The Citadel of the Autarch

by Gene Wolfe
The Citadel of the Autarch (The Book of the New Sun #4) - Gene Wolfe 7.46   31

John W. Campbell Memorial Award 1984. Nebula Award nominee 1983.

"Here I pause, having carried you, reader, from fortress to fortress from the walled city of Thrax, dominating the upper Acis, to the castel of the giant, dominating the northern shore of remote Lake Diuturna. Thrax was for me the gateway to the wild mountains. So, too, this lonely tower was to prove a gateway the very threshold of the war...

"Here I pause. If you have no desire to plunge into the struggle beside me, reader, I do not condemn you. It is no easy one."

So ends The Sword of the Lictor, the third volume of "The Book of the New Sun." Now in this fourth and climactic volume, 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.

Not since "The Lord of the Rings" has there been a work of such magnitude, straddling literary genres to create a new epic for our time and beyond. With the completion of "The Book of the New Sun," a new world has been opened and history made. While the underground audience has grown, authors and reviewers alike have hailed Gene Wolfe's masterpiece.


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Release date December 1982
Details updated August 23, 2022

The Book of the New Sun :: Series

Series contains 4 primary works and has 5 total works.

Main series Solar Cycle
Related series The Book of the New Sun (omnibus editions)

The Shadow of the Torturer (The Book of the New Sun #1) 7.26   105
The Claw of the Conciliator (The Book of the New Sun #2) 7.34   58
The Sword of the Lictor (The Book of the New Sun #3) 7.86   38
The Citadel of the Autarch (The Book of the New Sun #4) 7.46   31
The Castle of the Otter 6.00   1

Community Reviews & Rates

Seregil of Rhiminee
3701 ratings
260 reviews
3594 posts
October 14, 2007
10 / 10

In my opinion The Citadel of the Autarch is a nice and fascinating book. It's the fourth part of The Book of the New Sun series. I like this series very much. All the books are interesting and worth reading, if you like Gene Wolfe's writing style. There are some people who don't like Gene Wolfe, but I like his books. If you've read the other parts and liked them, I can recommend this book to you.

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