The Sword of the Lictor
by Gene Wolfe (Published by Timescape)
Nominated for Best Novel in 1982
Severian, the disgraced apprentice torturer, has reached his place of exile – Thrax, the city of Windowless Rooms, where he must take up his post as Lictor, executioner and torturer. However, he flees the city and heads into the mountains, to meet the mysterious Dr Talos.