Mountain of Black Glass - Tad Williams


(volume Three of OTHERLAND)

Read about Book One ----> HERE <----
Read about Book Two ----> HERE <----

ISBN - 9781-1-85723-990-4

AUTHOR - Tad Williams

BEST-SELLERS - the 'Memory, Sorrow and Thorn' saga

SYNOPSIS - Otherland is the realm of the imagination where anything can happen, a triumph of technology, a virtual world of enormous complexity and possibility. But Otherland is owned and controlled by a secret cartel, The Brotherhood, whose motives remain shrouded in mystery.

Trapped in this extra-ordinary world, the quest of a small band of companions to unlock the secrets of Otherland is running perilously short of time. For the Brotherhood has finally set a date for the Ceremony when they will make their bid for immortality. The journey will lead them through strangely unfinished land and an endlessly labyrinthine house. They will suffer the ferocity of the siege if Troy and battle against the might of the Egyptian gods on their journey to find the Mountain of the Black Glass. But even there, the danger will not be over. Otherland's darkest secret, an entity known only as the Other, awaits.

EXCERPT - For a moment Jongleur was off-balance. Did Jiun suspect some kind of double-cross? Or - and here was a truly disturbing thought - did the Chinese magnate, with his vast resources, know something that even Jongleur did not know. But to hesitate could only fuel suspicion, if Jiun was feeling such a thing. 'Ofcourse. I had planned that we would all partake of the Ceremony together, but no favour is too great for one who has given me.... and the project, of much timely support.'

FL Speak -  The chase is finally on. Tad Williams starts the beginning of the end with this volume. The band of unlikely survivors finally meet again with the exception of Gardiner and Fredericks who are still on their adventurous journey as they try to find the others. Renie becomes the unofficial leader of the group and decides to go after the lighter that the killer took with him. The lighter, if you remember, can be used to open gates between worlds. Williams' imagination soars with the worlds he creates and even though some of the different worlds look straight out of a kids' drawing book, its the accurate depiction of the surroundings and characters that makes them so real.

Meanwhile, Dread is still using Li's sim and before long Martine falls into his clutches. As Rennie and !Xabbu try to free their friend, Fredericks and Gardiner drop smack into the middle of a civil war in ancient Egypt. I loved the way Williams was gradually leading the way for a final showdown. Looks like all roads lead to Troy. It was nice to see blind Martine finally able to use the simulation to her advantage as she changed Renie's sim into a man and turned !Xabbu's baboon to a human. As the group head over to Rome, Paul, still battling his loss of memory, makes his way to Troy as Odysseus.

In the real world, the Australian police finally has a whiff of Dread and they try to find clues that would lead to the capture of the serial killer. Meanwhile Fredericks and Gardiner manage to escape Egpyt with the help of the Circle members and stumble into troy where Gardiner is the famous  Achilles. As the people gather in Troy, Gardiner, Fredericks and Paul are stuck in the Greek camp while Renie and the others are behind enemy lines. The final chapter is as exciting as it can get. Dread manages to get back to Otherland and deals with a final shock that sends shock reeling among all the members of the squad and all the members of the Grail Brotherhood as well.

Stunning ending to the third book and the story is now poised for an epic finale. Tad Williams story telling is getting better and better with every single volume and if you still haven't read this epic sci-fi series, you are seriously missing something.

My Rating - 4.2 out of 5.

PRICE - INR 450/- from Orbit publication house (Paperback - 2009) 

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