According to Library Journal: "Poilar Crookleg's dream becomes reality when he is designated leader of a group of 40 young men and women chosen by the village of Jespodar to participate in the yearly pilgrimage to the top of the mammouth mountain known as "The Wall," a journey from which no sane person has heretofore returned. Veteran sf author Silverberg is a consummate raconteur with a flair for metaphor. Like the ocean in his Face of the Waters, the mountain in his latest work represents both a physical and a spiritual obstacle for the human spirit. Fans of epic adventure will not be disappointed."
This is an exceptional science fiction book, not only because the story is masterfully created and told by Silverberg, but also because it is a fascinating metaphysical/ spiritual exploration regarding the existence and nature of god or gods. Along with the pilgrims, we readers experience disillusionment, and the expansion of our consciousness to include experience of a new and greater reality. I read this book 12 years ago, yet some of its vividly rendered scenes are still painted in my imagination, as well as the religious and metaphysical questions the book raises....
Best sci-fi/fantasy book I have read in many moons, and I read a lot of books. Highly recommended.
A nice mix of "Form follows function", Darwinian adaptation to environment, a shot of Gene Plasticity, and a heroic quest. Kept me reading.