coherent denouement, The Book of the New Sun is a hero's journey from ignorance to enlightenment the hero being the tenacious reader. Flutter-bys need not apply.
“The rusted chains of prison moons are shattered by the sun. I walk a road, horizons change, the tournament's begun. The purple piper plays his tune; the choir softly sings three lullabies in an ancient tongue for the court of the crimson king.” Reading The Citadel of the Autarch I often remembered the Court of the Crimson King song – they both boast the same enthralling atmosphere of luxuriant decadence.“The dead Autarch, whose face I had seen in scarlet ruin a few moments before, now l [...]
I could spend weeks trying to properly organize my thoughts on The Book of the New Sun, but they would still be fundamentally the same; it's the most well written, thought, and executed work of fiction I've ever had the pleasure of experiencing. It is immense in scope, grandiose in its quality, and in a single word, genius.I have no way of expressing the inhumane skill that Wolfe has to describe his world. I was completely dumbfounded every time I was able to solve the inner puzzle of some of th [...]
And so this epic tetralogy closes; actually, this is rather the fourth volume of one long novel, because things didn’t start making a lick of sense before the third book, and even know there are lots of things I don’t understand. I intend to read the coda next, The Urth of the New Sun, which apparently will make things even clearer, although many people say that a second read-through might be required too.It was a wild ride, and a great one. Looking back, I see I gave the second book four st [...]
This series as a whole would have been a lot better if it hadn't been written by someone like Gene Wolfe. Great ideas marred by Wolfe's bizarrely reactionary politics, crammed full of misogyny and regressive shit from beginning to end. It's like wading through shit and occasionally finding a 20 dollar bill. Did not feel worth it in the end. Third book was p good though.
Staggeringly good as always. The series is so deep. and so rewards rereading, that it's hard to not dip back into it every few years. This final volume feels like its broken into three clear segments - the lazaret, the war and the autarchy - and each gives new insights into the world and, increasing;ly the underlying philosophical and religious underpinnings of the series. If you have made it this far alongside Severian, dear reader, you will not be disappointed. But it is no easy road.
Cool story, cool ending. I wish the author would stick to science fiction, though, because there is nothing more annoying than a scifi author who thinks he sounds all clever by adding science fact to his book (like trying to explain how the scifi stuff works with real science) but then getting it wrong. Antimatter does not have negative gravity, and a photon cannot travel at a different speed than another photon when both are traveling through the same medium. The story deserves five stars but f [...]
Thoughts on the full New Sun set here: hilbertthm90.wordpress/20
This is going to take some time.There is a frustration in science fiction that within at least certain currents of the genre, authors keep returning to the same ur-text. (There's a more accurate name for that, but I'm doing a thing, here.) Just as modern fantasy invariably borrows its basic plot structure--or, at least, a significant chunk of it does--from Tolkien's narrative in The Lord of the Rings and its oft-mocked plot of "bringing the Object of Power to the Place of Significance," sci-fi s [...]
My experience with fantasy trilogies or series has tended to be that the quality drops off in the last one. For instance, Lord of the Rings and His Dark Materials definitely fit this pattern of the "weak last book". Who's to say why this happens? All I know is, even the great Gene Wolfe isn't immune.Of course, the novel's still a four-starrer. It's just that structurally, I can't agree with Wolfe's choices to cram the first half of the book full of basically unrelated materials that seem almost [...]
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.The Citadel of the Autarch is a satisfying conclusion to Gene Wolfe’s The Book of the New Sun. (A fifth book, The Urth of the New Sun, is a coda to the original four books.) We’ve known all along that Severian the torturer would be the autarch by the end of his story, but his fascinating journey to the throne is what this saga is all about… on the surface, at least.What it’s really about, for those who want to see it, is the juxtaposition of future [...]
So now I have read the New Sun cycle more times than I can count (but at least a dozen), forward and backward and every which way. I just read it aloud to my wife for the second time. Yes, the whole thing. Well almost — we skipped the "play" chapter in the second volume. The first time I read it to her, I was careful never to explain the many mysteries unfolded within, in hopes she would enjoy the experience of discovery herself. This time I took the opposite approach, explaining every little [...]
(Volume 4 of 4 of "The Book of the New Sun.") Well, now I get it. I've never read anything else quite like this -- an epic sci-fi fantasy told entirely from the point of view of a character whose perspective is radically different from ours, leaving it to us to piece together the contours of his universe as well as, often, the details of the plot. The effect is totally uncanny, 1200 pages of sustained unease punctuated by stabs of realization and wonder, with what seems like worlds of material m [...]
I don't rate many books at five stars, and while the others were good, they varied between 3.5 (The Sword of the Lictor) and 4.0 (Shadow of the Torturer and Claw of the Conciliator). This one, though, is amazing. I've known since the beginning that I would have to read this a second (or fourth) time, but I will say this for Gene Wolfe: he answers enough questions to be satisfying but leaves many many more things open. Plus, the extent of Severian's unreliability (and a few probable reasons) real [...]
A good end to the series. I feel like this was the end of the road for this series. I know there is a 5th book, and maybe I just read them too quickly, but I have no interest in reading #5. I think I'll read this series again in the future just to see what I missed the first time around. Often I wondered if I was getting lost or if there was no path to begin with. Either way, like I said before, I enjoyed the journey and this series would be a good one to discuss in a group setting because I thi [...]
wow. The Book of the New Sun is psychedelic. like some kind of inverted nesting doll, whenever you are able to crack it open, you discover that what's inside is actually *bigger* than that in which it rested. this series has redefined science fiction/fantasy for me in a way that i thought impossible since i first completed the Dune series.
An absolutely fantastic series. I'm not huge science fiction fan, but this wasn't the usual genre of science fiction. This final novel tied up the threads in the usual intellectually stimulating Wolfe fashion, putting forward an interesting way of viewing life, the universe and everything. All in all an amazingly stimulating read.
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