Shadow of the Torturer, final chapters (31-35)
Ready for the final round? After this, we have a week off (to mirror the break in the narrative) and resume with chapters one to three of the next volume, Claw of the Conciliator in two weeks.
Summary: Severian and Dorcas catch up with Baldanders and Talos, along with a new associate, Jolenta, and take part in their play. They head north, out of the great gate out of Nessus. Severian did initially want to return the Claw to the Pelerines, but learns they too have left the city.
I've a couple of thoughts here. Firstly, based on earlier comments, Severian coming across Baldanders and Talos again is absolutely no surprise to anyone reading.
My second thought concerns Jolenta. She's beautiful in an artificial way, has little energy and struggles to move. Presumably she's the waitress from earlier in the book, treated by Dr. Talos who offered to make her beautiful. And this, along with the effect on her health, is for me perhaps the most horrible thing I've come across in the book so far- and tells us perhaps something of the sort of people Talos and Baldanders are.