This can be viewed as an extension of the fairy story to fantasy, or a reduction of science fiction to the same genre. Again walking a tightrope between two worlds, it is a physical adventure story with metaphysical guidelines, an ambitious attempt. Wystan, Bridgit and Hadrian, blind, lame and deaf, live on the edge of the Waste after the Destruction and one day decide they have to find the World. They are Joined by two other youngsters, and the five make their young pilgrim's progress through the forest; they hide and run from Stragglers and Thieves; they are helped by Christopher (none other than the Saint) and taken to the cottage of a Mrs. Hospitality for a time; finally they cross through still more dangerous terrain-' over a river-- up a mountain... The book requires faith as well as the suspension of disbelief and it is assisted by a certain literary quality in the writing. Occasionally colloquialisms splinter the mood. Its total success is incalculable and may depend to some extent on the personal, subjective response.