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3.5This is the book I used to skip when I reread the series back in the day, though I enjoyed it on the last reread It isn t as strong as Dragon Wing First, at the end of Dragon Wing you have a showdown with the two representatives of the magical races who are deadly enemies, the Sartan who sundered the old world creating the new in the personage of bumbling Alfred and the Patryn, Haplo, whose people have just started to escape the deadly prison the Sartan threw them in Haplo and Alfred sepa 3.5This is the book I used to skip when I reread the series back in the day, though I enjoyed it on the last reread It isn t as strong as Dragon Wing First, at the end of Dragon Wing you have a showdown with the two representatives of the magical races who are deadly enemies, the Sartan who sundered the old world creating the new in the personage of bumbling Alfred and the Patryn, Haplo, whose people have just started to escape the deadly prison the Sartan threw them in Haplo and Alfred separate at the end of Dragon Wing, and Elven Star expects us to put a pin in that entire situation for a whole book It s a hard ask, because Haplo and Alfred together are really what make the series sing.Elven Star takes place in Pryan, the realm of fire And it isn t fire per se, it s a set of gigantic suns illuminating a jungle world The story is good but depressing, and the characters we re following this time are even less likable than the Dragon Wing heroes Again, the world building is incredible but there areloose ends in Pryan than on any other realm that never get explained On the plus side, there is a fabulous cross over character well, sort of from Dragonlance which is a lot of fun and delightfully unexpected In the first few pages of reading this, at least one thing became apparent I probably didn t pay enough attention when reading Dragon Wing, because much of what I understood, or thought I understood about the worlds of the Death Gate Cycle was incorrect On the other hand, perhaps it was the intention of the authors to reveal the worlds in this fashion, altering reader perceptions with each novel.There are a number of things that bothered me about Elven Star The forced humour was something I j In the first few pages of reading this, at least one thing became apparent I probably didn t pay enough attention when reading Dragon Wing, because much of what I understood, or thought I understood about the worlds of the Death Gate Cycle was incorrect On the other hand, perhaps it was the intention of the authors to reveal the worlds in this fashion, altering reader perceptions with each novel.There are a number of things that bothered me about Elven Star The forced humour was something I just couldn t get myself to appreciate The romance and seduction sequences were just silly beyond belief, and there s quite a lot of that going on Many of the characters annoyed me No Hugh the Hand this time round Yet, despite all this I found myself finishing the novel at a trot Not much wrong with the pacing then.As was the case with its predecessor, the world building in this novel is truly fascinating Pryan is a really, really cool world, and there are some awesome sense of wonder revelations later in the book Unfortunately, this in itself isn t enough to make the novel truly great, although it goes a long, long way in restoring credibility The few tantalising glimpses into the Nexus and the Labyrinth also hinted at awesome ness Oh, and the Tytans were super scary and creepy I really wanted to like Elven StarIt s not bad, but it should have been better I think the Death Gate and Elemental Realm concepts are really something special, so I will continue reading the series, with this in mind You know, whenever I m lucky enough to find a reasonably literate person who has read some fantasy novels, I m always surprised by the fact that as far as I can recall none of them have read The Death Gate Cycle Granted, I had some holdover nostalgia from the Dragonlance Chronicles for Weis and Hickman, and so I probably hadcause to read them than most, but, even solely on their own merits, these are really excellent books They re filled with interesting and nuanced characters Hugh You know, whenever I m lucky enough to find a reasonably literate person who has read some fantasy novels, I m always surprised by the fact that as far as I can recall none of them have read The Death Gate Cycle Granted, I had some holdover nostalgia from the Dragonlance Chronicles for Weis and Hickman, and so I probably hadcause to read them than most, but, even solely on their own merits, these are really excellent books They re filled with interesting and nuanced characters Hugh the Hand is still one of my favorite characters ever and the plotlines are expertly interwoven The real mastery, though, is in the novels 5 distinct geographically, sociologically, politically, ethnically worlds People who enjoyed Harry Potter or Tolkein should give these books a shot fastread it in 5 short hours Zifnab is the best of all crazy mages the Weis Hickman duo ever came up with better than fizban, and definitely far funnier than gandalf the grey the duet between zifnab and his dragon provides the much too needed comic relief in this extra long story of