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on 10 September 2017
I loved this series when it came out and having re-read it still love it. Weiss and Hickman's best work (and I have read a few). Annoyingly they seem to have ran out of steam with their recent efforts. I would say it is in this volume the series really starts to come into it's own and the long term narrative across the whole series begins to suck you in, propelling you to get your hands on the next book as son as you have finished the previous. That's not to say Dragon Wing wasn't a great book, the characters in it being some of the most central to the later volumes and some early development of those characters really brings you along, the introduction to the world also providing more than enough wonder and excitement. I enjoyed the 2nd book too, Elven Star, but no where near as much, Zifnab being the main source of entertainment who is basically Fizban from DragonLance. A great series with the only minor bump being the second book, this is the one though where it really get's to it's own, but he complete scale of imagination you are introduced to in Dragon Wing makes that possibly my favourite, just. As for he later ones, I won't mention them as if thinking to buy this you wont want to know too much, but basically they rock.
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on 16 June 1998
The third volume of the Death Gate Cycle just blew me away when I read it. The story takes a darker turn, looks at death and our perceptions of it, and becomes more depressing than the other books of the series, while maintaining the fast pace and enjoyability I have come to expect from Weis and Hickman. The cast of characters, again renovated, as in the first two, is by far superior to Dragon Wing and Elven Star. Living, dead, and undead, all the characters are made real by the vivid writing styles of the two authors. This book is disturbing, but also amazing. Even if you didn't like the first two, they're worth it just to get to this one. A couple warnings, though: first, this book contains some major violence, and I wouldn't recommend it for readers younger than, say 13. Another, on a different topic: make sure you have Serpent Mage handy when you finish this book, the ending is a direct lead-in to the fourth book. Amazingly enough, Weis and Hickman manage to keep the quality of the series nearly as high as this book for the last four volumes!
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on 10 June 1998
This book renewed my faith in the Weis/Hickman team. I read the first two books of Death Gate and was disapointed. I picked up Firesea out of curiosity. But it was a lot better than the first two. Somehow, the characters seem more real. It's also funny to see how Haplo won't admit he likes Alfred, who's supposed to be his enemy. Alfred's search for meaning is made funnier by the fact that he's growing a spine through necessity. The plot was well thought-out, and chilling in some places. Of course, in others I had to stop and laugh for a while. The origin of the Sartan and Patryn is ironic, because the mensch they hold in disdain are what they came from. I ended up worried about the lazar, and how their war will turn out. At the end, it left me wondering very hard about what was going to happen in the next one.
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on 28 November 1998
I just finished reading this book about an hour ago. It was really awesome, but you have to have read the others to understand. *If you haven't, you may get confused by the following.* I really sympathize with Alfred because I can see how much necromancy hurts him, how much it hurts the dead, and how much it can hurt everyone on Abarrach. I also felt really super sorry for Jera and Jonathan. I cried, even! I was glued to this book and read it all in two days! I'm liking how Haplo and Alfred are at least starting to get along. I also agree with Anna about the last line-- way funny, and very interesting... thought provoking... I can't wait to read the next book!
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on 5 June 1996
Fire Sea was a wonderful book - I enjoyed it immensely! Dragon Wing (the first Death Gate book) was kind of slow, but if you can get past it, get ready for some great fantasy adventure! Elven Star and Fire Sea will blow you out of the water and leave you begging for more! Fire Sea is an extremely serious book - morbid, bloody, depressing - all of these words describe it well. Fire Sea is also one of the most important books in the Death Gate Cycle because Haplo and Alfred discover that there IS a higher power in the universe. If it wasn't for this important discovery, the war might have been lost. I'll stop there, so I don't give anything away! You should read it!
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on 18 November 1998
This book is extraordinarily grim--the other books in the series have dark elements, but this is by far the most uncompromisingly bleak. However, that doesn't make it any less of a book--Abaraach, as with all of the septet's worlds, is vivdly imagined, and the interaction between Haplo and Alfred is very well-done and interesting.
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on 21 August 1998
I have read two other books of the Death Gate Cycle and this one is the most memorable. Haplo and his hated nemis by heritage become unlikely traveling companions to a depressing underground world that I can only describe as living Hell. Sent to investigate this world by his master, Haplo arrives in Abaraach to investigate it's inhabitants and finds it inhabited not only by that hated race, the Sartan, but by their dead, who have become grizzly resurected hellish abominations. Necromancy quickly capture's Haplo's interest and he seeks to learn this forbidden art and take it back to his master, until the companions are captured by the remnants of the living inhabitants. The saying "some things are better left buried" takes on a whole new meaning later in this book as the poor souls of the dead trapped in indescribable agony inside grizzly remains of their bodies are rallied together against the living, whom they outnumber. I won't give any more of it away, but I will say that in it's own sickening way, it is funny when the whole place goes insane in the end and Haplo and his Sartan "friend" have to fight to escape. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasy and who has plenty of imagination.
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on 2 July 1998
I just finished this book, like, five minutes ago. It was wonderful. I couldn't quite picture myself in the scene, wierd, but good. The way they pull all of their plots together is ingenious! It is also dark, with cold-blooded murders described coldly and matter-of-factly. I could have read it last year, though, and I'm only thirteen. I read it all last night, got up early, read this morning, and wrote this. It depresed me and made me think about how I think about stuff, but it was a good experience. I have to read the next one. The last line in the epilogue made me laugh out loud, not because it was comical but because of the authors' pure talent! Oh, it was too good.
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on 11 June 1998
Fire Sea happened to be one of my favorites in the Death Gate Cycles because it was an action packed story that rarely had a lapse in the action. Also this novel really starts to show the true power of the Rune magic that has me completly blown away, the authors with their use of the possibilities for the basis of magic was ingenious. This story also starts to develop the characters of Haplo and his dog along with Alfred the bumbling sartan. This novel is just a prelude of what is to come in the later novels suck as Into the Labyrinth and Seventh Gate. My opinion is to keep on reading the series to the end, this is one of the all time great series in fantasy writing.
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on 20 June 1997
This was a great fantasy read, and a must for any fan of the DEATH GATE CYCLE. This world becomes extremely important in the last three novels of the series, so don't miss it. It is a great book, though alot more morbid than previous books by the same authors. It has a quick pace, but not as quick as book 2, ELVEN STAR. The only reason I gave this book a 9 instead of a 10 is because I enjoyed the first and second more than this one because their plots were quicker and more intricate. But this is still a book that you must buy.
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