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The Hand of Chaos (The Death Gate Cycle #5)

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  14,710 Ratings  ·  102 Reviews
The Hand of Chaos

Chaos is everywhere as the Lord of the Nexus orders his servant Haplo and the human child known as Bane to further their master's work on Arianus, the realm of air. But their one time companion Alfred has been cast into the deadly Labyrinth. And somehow the assassin Hugh the Hand has been resurrected to complete his dark mission. More important, the evil f
Paperback, 446 pages
Published November 1st 1993 by Spectra (first published January 1st 1993)
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Apr 22, 2012 Ethan rated it liked it
This one is so far the weakest link in the chain, but it's still good. It suffers from some pretty unlikeable main characters (an annoyingly precocious and evil child, a gang of evil incarnates, and a suicidal assassin). And there's a rehash of the annoyingly simple Gegs (dwarves) who have lost their innocence but haven't gained much wisdom. The previous books had long stretches of compelling reading (so far Fire Sea is the one I couldn't put down), but this one I could start and stop at will. A ...more
Dec 01, 2010 Heidi rated it really liked it
This is the book where The Death Gate Cycle changes--Haplo has explored all four worlds created during the Sundering of the original world, and it's time to start putting his Lord's plans for domination into action. However, Haplo is suffering a crisis of faith. He's doing his best to blindly follow Lord Xar, but he has seen too much and experienced too much to believe in the one-dimensional view of the world that Xar is promoting. Haplo is also starting to believe that Xar is misguided and just ...more
Charlie George
Enjoyed the reintroduction of the popular character Hugh the Hand, thought dead in Dragon Wing (Book 1), but resurrected by Alfred. Haplo begins to stand up and defy his master Xar, blinded by ambition and hatred of the Sartan. He also shames the mensch of Arianus for fighting and hating one another by illustrating their common enemy. In turn, the mensch, including a human mystriarch, elven Kenkari wizards, and the stubborn dwarven leaders Limbeck and Jarre, show Haplo that the only way to fight ...more
Nov 02, 2009 Bill rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
Oh, too bad. Not even halfway through this and I hit the wall big time.

I enjoyed the first four books a lot. It was so fun and interesting learning about each world and getting a glimpse of how they all interrelate. But, at the point I'm at now, it seems the focus is more on the turmoil between the powers that be, and frankly, I'm not all that interested in that. The world building here is very imaginative, and the storyline up until now has been enough to drive me through about 1500 pages.
But n
Jul 13, 2016 Kaotic rated it it was amazing
Shelves: borrowed
I've said it a thousand times, and I'll keep saying it. I absolutely love this series.

It's the kind of fantasy that I really enjoy, it's intricate, thought out, culturally diverse and in depth, great action, and wondrous feels.

The powers that are pulling every races strings in this are quite mysterious and fascinating- the series always leaves you questioning everything you think you know. While you're going through the story you learn so much, yet everything you learn leaves you asking more qu
Jul 25, 2016 Maurinejt rated it really liked it
Again we're putting a pin in the tempestuous relationship between Haplo and Alfred (the latter who just got thrown in the Labrynth with his new-found lady love) and returning to Arianus, the world of Air with much of the old cast. Bane has been with Lord Xar, the head of the Patryns and Haplo's liege lord, as a kind of a protege/apprentice since the end of Dragon Wing. Now he gleefully drives a wedge between Haplo and Xar on the eve of his mission to go with Haplo and turn on the great machine t ...more
Dec 01, 2014 Michele rated it it was amazing
The Hand of Chaos, the 5th book in the Death Gate series, starts out slowly, treading in review of the first 4 books. I read the first 4 books not very long ago, and so I found the review a bit boring and tedious. The pace of the book picks up however, toward the middle, revisiting characters from the older books, advancing their plots and furthering the story and Haplo's journey overall.

Every piece of the story (the characters, the geographical locations, transitions) fits together to create a
Grayson Lawrence
Oct 21, 2014 Grayson Lawrence rated it it was amazing
In the book, Haplo is tasked with turning on the Kicksey-Winsey. Meanwhile, Lady Iridal and Hugh the Hand, with the help of the Kenkari Elves, are going to rescue Bane from the Elves. The dragon snakes are wreaking havoc down on Drevlin. This is all happening on the world of Arainus. At the end of the book, Hugh the Hand is tasked with killing Haplo.