seven books. I like the setting of the Death Gate Cycle with the different worlds However, this novel was not written very well The plot was very uninspired, the writing seemed amateurish at times, and the character of Zifnab was just annoying I feel that this book can just be skipped without missing anything. Easily the worst in the series, the hurried prose is lackluster and the characters are flat and dull It feels phoned in and halfhearted, as well as transparently irrelevant to the rest of books It s as though they adopted this story from some other project Even the Dragonlance fan service crossover doesn t lift its sails 1.5 stars Read it quickly and move on the series gets better again after this unfortunate lull. Actual rating is 4.5 stars.This is the second book of a series and it can be read as a stand alone novel There is a little background information but not enough that the reader will be lost That being said, the reader does need to read the first one because they will all eventually tie in with each other In this one, Haplo and his dog continue their journey His journey leads him to Pryan where a looming menace threatens all races.I thought this book was better than the first one and I really Actual rating is 4.5 stars.This is the second book of a series and it can be read as a stand alone novel There is a little background information but not enough that the reader will be lost That being said, the reader does need to read the first one because they will all eventually tie in with each other In this one, Haplo and his dog continue their journey His journey leads him to Pryan where a looming menace threatens all races.I thought this book was better than the first one and I really am enjoying this series One thing I am enjoying about this series is that we get two different layers of storytelling The first layer is concerned with one planet and its inhabitants We also get a huge overall arc where each book will tie in with each other and during the story we get little hints to this arc In this character arc, we have three races that include elves, dwarfs, and humans All three races hate each other and we have rampant racism Can these races put aside their racism or do they risk extinction because of the threat Obviously, these issues are prevalent in today s society I have read the reviews on this site and the character Zifnab seems to be a divisive one My theory whether one enjoys this character depends if the reader has read these author s other works of Dragonlance Zifnab is Fizban from that world If he is new to you I can see why he would be irritating If you are a fan of Dragonlance you will love him here.This is shaping up to be a great series The storytelling of a complete arc wrapped in an overall arc that is a mystery is well done and enticing me to continue with this well thought out series In book 2 of The Death Gate Cycle, Haplo travels to the second world created after the sundering of the natural world into four components air, fire, earth, water Pryan is the world of fire The world is so lush with vegetation that most people have never seen the ground they live in cities built on top of moss beds in the treetops The humans, dwarves, and elves have minor skirmishes with each other but basically keep to their own races However, an ancient enemy is threatening the lives of In book 2 of The Death Gate Cycle, Haplo travels to the second world created after the sundering of the natural world into four components air, fire, earth, water Pryan is the world of fire The world is so lush with vegetation that most people have never seen the ground they live in cities built on top of moss beds in the treetops The humans, dwarves, and elves have minor skirmishes with each other but basically keep to their own races However, an ancient enemy is threatening the lives of everyone on the planet, and the races must come together to defeat it We get to meet Zifnab, a character who can t quite be defined Is he a wizard A demigod A crazy old man Zifnab was my favorite part of the book His references to modern civilization and other wizards Gandalf, Merlin, the Millennium Falcon, baffled the characters he was talking to, but they made me laugh out loud We also get a hint of a kinder, gentler side of Haplo, who tries to be tough but clearly caresthan he s willing to admit The major characters those that will appear in the next books develop appropriately, while the minor characters are basically just caricatures They were appropriate caricatures, though, so I can forgive the authors for not making every character deep and complicated This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here Don warned me that this was his least favourite book in the series, and yep It pretty much sucked Everything that made the first book so good was basically absent from this one.Plot In Dragon Wing, the plot started early, and it was interesting right from the beginning Political intrigue, backstabbing, revolution, and everything all intertwined into an engrossing, twisty plot In Elven Star, the plot took forever to get going, and when it did, it was clunky, awkward, and uninteresting I mea Don warned me that this was his least favourite book in the series, and yep It pretty much sucked Everything that made the first book so