"There is a place, a black mountain that reaches to the sky – that covers up the stars. You must find it. That is where all your answers are."
She brought that message to Paul Jonas in a dream. He knew her so well her oddly beautiful winged form, her sad eyes – but although the woman who described herself as a "shattered mirror" was achingly familiar, Pauls' memories of who she was and what she meant to him had been removed... Yet her cryptic messages were his only hope to survive the incredibly complex virtual reality network known as Otherland.
"All of you have been called. you will find that which you seek as the sun sets on Priam's Walls."
Orlando Gardinar had learned this from the mysterious sleeping woman. But what did it mean? And how could a terminally ill teenage boy, defending his life in a simulated Egypt where gods and mythical creatures were waging bloody war, possibly answer this summons?
"The Grail Brotherhood has built the most powerful, sophisticated simulation network imaginable. At the same time, they have manipulated and injured the minds of thousands of children."
This proclamation from the mysterious Mr. Sellars confirmed what Renie Sulaweyo had feared to be true when she first broke into the Otherland network in a desperate search for the cause of her brother Stephen's deathlike coma.
Now Renie, the Bushman !Xabbu, and their companions find themselves navigating a trecherous and ever-changing course – from a strangely unfinished land, to a seemingly endless labyrinthine House – pursuing a sociopathic killer who has stolen one of their group. To Renie's despair she is no closer to uncovering the secrets which could help save Stephen's life, and now it appears that something may be very wrong with the Otherland network itself.
As Paul Jonas, Orlando, Renie and the rest strive to reach Priam's Walls, in the heart of Troy, they know that their quest is running perilously short of time. For the Grail Brotherhood has finally set the date for the Ceremony when they will make their bid for immortality, and thereby seal the fate of Earth's children forever.
But before Renie and her allies can hope to stop the Brotherhood, they must first solve the mysteries of Otherland itself, and confront its darkest secret - an entity known only as the Other...
Tad Williams (US, born 1957) has held more jobs than any sane person should admit to – singing in a band, selling shoes, managing a financial institution, throwing newspapers, and designing military manuals, to name just a few. He also hosted a syndicated radio show for ten years, worked in theater and television production, taught both grade-school and college classes, and worked in multimedia for a major computer firm. He is cofounder of an interactive television company, and is currently writing comic books and film and television scripts as well. Tad and his family live in London and the San Francisco Bay Area.