Claw of the Conciliator, by Gene Wolfe

After Name of the Wind, this book was like a cool glass of water the morning after a night out.

In my review of Shadow of the Torturer, the first book in this series, I said that the main driver of wanting to read the other books was learning more about the world, not so much the characters. This book has turned that on it’s head.

Every character in this book (many of them first appearing in the first book) have a secret. Something interesting and completely the opposite of what you expected. I more than twice had the rug yanked out from under me about a character. Either their motivation, or their very being. And when I looked back it was so obvious, everything being right there for me to see, hiding in plain sight. That made it all the more satisfying that I didn’t see it until the author chose to reveal it.

The extremely enthralling world does not let up either. Every location exposes some interesting detail about the world. Every encounter shines a light on some bit of history, or new element to this deliciously deep universe.

I’m now into the third book, and was getting increasingly scared that there isn’t enough words left to fully expose all the secrets that have been hinted at. But I have just discovered that there is a fourth book in the series, so some of my worries have been calmed. I dearly hope this series doesn’t end like Lost, all build up and no reward.

Even if it does though, the ride has been fantastic so far. I can’t recommend this series highly enough. Read it!


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