good was basically absent from this one.Plot In Dragon Wing, the plot started early, and it was interesting right from the beginning Political intrigue, backstabbing, revolution, and everything all intertwined into an engrossing, twisty plot In Elven Star, the plot took forever to get going, and when it did, it was clunky, awkward, and uninteresting I mean, really, giants pretty much destroying the entire world and its population lacks a certain subtlety And as for the elf, human and dwarf uniting to save the world That doesn t even make sense For starters, there never was such a grouping At one point, there was an elf, a dwarf, and two humans, but by the end, it was quite a band, with a fewelves, some humans, and Haplo And as for saving the world, they made no such attempt They pretty much just made a run for it and escaped with their own lives So the plot Not good.Characters The characters in Dragon Wing were interesting They had dimension and depth, and you cared about them Several of them sort of evolved as you learn new information about who they really were and where they came from The characters in Elven Star were dull and flat They turned out to be exactly who and what you thought they were the moment they were introduced Each of them basically had one dominant personality trait if that , and that s all there was to them The only one with even any hint ofthan one level and we re pretty much talking about two levels here, nothingprofound than that was Aleatha, and she was reallyof a secondary character.And don t even get me started on the great passionate love affair between Paithan and Rega Sure, I was told often enough by the narrative how much they loved each other, but I never really saw it I didn t see it develop it was just all of a sudden there, because the author told me it was And despite the great controversy it caused among their respective people he was an elf and she was a human , I felt nothing for it Be together or don t I don t care There wasdepth and genuineness in the brief hints at the attraction between Hugh and Iridal in the final pages of Dragon Wing than there was in the whole book s worth of the Paithan Rega romance Roland and Aleatha, if cliched and also not that interesting, was at least mildly entertaining.Setting In Dragon Wing, the setting was crucial to the plot Getting from one island to the next was a major issue, and where in the strata of islands one happened to live made a huge impact on one s life The eternal sun and rain of this world was almost irrelevant for most of the book At the beginning, there was a mention of fans, which was just about the only nod to the fact that it s bloody hot on this world And occasionally, the fact that they have no darkness was brought up, but barely, and it really only became really relevant near the end when they find the citadel, which has night I just feel that a world referred to as Realm of Fire should be a hell of a lot hotter, maybe even with some actual fire not endless rain What is that about , and there really shouldn t be a different book, set in a different realm, that actually has the word fire in its title, but that s a whole other issue In any case, the point is, this story could have taken place just about anywhere, in any setting, and it wouldn t have made any difference And if you re going to go to the trouble of creating four different worlds, each supposedly with a dominant element, that element should really play into things a whole lotthan it did here.Zifnab He wasn t in Dragon Wing, and that alone made it much better I m told that Zifnab is pretty much an inside joke type nod to a character from the Dragonlance books, and he was a big mistake, as far as I m concerned He added nothing except asshattery, and his constant real earth pop culture references were not cute, funny, or endearing they were merely stupid I could maybe almost forgive it if real earth actually came into the picture at some point, but apparently it doesn t, so there s absolutely no excuse, and I dearly hope that Don s right in his recollection that when we see this character again later, he quits that shit.So yeah A bunch of boring characters having a boring adventure on a boring planet, with a character who makes Jar Jar Binks seem awesome If I ever for some reason find myself re reading this series, I think I ll skip this one Anything important will be re iterated in the subsequent books, so I won t miss anything.One interesting pattern that is either developing or is coincidence in both books, the first major character we re introduced to doesn t survive the book Will that go anywhere I don t know But I ll be watching for it `READ DOWNLOAD ⇹ Elven Star ⇺ On steamy Pryan, never ending sunlight and plentiful rain have created a jungle so vast that humans and elves dwell high in the trees and only dwarves live anywhere near the ground From the treetops the aristocratic elves sell weapons to the other races, whose incessant warfare sends a steady steam of profits and essential resources skyward Now, generations of dissent and race hatred will not heal not even under the threat of annihilation at the hands of legendary Titans Armed with little than their wits and prophecy, an elf, a human, and a dwarf must unite to try to save the world from destruction