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Le Serpent Mage (Les portes de la mort, #4)
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Le Serpent Mage (The Death Gate Cycle #4)

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  17,361 Ratings  ·  127 Reviews
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 lor ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 444 pages
Published October 1993 by Presses pocket (first published January 1st 1992)
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Charlie George
Dec 29, 2008 Charlie George rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Charlie by: Grace Kessler
I am a huge fan of the Death Gate Cycle septet. Dragon Wing (book 1) is epic, Elven Star is still 5 stars, and Fire Sea is really good (4 stars). However, Serpent Mage (book 4) was disappointing on the second read. Weis and Hickman pretty much phoned this one in. Nothing of any gravity happened until page 370 of 400. I don't know what possessed them to draw out the meanderings of the uninteresting mortal characters for so long with so little action.

We do learn a great deal about the Sundering, t
Mar 11, 2008 Matthew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 had more cause 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 ...more
Keziah Wallis
Mar 21, 2010 Keziah Wallis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-edit
Well Serpent Mage managed to jump Weis and Hickman back on track after the slightly average performance of Fire Sea. Despite the lack of interaction between Alfred and Haplo, the development of both characters in this book really set the scene for an interesting conclusion coming up in a couple of books.

In Serpent Mage both Haplo and Alfred land in Chelestra, the land of sea. Haplo meets the mensch and the sinister dragon-serpents, whilst Alfred unwittingly awakens the original Sartan from the S
jason yates
Sep 26, 2016 jason yates rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pure awesomeness!!!

I really love this series, and I highly recommend it. I can hardly wait for the next one. So, go ahead and pick up all seven books in the bundle. I promise you, you will not be sorry you did!
[Name Redacted]
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 25, 2013 Maggie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yaaaaay what a ride!!

This book, more so than the others in the series, was a 'bridge' book, versus one that could stand on its own as a complete story. But it is SOOOOO deliciously compelling. This one also clarified some questions I had after finishing the last (specifically what Jonathan's revelation was in that secret chamber). I had to exert all my self-control and will to enter this review (and the one for book 3!) before hurtling ahead in this series. I'm glad I still have three more to g
Oct 18, 2015 Kaotic rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: The World
Recommended to Kaotic by: Sierra
Shelves: borrowed
This. Series. Is. Amazing!

I cannot express properly in words how much I love this series. Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman are two of my favorite literary writers. The worlds they create, the cultures they develop are all so powerful and fascinating.

And this one. Was a cliff-hanger.
//insert screaming here

I still have books 5 thru 7 to go through. And I don't want to wait!

In this one we get to learn a lot more of the history between the Patryn and the Sartan, and we get to meet other Sartan, bes
Jan 30, 2009 Bill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This fourth book in the series is the first one to have a weaker hold
on my interest. Once again, though, a very unique world is created. Having said that, I had a real hard time visualizing the durnai with respect to where the living areas were in relation to the water and mountains. This even after the illustrations of cross sections and the descriptions in the Appendix.

The story with respct to the characters of Chelstra wasn't all that captivating, but there are revelations to be had in how th
Fantasy Literature
Serpent Mage, book four of Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman's DEATH GATE CYCLE, is not as good as its immediate predecessor but also manages to be significantly superior to the first two installments in the series. For the most part, the focus on Alfred and Haplo continues to be a good move and the tension is certainly ratcheting up as we get closer to the endgame, but on the other hand this one just didn't feel as tightly constructed as the more gripping Fire Sea.

Following our cliffhanger ending
Aug 16, 2014 Josh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

The series definitely reached its highest point so far in this volume, for me, and I found myself drawn deeply into the story once again. The originality of this series really makes it stand out, and the amount of planning that must have gone into it is astounding. With each volume, mysteries are being revealed while more are coming to light, pushing me to keep reading just a few more pages.

