The World of Tiers: Vol. One contains books 1, 2 and 3 of the series. What Philip Farmer writes best is strange worlds and strange creatures and action, action, action. All of it is found here in spades. The concept of multiple worlds controlled by highly advanced and immortal but petty and jealous "lords" gives him licence to write Doc Savage type pulp adventures on a grand scale. Not much time is spent on the past but in what happens to the characters in the here and now.
Book one intruduces us to Robert Wolff who stumbles upon a doorway to a new world. The word itself is the star of this book and the entire series is named for it as it is the World of Tiers. Not a round planet but a series of plateaus one on top of the other. Each plateau is basically a continent and instead of being separated by oceans are separated by 30,000 and 60,000 foot mountains which have to be climbed to reach the next continent. The Lord of this world lives atop it in a giant palace. Wolff gets to know this world with the help of the enigmatic Kickaha as he strives to save his new love. And Wolff is greeted by a surprize at the end of the journey.
Book two continues the adventures of Wolff as we see him fight for his life though world after world of his deranged father, again trying to save his love. This time he must team up with a cadre of back stabbing relatives, other Lords who would just a soon kill each other but must try to work together to kill their father. Farmer again gives pulp style action as all the characters are placed in near constant jeopardy through the book.
Book three occurs during the events of book two but back on the World of Tiers. This time Kickaha takes the stage as our main character, a place he keeps for the next 3 books as well. Strange things are afoot and the ever tricky Kickaha must fight and think his way though them. Hunted by the Half-horse who want his scalp and the evil Bellers who want him dead so they may take over all of humanity and all of the worlds of the Lords, he has his work cut out for him. With a little help from an unlikely ally he may win.
If you want rich character development you may want to pass. But if you like adventure and pulp action this is for you. And if you love alien words and creatures look no further. It really doesn't get much more out there than Philip Farmer, that's why people love to read him.