I recently finished The Urth of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe, a coda to his most famous series, The Book of the New Sun (which I wrote about in two halves). This post will contain lots of spoilers, although I’m going to continue beating my drum about how it’s okay to see spoilers for this particular series.
To review: The Book of the New Sun took place in a far-flung post-apocalyptic future, where technology is advanced, but the general populace lacks access and education, so that it plays out like a medieval fantasy. The story followed Severian, former apprentice of the guild of torturers, who is destined for the throne of the Autarch. It is a coming of age story in which Severian comes to reckon with an upbringing that trained him to do something that he could not morally accept.
The Urth of the New Sun follows the events of The Book of the New Sun, but it is thematically completely distinct. It is no longer a coming of age story at all. Instead, it reads like Christian meta fiction.