This is what epic fantasy is really meant to be.
Sara Forsberg
Mar 11, 2012 Sara Forsberg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The deeper entrenched into this story I get, the more impressed I become with how the authors have managed to create such a fantastic tale. With every book it gets more and more complicated while still never losing sight of the few, basic, simple themes at its core. This book is just as fantastic as the previous 3, and anyone who likes a great story with amazingly complex characters needs to read this series.
Evan Leach
The fourth entry in the Death Gate Cycle series takes us to Chelestra, a water world. Like the first three books in the series, Serpent Mage features an interesting fantasy setting and as the middle book in the saga, continues to push Haplo further towards his ultimate destiny. 3 stars.
Alejandra Sc
Apr 03, 2015 Alejandra Sc rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
This one is pure magic. This book is where everything starts making sense and is the start of the sagas second and final period. Where all characters come to terms with what lies ahead. Really engaging.
May 17, 2010 Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Seriously these books are getting better and better. Although I do highly recommend to anyone reading this series that they have the 5th book on hand when they finish the 4th. This book does not end as the others do, with a true ending, this is more of a cliff hanger.

Elijah Kinch Spector
Found a big box of sci-fi/fantasy paperbacks out on the sidewalk in Park Slope and grabbed a few. They actually had the first four Death Gate books, but I had already spent money on books 1 and 2, alas.
Oct 16, 2016 Arminion rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Once again, Death Gate cycle doesn't disappoint! This time, Haplo and Alfred are on Chelestra, the world of water where, surprisingly, the mensch (humans, elves and dwarves) live in harmony. But the mensch aren't the only inhabitants of this world – Sartan are also awakened from their deep slumber, and another, more sinister and devastating power.

Some questions are answered, but for each answer we get, another question pops up. The world and the story are magnificently crafted and it seems that
Bon tome dans la continuité des autres mais que j'ai trouvé un peu plus longuet à se mettre en place.
Voir les personnages réaliser qu'ils ont changé, voir leurs réactions face à de nouvelles situations compliquées était vraiment agréable.
Le monde de l'eau est encore un monde fascinant à découvrir et le trio des mensch était vraiment sympa. Ils font face à des situations difficiles malgré leur jeune âge et montre toutes les qualités de leurs peuples.
De voir du coup les Sartans et de vraiment comp
Óscar Montequín torre
El más flojo de la saga. Parece que va a pasar mucho y poco llega. Aunque lo deja interesante para los siguientes libros. Capítulo de relleno? Podríamos llamarlo así.
Apr 23, 2012 H. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: modern-sf
Serpent Mage is book 4 of 7 in The Death Gate Cycle. The Death Gate Cycle is set in the far future, a post-apocalyptic world that looks a lot like traditional fantasy worlds—full of humans, elves, and dwarves—but with a twist more in keeping with science fiction. A war between two other races, Patryns and Sartans (demigods in their own minds), led to the Sundering of the world. The world was split into four—one for each of the old elements, and the Patryns were imprisoned in the hellish Labyrint ...more
Sep 23, 2016 Lana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
am still totally loving the death gate cycle series, this the fourth book was such an experience, great to see the dwarves, elves and humans living in total harmony together for a change with the children of the royal houses being best of friends!! haplo as usual is intriguing, Alfred is turning out to be such a surprise in himself and the dog seems to be more attached to Alfred than to haplo in this book!! The sartan are proving to be such a disappointment to Alfred that it seems he would rathe ...more
Feb 03, 2016 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Okay, so the physics in these books can be a bit much and the language W & H invented to go with it can put you off. It didn’t for me, though I do advise you to read them in English. There are a few puns in Dutch that were a good laugh, so I’m sure I would have caught plenty more in the English version. There are plenty of drawings in each books, but not only your standard fantasy “map of the world”. These are schematics, that help you visualize and (attempt to) understand how all these worl ...more
Aug 19, 2014 Ippino rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Questo è uno dei miei cicli fantasy preferiti. In sette libri viene creato un sistema di mondi coerente ed intrigante, in cui si muovono personaggi non sempre pienamente consapevoli delle loro azioni. Tutto è permeato da una sorta di patina fascinosa e magica, un'atmosfera avventurosa come se ne vedono poche. Dimenticatevi le piatte caratterizzazioni di DragonLance e la sua noia mortale: *questo* è vero fantasy.
Tra i primi 4 libri, che sono una sorta di prologo per la vera guerra che si combatte
Apr 11, 2012 Ethan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book took a serious turn for the religious, which I really liked. But it also featured some annoying characters again, which I didn't like at first. The series has two super races of beings, the Sartan and Patryns, they are the heroes of the series and by far the most interesting characters in the story. The lesser races, men, elves, and dwarves, are portrayed as simple, flawed, and for the most part uninteresting. It doesn't help any that the main characters from the lesser races are child ...more
Jul 24, 2016 Maurinejt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Back in the day when I was first reading the series, Serpent Mage was my favorite. It is the most pleasant to read because the elves, humans and dwarves on the world of Chelestra, world of water, are scrappy and fully-realized characters with great hearts. We get most of their story from the point of view of the young dwarf Grundle, who doesn't mince words but is a warm, engaging narrator. The first time I read it, it was one of those rare books where I came to the end...then opened it up to
Jan 31, 2011 Aaron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Copied from Dragon Wing. Review is for entire series.


