Flights of Fantasy

Monday, December 13, 2004

River of Blue Fire (Otherland II) – Tad Williams

River of Blue Fire - Tad WilliamsCategory: Fantasy

Let me start by saying that if you read the first book in this series and found it so confusing you decided not to read any more, then you should get this, the second book. Start out by reading the ‘story so far’ section. Even if you have just read the first book and followed it I’d still suggest reading the synopsis. I found one or two little things in it that I’d missed when reading the first book.

Oh and if you haven’t read the first book yet and you think you might like to, stop reading this and go here for a review of that one.

This book takes up where the first one left off, but since you already know the characters and the situation, it’s a lot easier to follow. The format is the same, switching to another group every couple of chapters to follow their part of the story.

Renie and !Xabbu are trapped in Otherland with the group they met towards the end of the last book. Paul Jonas is also still trapped in another part of Otherland, being pursued by the enemy. Early on you learn that one of the group with Renie is no longer who he or she seems to be but you have to wait until the end of the book to find out who it is.

This book takes more time to explore the concept of Otherland and why it has been created. The characters slowly come to a realisation of what it’s creators ultimately hope to achieve from their creation. There is more exploration of the creator’s interpersonal problems and of the relationships developing within the group trapped in Otherland. There is also more of the difference between Renie’s very technological city-dweller view versus !Xabbu’s spiritual bushman outlook.

The individual lands within Otherland are well described and if you’re an avid reader you will recognise some of the worlds described (if you haven’t already). I like this aspect of the book, I get a feeling of being comfortable in this new world because there’s something familiar about it. A bit like going the house of someone new for the first time and finding an old pair of your slippers there waiting for you.

I enjoyed this book more than the first one, it made me glad that I persevered, I hope you enjoy it too.

Rating: 6/10

The Otherland Series:
1. City of Golden Shadow
2. River of Blue Fire
3. Mountain of Black Glass
4. Sea of Silver Light
City of Golden Shadow - Tad WilliamsMountain of Black Glass - Tad WilliamsSea of Silver Light - Tad Williams


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