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

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  13,024 ratings  ·  83 reviews
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 a ...more
ebook, 512 pages
Published May 20th 2009 by Spectra (first published January 1st 1993)
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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
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
Fantasy Literature
First, here is how to get the most enjoyment out of THE DEATHGATE CYCLE. Start with going to the library and borrow all of these books. Do not buy them — they are not worth it. Then read books 1, 3, 4, 6 and 7 without reading the footnotes or the appendixes. You have the option of reading books 2 and 5 if you are really enjoying the series, but they are only filler and do not even need to be skimmed. Finally, accept the fact that Weis and Hickman may only be one hit wonders and move on.

Second, I
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
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.


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
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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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

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
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
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
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
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
(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
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
Otis Campbell
On the helm of a false entity
The faithful standing firmly
Betrayal of the worthy
Patrons of demoralization
Disregarding justice
Corrupting minds of the innocent
Society bows to the throne
Unaware of what the siren beholds
Fools suffer
Horizons of chaos
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
From the series review here.

(view spoiler)
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
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.
Series pace and multiple quests connection is great in this book. There are so many antiheroes who do dark deeds, but have their own principles and code of honor which makes you respect and cheer for them :)
Keziah Wallis
The Hand of Chaos really takes the Death Gate Cycle to the next level. Despite the absence of Alffred, the re-introduction of Zifnab and the development of Haplo more than makes up for it. In The Hand of Chaos, Haplo is sent my Lord Xar to Arianus once more. This time to bring the young Bane back to take the throne of his foster parents. On the world of Arianus, Haplo finds the Dwarves and the Elves almost of the verge of total war and the mysterious Kicksey-winsey broken and non-functioning.

I p
The prominent assassin once again proves himself a failure...(view spoiler)
wonderfully fun book of the death gate cycle. My first series.
Candice Kamencik
A very nice way to start off the final trilogy of this series. All the character groups from the previous books are revisited and pretty much start their own congruent storylines. The book did a good job of giving enough back story to satisfy some questions while still leaving much unsatisfied. The one thing I didn't really enjoy was that the story seemed somewhat choppy. The lulls in plot movement were a bit boorish, and gave the book an 'up, down, up, down' feeling. Still I would recommend it ...more
Still enjoying this classic fantasy series (classic as in it has elves v dwarves v humans), which has some great ideas and storyline. A return of an old favourite (view spoiler) and the odd not-so-favourite (view spoiler).

This book deals with Haplo's story, so I'm guessing the next in the series will deal with Alfred's story - I think of the two, I prefer Haplo, I find him far more interesting but perhaps I'll be proved wrong!

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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)
Dragons of Autumn Twilight  (Dragonlance: Chronicles, #1) Dragons of Spring Dawning (Dragonlance: Chronicles, #3) Dragons of Winter Night (Dragonlance: Chronicles, #2) Time of the Twins (Dragonlance: Legends, #1) War of the Twins (Dragonlance: Legends, #2)

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