I chose to read this book because mainly, I didn't have another book to read so I found the series at a thrift store and couldn't put it down.

Ignacio Senao f
No excesivamente juvenil, pero si una gran cantidad de páginas inservibles de autentico relleno.

Se podría decir que es una historia coral, pero mal estructurada, en el que varias parejas van viajando por estos cuatro mundos con distintos objetivos en el que no sucede nada de relevancia ni de acción. Hasta llegar el momento que se juntan y sucede algo contra un grupo de algo que no es de ninguna raza conocida, o sí.

Hay elfos, enanos y humanos. Pero sin los clichés típicos. Esto fastidia la hist
Aug 10, 2016 Adam rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Lies make the sweetest poison.

When Haplo began his journey his course was clear, victory all but a formality. Now he hurries back to warn his people of the evil he has discovered, only to find the enemy waiting for him. They serve Lord Xar now, as they once served Haplo. Confident in his power, Xar dismisses Haplo’s concerns, and sends him back to Arianus with Bane.

The story quickly grows into a vast game of lies, with dragon-snakes surreptitiously offering their support to each player. Regrett
Feb 03, 2016 Anna rated it it was amazing
This fifth installment was most difficult to digest for me, in sheer length and what felt to me as "we're a bit lost", aren't we? They could have made this shorter. A lot shorter, maybe, not sure. Hard to judge. I’m a quick reader, luckily, and I also have a knack for sensing when I’m getting additional, but not necessarily vital information, so I often quick-read over such passages. Even if I do miss vital information this way, it doesn’t bother me much. This is the kind of epic I willingly sin ...more
Nov 06, 2015 Giovanni rated it it was amazing
Great book and great series. If you are just thinking yet another fantasy series you are wrong! You may find it way more interesting than what you may think at first! And as soon as you get started with it, it would very difficult to put the books down until you reach the end! Addicting!

p.s. we just started a Facebook group focusing on the "Death Gate Cycle" - Check it out if you are interested in some more material about this great series!!!
Aug 31, 2014 Josh rated it liked it

Having visits each of the four realms in the previous four books, we now return to the first world, Arianus, world of air. We also now start to see things begin to spiral towards the inevitable climactic conclusion. The plot has definitely been advancing along the way, with this book we start to delve into the plot in a serious way. This series has certainly taken a lot of twists and turns along the way, and is ending up in quite a different direction than I'd first anticipated. It's not a bad d
Jan 30, 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
Mar 04, 2012 Katinki rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 03, 2011 Aaron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 02, 2013 Maggie rated it really liked it
Yay, a return to a familiar world and characters! Of course, a year has passed and our beloved mensch have undergone some dramatic personality developments as a result of the past year's events. Also very cool was being able to visit new parts of a familiar world (Skurvash, Kenkari, Tribus Empire).

This was another 'bridge' book, very much a continuation of the ones before and after...which isn't a big issues for someone (me) who is determined to read the whole shebang.

Surprisingly, I missed Alfr
Daniel Eggert
Aug 08, 2011 Daniel Eggert rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Agree with many of the others who thought this book was a ponderously paced. I read the first 4 of the series in 3-5 days each. This book took me six weeks because I grew disinterested in:
all the scenes without Haplo
most of the scenes with (view spoiler)
The lack of Alfred bumbling through everything (Never thought I'd say that.)
Haplo's inactivity during his appearances in the storyline
Bane's non-development as a character
(view spoiler)
Ward Bond

Chaos is everywhere as the Lord of the Nexus orders his servant Haplo and the human child known as Bane to further their master's work on Arianus, the realm of air. But their one time companion Alfred has been cast into the deadly Labyrinth. And somehow the assassin Hugh the Hand has been resurrected to complete his dark mission. More important, the evil force that Haplo and Alfred discovered on Arianus has escaped. As Haplo's doubts about his master grow deeper, he must decide whether to obey

Sep 01, 2010 kingshearte rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2010, fantasy, fiction
This book took me a long time to get into. I'd say it was around the last third of the book where it stopped being a chore to read. Much as there definitely is some good stuff in this series, I'm seeing that it does suffer from the self-indulgence that I dislike about fantasy. This series should be shorter, and could be without losing anything integral to the story or the emotions meant to be generated by it.

