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The Claw of the Conciliator: The Book of the New Sun, Book 2 | [Gene Wolfe]

The Claw of the Conciliator: The Book of the New Sun, Book 2

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.

Gene Wolfe's "The Book of the New Sun" is one of speculative fiction's most-honored series. In a 1998 poll, Locus Magazine rated the series behind only "The Lord of the Rings" and The Hobbit as the greatest fantasy work of all time.

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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.

Listen to more in the Book of the New Sun series.

©1982 Gene Wolfe; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Nebula Award, Best Novel, 1982

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (325 )
5 star
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4 star
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Overall
3.9 (202 )
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3 star
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1 star
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Story
4.2 (198 )
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Cristina Torres 07-03-10 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    48
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    "Good not as good as the first, but good."

    I feel like all these books end abruptly. I guess that is what you get when you take a huge book and break it into 4 parts. I long for the ways of french romanticist literature when a 1400 page book like the Count of Monty Cristo got published commonly. Anyway. It is good. Though I noticed that whoever put the cover art together spelled Conciliator wrong (or the people who listed it on audible did, either way someone screwed up).

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason 09-19-14
    Jason 09-19-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "What is the Claw?"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Claw of the Conciliator to be better than the print version?

    I enjoyed the audio version more than the printed text because Davis so carefully brings out the subtle, deliberate, inconsistencies in the main character's first person recitation of events. He has a melodious voice which is easy to listen to for hours on end.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Irene Thornleigh, Australia 04-27-14
    Irene Thornleigh, Australia 04-27-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
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    20
    20
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    Story
    "At least spell the title correctly."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    This book could have been one chapter of the next one. Just goes on and on and on and . . . .


    Would you ever listen to anything by Gene Wolfe again?

    I'll try the next book in the series before I give up. The first one was very good.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Ennui.


    Any additional comments?

    Every time I opened the book the misspelling of the title on the "cover" was annoying.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kellan 04-23-14
    Kellan 04-23-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    9
    6
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    Story
    "Confusing and too metaphorical"
    Would you try another book from Gene Wolfe and/or Jonathan Davis?

    No not from this author, but I enjoyed the narrator.


    Has The Claw of the Conciliator turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No I still love sci-fi, but this was not a story that was easy to follow, nor one that rewarded the reader for doing so.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    This could never be made into a movie.


    Any additional comments?

    I know that people are saying things like the prose makes it worth while, but I beg to differ. What makes a story good is just that, the story. In this case the story really doesn't give the listener anything solid to go on. It's incredibly confusing and disconnected and there really isn't a point to the tale.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    10-02-12
    10-02-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    4
    4
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    "good book, nice read, mid series book"
    If you could sum up The Claw of the Conciliator in three words, what would they be?

    complex, layered, fascinating


    What did you like best about this story?

    nuanced and adult


    What does Jonathan Davis bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    mostly gives greater context - age, experience, personality


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    not possible nor desirable, its a book (series) to be soaked in slowly


    Any additional comments?

    looking forward to books 3 and 4!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Benjamin Kalamazoo, MI, United States 08-06-12
    Benjamin Kalamazoo, MI, United States 08-06-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    118
    8
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    0
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    "Great if you like all middle..."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    No, I wouldn't, because it gives no sense of resolution. This is the second of the series and like the first the book begins in the middle and ends in the middle. I picked it up because the world the author is painting is an interesting one, so I figured I'd give the series a second chance. However as a story the book doesn't hold up well. The language is imaginative, descriptive and enjoyable to read/listen to. You feel immersed as you're traveling along with the character, Severian, through his journey. In fact it picks up right where the last one left off. Quite exactly so and because the last book had no ending, this is more like a continuation of the first than a second book. Unfortunately, like the first, it can not stand on its own. With no ending, there's no emotional payoff. For me, I need that piece of closure. This book essentially just runs out of pages, as if there's more to be read, but someone has stolen those chapters (or opted to sell them to you in guise of another novel). To me, that "style" is disingenuous and feels like a cheat. So no matter the raves this series has gotten, I think I'm going to take a pass on the rest of it.


    What could Gene Wolfe have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Opt for a more conventional story form with a hook, middle, ending. Trite I know, restrictive I know, but the forms exist because they supply a need. I don't mind some ambiguity and I understand the need to keep a series going. However, to get me to follow along and need an occasional piece of cake and not just a trail of crumbs.


    Which character – as performed by Jonathan Davis – was your favorite?

    The entire story is basically told from the point of view of Severian. Some small characterizations are done, but they are thin, basically Serverian's characterizations of them, not Jonathan Davis's. Evoking Severian, Davis does an adequate job of and he's a good narrator. I just think the story limits him.


    Was The Claw of the Conciliator worth the listening time?

    No. On it's own, this book does not stand. The series, taken as a whole may, but a book needs to stand on its own merits for it to be worth my time. This one does not.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm really torn on this series. I get the stylistic choices that have been made here and I respect that, but I have to be honest. I simply didn't enjoy it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edward United States 04-06-13
    Edward United States 04-06-13 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Disappointment"

    I purchased this book, because I wanted to see how the series ended. But couldn't finish it. Mr. Wolfe, starts to go off on tangents, which do not really follow the main story line. For example, he spends approximately 30 minutes of time reviewing a story in side a book, that the main character is reading. Next, he spends a great amount of time, retelling a play that the main character had a part in. This series had such potential, but I couldn't keep going on with the series, or even the book, due to these diversions.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra L. Jacob US 07-27-10
    Sandra L. Jacob US 07-27-10 Member Since 2008

    Sleo

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Hated it"

    Did not finish. I know Wolfe is supposed to be some kind of god in the fantasy world, but I could not listen to any more about this guy who broke a woman's legs, beheaded her, then laughed.

    0 of 12 people found this review helpful
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