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Serpent Mage (The Death Gate Cycle #4)

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4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  16,526 Ratings  ·  114 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
Kindle Edition, 465 pages
Published February 19th 2009 by Spectra (first published January 1st 1992)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
...more
Matthew
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
...more
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
...more
Maggie
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
...more
Kaotic
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
...more
Josh
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.
Marco Jean
Mar 20, 2015 Marco Jean rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't find this book really enjoyable. I understand the concept of making a book for each of the world but, the fact of the matter is, there is not enough material there. The storylines to make us understand how each world works and, how it relates to the other world is too thin, not really of interest. I can't seem to get attached to any characters. I thought this book would be different; the previous book ended with some revelations and, I thought this book would continue to build upon it. ...more
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.
Kelly
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.

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.
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.
Anna
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
Giovanni
Nov 06, 2015 Giovanni rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!!! https://www.facebook.com/groups/Death...
Ippino
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
...more
Katinki
Copied from Dragon Wing. Review is for entire series.

Re-read


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
...more
Ethan
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
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
...more
H.
Apr 23, 2012 H. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spec-fic
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
Aaron
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.
Ihsan Duzgun
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
...more
kingshearte
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
...more
[Name Redacted]
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Briton
Apr 10, 2013 Briton rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ward Bond

After the four worlds Alfred has at last foundhis people on Chelstra, the realm of sea. But histravels have taught him to be cautious... andAlfred soon realizes his caution is justified, evenamong his own kind. The one person Alfred can trustis, strangely, Haplo the Patryn. But Haplo's lordhas decreed all Sartan to be the enemy, and Haplodares not go against his lord. Now the companionshave arrived in a land where humans, elves, anddwarves have learned to live in peace. Unaware of aneven greate

...more
Rae
Jul 05, 2014 Rae rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
This book wasn't as good as the first three for me, but I still enjoyed it. The beginning was slow, but when it did pick up, I found that it raced onward, like a row of dominoes falling into each other.

I seriously love both Haplo and Alfred and the dog. I can't wait to see what happens to the three in the next book.

I really dislike Samah.
Heidi
Jul 02, 2010 Heidi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first time I read The Death Gate Cycle, this was the hardest book for me to get through, and it was the same this time. The plot moves slowly, with at least half the book taken from the journal of an adolescent dwarf. It is the pivotal book, however, setting the stage for the action coming in the next three books.

Alfred finally finds his people, the Sartan, on the water world of Chelestra, but sadly, he senses immediately that he can't trust them. Haplo is trying to reconcile long-held beli
...more
Darin
Aug 20, 2015 Darin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book gives a lot more insight into the Sartan and it makes for a more interesting read than the previous ones. However, it seems like 1/3 of the book was taken up by the authors trying to describe every little piece of dirt and ant in every scene. I found myself skimming a lot.
Marc
Feb 05, 2016 Marc rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These books do not fail to disappoint - my only reason from bumping this from a 5 to a 4 is that I just didn't get the dragon snakes. I will probably end up reading the fifth book, even though I've been told twice "they're not as good," but we'll see.
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869
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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