But anyway. I was happy to have Hugh back (although I really hope they explain his resur
Apr 24, 2012 H. rated it really liked it
Shelves: spec-fic
The Hand of Chaos is book 5 of 7 in The Death Gate Cycle. Haplo, our protagonist, has now explored the 4 worlds, one for each of the old elements, created by the Sundering. He has finally found his people’s old enemy, the Sartans, and discovered a new evil.

The 4th book ended with (rather than a true climax) Samah, leader of the Sartan, opening the Death Gate, making travel between the worlds much easier. True to form, there is now action happening across the worlds, but the vast majority of the
Jul 24, 2014 Rae rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
Let me preface this by saying that I enjoyed the book and liked that we got to go back to Arianus. However, this book took me longer to read than anticipated. I found it lagging a bit in the middle and wasn't as motivated to keep reading.

Once the Hand came back in, I found it much more exciting. I also liked exploring the Kenkari elves. They were really cool. The last chapter was a good cliffhanger of an ending, too. Though I really hope that what is implied doesn't happen by the Soul's bargain
Sarah Briggs
Jul 16, 2013 Sarah Briggs rated it really liked it
(This review may contain spoilers).

It was good to see a return to the world introduced in the first book - and to see old characters as well as new ones.

It's difficult not to emphasise with Xar, even though he's been doing bad things. I felt sorry for Bane, but I don't think there was any other way for things to play out with him.

I was disappointed that Alfred wasn't in the book, but it was amusing to see Zifnab and the dragon again. And it was good to see more from Haplo's point of view - he no
Mar 11, 2008 Matthew rated it it was amazing
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
De verdieping in de plot en in de karakters in "Toverslang" zet zich voort in dit deel. Dit is echt een serie die groeit naarmate het verhaal zich verder ontvouwt. Haplo keert in dit verhaal terug naar Arianus, waar de situatie enigszins anders is geworden. De Geggen noemen zich weer bij hun echte naam: de dwergen. Er is oorlog en er zijn overal conflicten. En die vreemde elfen, dwergen en mensen met een rode gloed over hun ogen stoken de boel nog eens lekker op. Ik heb echt genoten van dit boek ...more
Oct 24, 2012 Jackie rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
From the series review here.

(view spoiler)
Oct 01, 2015 Ben rated it did not like it
Shelves: pulp
Irritating and stupid. I do not even really remember what it was which annoyed me so much about this volume, as the re-read was a few months back now and the series does sort of blend. It was probably: annoying characters, stupid snakes, purportedly intelligent people acting like cretins, a lack of stuff making sense, misplaced attempts at comedy, a rather annoying attempt to meta-connect the story to the real world, and the general feeling that this book did very little to advance the actual st ...more
Mar 08, 2014 Tani rated it liked it
I missed Alfred so much in this one. The interactions between Haplo and Alfred were one of the things that was making this series for me, and it was sorely missed. I guess this book was meant to grow Haplo a little, but I felt like he just spent a lot of time sitting around, not knowing what to do. I am very much looking forward to the next book, though!
Willem Van Kalsbeek
May 03, 2015 Willem Van Kalsbeek rated it really liked it
We hebben nu kennis gemaakt met alle 4 de werelden en dus speelt dit boek zich af in meerdere werelden, maar vooral in de wereld van de lucht. Haplo heeft het weer zwaar te verduren.
Feb 05, 2016 Marc rated it really liked it
Great story, but the quality is starting to slide from the rest of the series. Still enjoy it, still addicted, but it slows a bit for me while the "new evil" is introduced.
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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)
  • Serpent Mage (The Death Gate Cycle, #4)
  • Into the Labyrinth (The Death Gate Cycle, #6)
  • The Seventh Gate (The Death Gate Cycle, #7)

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