This stunning finale to the gigantic Otherland tetralogy (City of Golden Shadow, etc.), a brilliant fusion of quest fantasy and technological SF, is sure to please Williams’s many fans. Otherland, a complete universe co-existent with the real world, incorporates elements of the Arabian Nights, the Alice and Oz books, the Neanderthal Age, the Trojan War, rewritten Roman history (Hannibal returns three centuries after his death to crush Rome, without elephants), as well as numerous nursery rhymes and fables. An enormous cast of courageous humans confronts monstrous insects, unimaginable dangers and all the appurtenances of fantastic adventure. At nearly 700 pages this is a mighty mouthful to swallow, but a well-crafted if convoluted plot sustains interest through the lengthy climax, which explains the inexplicable.
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