The Deathgate Cycle is one of my favorite series ever. Everything about it - all 7 books - are just... high fantasy perfection.

- The world (or rather universe) is amazingly unique, stunning in set up and description, and terrifically told.
- The magic and its use is top notch. It's one of few series that really go into HOW the magic of the world works.
- The characters are all highly memorable, including "Dog", the secondaries, the
Aug 10, 2010 kingshearte rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, fantasy, fiction
This one was better than Elven Star, but I didn't like it as much as Dragon Wing or Fire Sea. The setting was certainly relevant, and the characters good, and the plot, once it got going, was intriguing. But it did take a while for anything to really get going, and give us enough information to start getting interested. I would have liked, I think, to see more of the Sartan, and maybe a little less of the young'uns and their fairly uneventful travels.

One area where this really didn't satisfy was
Nafisa Choudhury
Apr 22, 2013 Nafisa Choudhury rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is the best book of this series I have read so far. Much more gripping. Much more insightful. It's so unpredictable! I had no idea where the story was going and I was hooked, even if it tired me sometimes to keep up with the consistently fast pace. It's really good.

Alfred and Haplo develop further. They have become memorable characters, deep and different. They are not VERY realistic, but they're close to it and by far the most complex characters in the whole book. There was also that reall
Aug 10, 2016 Adam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Out of fear, enemies are born.

Haplo returns full of doubts, and confesses all to his lord, who purifies Haplo through pain. Cold once more, Haplo is sent on to Chelestra, the last world; where he finds a vast ocean, where “sea moons” float in bubbles of air.

The story quickly switches to the mensch (dwarves, elves, and humans), who have managed to form a lasting peace. They are about to migrate to a new sea moon, until a new enemy appears, demanding a sacrifice to stay their hand.

The story cont
Jeffrey Koh
Sep 07, 2016 Jeffrey Koh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this has been a wonderful series, and serpent mage is the unlikely character whose power is well quite immense. but he is so very humble, out of touch with reality that he seems more comical than forbidding. almost where one feels completely relaxed in his presence, he goes not take advantage of the weak even with power - still the same good person. maybe that is why i love fantasy so much, it strives to show the best in all of us without telling and after reading it, i often feel uplifted becau ...more
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Fantasy novelist who, along with Tracy Hickman, was one of the original creators of the Dragonlance game world. I've written numerous novels and short stories set in the world of Krynn, as well as series in other, original worlds. These include: Darksword, Rose of the Prophet, Star of the Guardians, DeathGate, Dragonvarld, Sovereign Stone, Dragonships, and the Dragon Brigade. I also wrote two para ...more
More about Margaret Weis...

Other Books in the Series

The Death Gate Cycle (7 books)
  • Dragon Wing (The Death Gate Cycle, #1)
  • Elven Star (The Death Gate Cycle, #2)
  • Fire Sea (The Death Gate Cycle, #3)
  • The Hand of Chaos (The Death Gate Cycle, #5)
  • Into the Labyrinth (The Death Gate Cycle, #6)
  • The Seventh Gate (The Death Gate Cycle, #7)

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