City of Golden Shadow (Otherland, #1)
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City of Golden Shadow

by Tad Williams
Release date: 1996
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: science fiction

The highly successful Tailchaser's Song and his magnificent, best-selling trilogy, Memory, Sorrow and Thorn, brought Tad Williams worldwide acclaim as a master of fantasy. Now he opens a whole new dimension of the imagination with OTHERLAND: City of Golden Shadow. This first volume in a memorizing story takes us to our own near-future when a global conspiracy at the highest levels threatens to sacrifice our Earth for the promise of a far more exclusive place – Otherland, a universe where any fantasy can be made real, but which is ruled by Earth's wealthiest and most ruthless power brokers, The Grail Brotherhood.

Otherland. Shrouded by secrecy, it is home to the wildest dreams and darkest nightmares. Incredible amounts of money have been lavished on it. The best minds of two generations have labored to build it. And somehow, bit by bit, it is claiming the Earth's most valuable resource – its children.

Only a few have become aware of the danger. Fewer still are willing or able to take up the challenge of this perious and seductive realm. But every age has its heroes, and unusual times call for unusual champions.

Renie Sulaweyo, a teacher and the backbone of her family, proud of her African heritage, has fought all her life simply to get by. She has never wanted to be a hero. But when her young brother is struck down by a bizarre and mysterious illness, Renie swears to save him. When people around her begin to die, she realizes she has stumbled onto something she is not meant to know, a terrifying secret from which there is no turning back...

!Xabbu is a Bushman, come to the city to learn skills which may save the spirit of his tribe. With the heart of a poet and the soul of a shaman, he will journey with Renie on this quest into the very heart of darkness...

Paul Jonas is lost, seemingly adrift in space and time. As he flees from the bloody battlefields of World War I to a castle in the sky, and onward to lands beyond imagining, he must not only evade his terrifying pursurers, but solve the terrible riddle of his own identity...

Fourteen-year-old Orlando is also the invincible barbarian Thargor, but only in his imagination. However, youth and frailty are not enough to get you excused from saving the world...

And Mister Sellers, a strange old man on a military base, a prisoner of both the government and his own body, may be the greatest myster of all. Is he part of The Grail Brotherhood? Does he oppose them? Or, as he sits like a spider at the center of a vast web, does he have ambitions of his own?

The answers will only be found in Otherland...

(updated 2017-01-16)

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