The story of Patera Silk, a devout priest whose destiny is wrapped up with the gods he serves, takes place within the Whorl, a vast, cylindrical starship that has traveled for generations and is crumbling into disrepair. Through a strange and amazing series of events, Silk finds himself descending to base thievery, running afoul of a notorious crime lord, befriending a cyborg soldier, and encountering at least one of the gods of Mainframe.
She shook her head almost imperceptibly. "All that abstinence! And now you've seen a goddess. Me. Was it worth it?"
"Yes, Loving Kypris."
She laughed again, delighted. "Why?"
The question hung in the silence of the baking sellaria while Silk tried to kick his intellect awake. At last he said haltingly, "We are so much like beasts, Kypris. We eat and we breed; then we spawn and die. The most humble share in a higher existence is worth any sacrifice."
But when Silk encounters the Outsider, who may be a God of a very different sort, all his beliefs are shaken to the core, and his life swiftly takes a messianic turn. In a rousing climax, Silk becomes the reluctant leader of a political rebellion against the corrupt Ayuntamiento, who rule the city-state of Viron.
It is not necessary to have read Wolfe's Book of the New Sun series, which takes place many centuries earlier, to enjoy the Long Sun novels, but keen-eyed readers will find many clues as to the origin of the Whorl and its gods in those stories. Further, although Wolfe's reputation for literary precision and trickery is well deserved, the Long Sun series (which continues in Epiphany of the Long Sun) is one of the more accessible places to start appreciating the author's treasures. --Therese Littleton
Litany of the Long Sun is a sequel of sorts to Gene Wolfe's groundbreaking, four-volume The Book of the New Sun (1980-83) and its coda, Urth of the New Sun (1987). Read morePublished 17 days ago by Matt Hlinak
Reading makes your smarter. My interpretation of the content is arbitrary and irrelevant.
5 stars because it is indeed a book with words.
The Book of the Long Sun is really one long multi-volume work. This review of only the first half of the multi-volume "book" will therefore be inadequate. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Davis Keck
Great book by a great author. Gene Wolfe is considered one of the most significant science fiction writers of the 20th century, but I would say that his work transcends genres. Read morePublished 21 months ago by RJ
... to the world created in The Book of the New Sun. The story here is gripping, and the world is thoroughly convincing. I look forward to reading the Long Sun books ... Read morePublished on July 20, 2011 by Antigone Smith
The Book of the Long Sun series is stunning in its religious allegory while maintaining a physically real world. Read morePublished on November 24, 2010 by Christopher Zirk
Wolfe's novels have been said to be poetic, full of prose and the author himself has been said to be the modern day Melville. Read morePublished on August 22, 2010 by M-I-K-E 2theD
This fantasy novel is very similar in style to Neil Stephenson's Anathem. As in that work, the author in Litany of the Long Sun constructs an alien culture and landscape centered... Read morePublished on May 24, 2010 by Steven M. Anthony
There are billions and billions of stars out there, but none of them are especially close. Absent hyperspace jumps, relativistic speeds, or reliable hibernation technologies, the... Read morePublished on April 5, 2010 by Michael Lichter