Final installment of Wolfe's highly ambitious, inordinately complicated, far-future tetralogy (CaldÇ of the Long Sun, 1994, etc.), bringing to an end the story of the huge, multigenerational starship, The Whorl, and its young priest turned ruler, Patera Silk. The publishers assert that this volume may be read and enjoyed independently of the other three--but with little justification: It's far too intricate and abstruse for that. Neither does Wolfe provide anything so mundane as a recap, though he does offer a long list of ``Gods, Persons, and Animals Mentioned in the Text'' that might help refresh flagging memories. Heavyweight masterpiece or barely intelligible morass? You'll have to read all four volumes consecutively to stand even a remote chance of deciding which.