The Seventh Gate is the thrilling conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Death Gate Cycle by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. In this tale of treachery, power, and heroism, Alfred, Haplo, and Marit embark on a journey of death and discovery as they seek to enter the dreaded Seventh Gate. Encountering enemies both old and new, they unleash a magic no power can control, damning themselves to an apocalypse of unimagined proportion in a final struggle between good and evil.
Thousands of pages have been spent getting to this seventh and final book in the massive Death Gate Cycle (Into the Labyrinth). Only the most voracious fans of Weis and Hickman will feel it was worth the effort; anyone else will find that incomprehensible (and poorly sketched) landscapes and tedious prose make this volume both dizzying and dull. Here, Marit (a sorceress), Hugh the Hand, Alfred the Sartan and Haplo the Patryn join forces to stop various nefarious (or at least misguided and misunderstood) villains as they try to subjugate each other's races, get to Death's Gate and destroy the world as they know it. A significant portion of the more interesting lore and stories (of elves who imprison their souls in ornate boxes, etc.), however, gets little more than footnotes, an epilogue or a short mention in the appendices. While these addenda seem an attempt to add literary flavor to this hodgepodge of zombies, sorcerors, dragons and a schizophrenically postmodern God who occasionally thinks he's James Bond, they succeed only in upping the page count.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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1 . Great Series
Posted April 25, 2012 by C. Perrry , MichiganVery enjoyable read.
November 30, 1995
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Excerpt from The Seventh Gate by Margaret Weis
ABRI: THE LABYRINTH
Vasu stood on the wall above the gates of the city of Abri, stood silent and thoughtful as the gates boomed shut beneath his feet. It was dawn, which meant, in the Labyrinth, nothing more than a graying of night's black. But this dawn was different than most. It was more glorious than most . . . and more terrifying. It was brightened by hope, darkened by fear
It was a dawn which saw the city of Abri, in the very center of the Labyrinth, still standing, victorious, after a terrible battle with its most implacable enemies.
It was a dawn smudged with the smoke of funeral pyres; a dawn in which the living could draw a tremulous breath and dare to hope life might be better.
It was a dawn lit by a lurid red glow on the far distant horizon, a red glow that was brightening, strengthening. Those Patryns who guarded the city walls turned their eyes to that strange and unnatural glow, shook their heads, spoke of it in low and ominous tones.
"It bodes nothing good," they said grimly.
Who could blame them for their dark outlook? Not Vasu. Certainly not Vasu, who knew what was transpiring. He would have to tell them soon, destroy the joy of this dawning.
"That glow is the fire of battle," he would have to say to his people. "A battle raging for control of the Final Gate. The dragon-snakes who attacked us were not defeated, as you thought. Yes, we killed four of them. But for every four that die, eight are born. Now they are attacking the Final Gate, seeking to shut it, seeking to trap us all in this dread prison.
"Our brothers, those who live in the Nexus and those near the Final Gate, are fighting this evil--so we have reason to believe. But they are few in number and the evil is vast and powerful.
"We are too far away to come to their aid. Too far. By the time we reached them--if we ever did reach them, alive--it would be too late. It may already be too late.
"And when the Final Gate is shut, the evil in the Labyrinth will grow strong. Our fear and our hatred will grow stronger to match and the evil will feed off that fear and that hatred and grow stronger still."
It is hopeless, Vasu told himself, and so he must tell the people. Logic, reason said to him it was hopeless. Yet why, standing on the wall, staring at that red glow in the sky, did he feel hopeful?
It made no sense. He sighed and shook his head.
A hand touched his arm.
"Look, Headman. They have made it safely to the river."
One of the Patryns, standing beside Vasu, had obviously mistaken his sigh, thought it indicated fear for the two who had left the city in the dark hour before the dawn. They were embarking on a dangerous and probably futile search for the green and golden dragon who had fought for them in the skies above Abri. The green and golden dragon was the Serpent Mage, who was also the bumbling Sartan with the mensch name, Alfred.
Certainly Vasu was afraid for them, but he was also hopeful for them. That same illogical, irrational hope.
Vasu was not a man of action. He was a man of thought, of imagination. He had only to look at his soft and pudgy Sartan body, tattooed with Patryn runes, to know that. He must give thought to what his people should do next. He should make plans, he should decide how they must prepare for the inevitable. He should tell them the truth, give his speech of despair.
But he didn't do any of that. He stood on the walls, watching the mensch known as Hugh the Hand and the Patryn woman Marit.
He told himself he would never see them again. They were venturing out into the Labyrinth, dangerous at any time but doubly dangerous now that their defeated enemies skulked about in anger and waited for revenge. The two were going on a foolhardy and hopeless mission. He would never see them again, nor Alfred, the Serpent Mage, the green and golden dragon, for whom they searched.
Vasu stood on the wall and waited--hopefully--for their return.
The River of Anger, which flowed beneath the city walls of Abri, was frozen. Its water had been frozen by their enemies, by spells cast on it. The hideous dragonsnakes had turned the river to ice in order that their troops could cross more easily.
Clambering down the rock-strewn sides of the riverbank, Marit smiled grimly. The tactics of her enemy would serve her.
There was just one small problem.
"You say this was done by magic?" Hugh the Hand, sliding down the bank behind her, skidded to a halt beside the black ice floe. He jabbed at it with the toe of his boot. "How long will the spell last?"
That was the problem.
"I don't know," Marit was forced to admit.
"Yeah." Hugh grunted. "I thought as much. It might end when we're standing in the middle."
"It might." Marit shrugged. If that happened, they would be lost. The rushing black water would suck them down, chill their blood, grind their bodies against the sharp rocks, fill their lungs with the black and now blood-tinged water.