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The Death Gate Cycle: Serpent Mage by…
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The Death Gate Cycle: Serpent Mage (original 1992; edition 1992)

by Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman (Author)

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1,472105,064 (3.81)7
Member:utbw42
Title:The Death Gate Cycle: Serpent Mage
Authors:Margaret Weis
Other authors:Tracy Hickman (Author)
Info:Spectra (1993), Edition: First Thus, Paperback, 464 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Fantasy

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Serpent Mage by Margaret Weis (1992)

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English (8)  Dutch (2)  All languages (10)
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
I enjoyed this book more then any of the previous ones. Finally there were characters I found interesting and cared about, finally Alfred and Haplo see some character development (Haplo's did start in previous books, to be fair), finally some plot development! As fun as it was to discover the different worlds, I was getting impatient for hints of what the last 3 books were going to be about. ( )
  julie.bonjour | Aug 19, 2014 |
In the fourth book of the Deathgate series Alfred, Haplo (and Dog) travels to the fourth elemental plane, Chelestra the water-world. Besides the exciting plot and great characters we happen to know a lot more about one of the most original fantasy world. Looking forward the next book... ( )
  TheCrow2 | Apr 15, 2012 |
I didn't feel drawn into this one at all, and found myself skipping large sections just to find out a bit more about Alfred, the Sartan and the dog, and leaving the rest. I didn't find the story as interesting as the first two I read, and just found myself hunting for information to explain the characters I had read about previously. ( )
  Flit | Feb 5, 2010 |
After a somewhat lacklustre third entry, Weis and Hickman play to their strengths in 'Serpent Mage'. All the requisites of high fantasy are included, with elves, dwarves and magic vs. science. These factors are cleverly blended with the strong Death Gate scenario, brimming with originality and ideas. The setting does not overshadow the plot, with less premable and backstory than previous entries - Haplo's journey is central to the action and mayhem. Good characterisation and clever use of narrative styles create an engaging story, utilising the Death Gate scenario to almost reinvent an old angle. At times the story seems a little forced, with some trite dialogue and clumsy foreboding, however overall Serpent Mage is a worthwhile and inventive read. ( )
  SonicQuack | Oct 13, 2009 |
In the fourth volume of the Death Gate Cycle, a fantasy series I would have never discovered on my own, we meet our protagonists: Haplo and Alfred, bitter enemies of different races; Haplo, the Patryn, was forced to escape a death prison known as the Labyrinth, created by the Sartan, of which, Alfred is a member. Haplo, harboring a grudge against all that is Sartan slowly comes to see Alfred as an equal as their paths continually intertwine.

They find themselves on the water-world of Chelestra, separated by quite some distance. Alfred also finds that Haplo's inseparable dog has somehow ended up with him, and that the Sartan existing on this world are those that originally caused the Sundering in the first place. Haplo, meanwhile, finds himself caught up in a battle between the mensch (the term used to describe the humans, elves, and dwarves) and the deadly and powerful dragon-snakes. Additionally, the water of this world seems to nullify all Patryn and Sartan magic.

Haplo accompanies the three princesses (though one is really a boy in disguise, serving as a placeholder for the princess, whom he adores) to the lair of the dragon-snakes and discovers that they hold fealty to him and the Patryns. Accepting such hospitality as they give him, but always being wary of deception, he helps the mensch to return to their world and get the people ready for the migration to their next land, currently occupied by the inhospitable Sartan.

The worlds presented in these books are more or less fully realized, with enough back matter to make your head spin. The series itself isn't an example of a fantasy series that will knock your socks off and redefine the genre, but it does provide memorable characters and an intriguing plot that will definitely have you wanting more.

While Weis and Hickman may not be the next Tolkien or Lieber or Moorcock, they're probably just a tad better than most of those other authors who write Dungeons and Dragons series (theirs is Dragonlance).

The Death Gate Cycle will probably appeal to you if you find yourself reading D&D-based fiction (though it itself is not D&D-based), or if you like fantasy that isn't quite epic and isn't quite sword and sorcery, but at the same time, isn't at all recasted romance sitting in the wrong aisle at your bookstore. ( )
  aethercowboy | Jun 8, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Weis, Margaretprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hickman, Tracymain authorall editionsconfirmed
Hickman, Tracymain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Do I dare disturb the universe? --T. S. Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"
Dedication
Dedicated to my new granddaughter, Natalie Briana Baldwin, and to her mother and father, David and Joyce. --Margaret Weis
Dedicated to Don and Jeri Allphin with love -- Tracy Raye Hickman
First words
I visited my wrath upon Haplo this day.
Quotations
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Please distinguish between this Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman novel, Serpent Mage (Book 4 in the "Death Gate Cycle"), and the similarly titled novel, The Serpent Mage (Book 2 in the "Songs of Earth and Power" Series) by Greg Bear. Thank you.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553561405, Paperback)

After the four worlds Alfred has at last found  his people on Chelstra, the realm of sea. But his  travels have taught him to be cautious... and  Alfred soon realizes his caution is justified, even  among his own kind. The one person Alfred can trust  is, strangely, Haplo the Patryn. But Haplo's lord  has decreed all Sartan to be the enemy, and Haplo  dares not go against his lord. Now the companions  have arrived in a land where humans, elves, and  dwarves have learned to live in peace. Unaware of an  even greater threat to all the realms, it is  Sartan and Patryn who will disrupt this alliance of the  lesser races in their struggle to gain control of  all four worlds. Only Alfred and Haplo realize  that they have a much older -- and more powerful --  enemy than each other...

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:41:58 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

As Alfred and Haplo struggle with their consciences while bringing discord to the humans, elves, and dwarves on Chelestra, an even greater enemy is emerging.

(summary from another edition)

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