This recommendation comes from Paul Weimer: "@skiffyandfanty co-host, @sfsignal irregular, & @sffaudio foederatus." Follow him on twitter @PrinceJvstin and check out his blog here.
The Shadow of the Torturer (1980) by Gene Wolfe
"The first volume of The Book of the New Sun. The Earth is old and the
sun is dying. In the great Citadel of the City Imperishable, Severian -
apprentice to the torturer's guild - betrays his oath. Exiled, he begins
his phantasmagoric odyssey through the perilous world of the deep,