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The Seventh Gate (1995)

The Seventh Gate (1995)

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4.08 of 5 Votes: 3
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055357325X (ISBN13: 9780553573251)

About book The Seventh Gate (1995)

From the series review here.A terribly disappointing end to what started out as an awesome series. Almost no story arcs had a true resolution, random stuff that doesn’t make sense showing up from left field, and an epilogue that’s some dumbed down version of the story’s original premise. Hint: If, when you’re done writing a saga, you need to simplify what you were trying to say the whole time in the epilogue of a seven book series – you fail. Your readers are not idiots. If you wanted to preach to us, do it outright and don’t waste our time.Here’s what should’ve happened…(view spoiler)[Haplo should’ve died for real.They were building up to it for the entire story. The Seventh Gate could have brought him back anyway, but to have his dog/soul hanging around and still giving advice to Alfred was just cheap. Xar should’ve been told he needed to wait three days before trying to raise a body, Alfred should have had to look at Haplo, consider bringing him back to life, but change his mind because of what he learned from Hugh, and then the Great and Powerful Oz Higher Power in the Seventh Gate should have brought Haplo back while commending Alfred on learning that he was not a deity.  We needed to experience what happened to Hugh.Instead of a “Where’s Hugh?” “Oh, I don’t know, dead or something.” “Yep, definitely dead.” we needed to see him finally get accepted into the world that Alfred tore him from, watch him ascend to the heavens (or whatever the heck it is they do), and experience his relief from his point of view. Not come back and see him randomly dead on the ground next to a spirit that shouldn’t have been in the Labyrinth to begin with.  Leave Marit out of it.Yes, she was Haplo’s woman. But the last thing you need in the final book of a seven-book saga is to introduce some random character, try to make your audience feel for her, and give her point of view more precedence than the other characters who we were already close to. Nobody really cared about Haplo’s baby momma. The only relevance she had to the story was the way Haplo grew from his relationship with her. It would’ve been just as effective to have him want to search for her when he ended up in the Labyrinth again at the end.  Ditch Zifnab. Really.The guy had no point. The only reason to use him in the story was a throw-back to Fizban and to help explain things that the author was too lazy to bother with. He ruined the idea of the greater powers of Good vs. Evil (beyond the Sartan vs. Patryn) since the “good guys” were some wingless snakes that don’t really do anything. Leave out the crazy guy who ruins the immersion of your story. Bring on the intelligent good dragons to fight the dragon snakes. Otherwise why bother with the “This is our fight!” pronouncement by the Pryan dragon to the Sang-drax at the citadel?   Deal with Xar before getting inside the Seventh Gate.It would have been much more meaningful if Haplo and Alfred had a moment of peace to decide what to do with the Seventh Gate on their own, instead of trying to fight some guy who shouldn’t have been there to begin with. Xar forced their hand, which means that neither of the two main characters (Haplo/Alfred) got a chance to learn anything. Have Alfred go to the Seventh gate alone, have the Greater Power raise Haplo to help him, Haplo has to shut Xar out of the Seventh Gate without knowing what his Lord was planning while he was dead, and then we see true character development. The way it was done instead was a cheap and shoddy end.  Ramu just gives up from a dog bite? Really??The Patryn vs. Sartan conclusion could have been SO much better. Instead, the leader of the Sartans gets bitten by Haplo’s dog (presumably) and then all the Sartans and Patryns forget years of bred hatred to end the series with a cheesy laugh. COME ON. I did not waste that much of my time reading all these books for an ending like that. (hide spoiler)]

The Death Gate Cycle finally comes to it's (somewhat satisfactory) conclusion in this final, seventh volume, in which finally all of the long-held secrets are revealed.After this much build-up over a seven-book storyline, perhaps it's understandable that expectations can't be completely met. Personally, I think that the series could have wrapped in six books, and I think they purposefully wanted seven in order to match the number of gates. Even this, the shortest of the bunch, felt overly stuffed, as there simply wasn't enough content left. As a result the main characters and villains go through one unresolved confrontation after another, with the good guys getting thwarted so many times that you want to grit your teeth in frustration. Which is probably the point, of course.Anyway, the ending does wrap things up as much as can be expected, although I imagine that some might not be totally satisfied with what happened. For me, it was revelation of the nature of the world that I was particularly interested in. As a result, I felt that the ending could have been better, and certainly more imaginative. Did I enjoy the series as a whole, though? You betcha.Now, one of the key points in the "secrets revealed" category has to do with the "higher power" that has been mentioned ever since book 3. There was a lot of build up for this, and the resolution didn't meet the hype. With all the Biblical references and the obvious references all but mentioning the word "God" (which does happen in this one) I was hoping for some kind of revelation of God at the end of this series, secretly hoping for an allegory the likes of Chronicles of Narnia or Lord of the Rings. Alas, the authors took the cheap way out, going with the "look inside yourself" and the "god is in all of us" route that has been so over-done, and stating that the dragon-snakes and the good dragons are simply manifestations of the good and evil inside all of us. We of course know that all of the people of these worlds are obviously not gods; in fact, the entire series has been hitting us over the head that the Sartan and Patryns - who had thought themselves gods - were not gods at all. Therefore this conclusion at the end of the series makes no sense and flies in the face of everything that has been built up. In fact, in the notes at the end, Alfred pretty much admits this, stating that "I believe there is still something or someone in the spiritual realm that is the most powerful of all" (I'm paraphrasing, but closely). Therefore it was disappointing to see that the actual characters fell short of seeking true answer out there, the Creator of the original world (and magic system of which they so closely adhere), and that the authors couldn't have figured out a way to include that into the resolution. They do however come across an important spiritual truth of reality, which Christians understand, which is that any action taken in the physical is first birthed out of the spiritual. That leaves us to guess that Alfred, at least, is headed in the right direction, although because of the the open-ended conclusion, I can't say it truly is satisfying.Perhaps I was simply expecting too much from this series. In the end, maybe they were just trying to tell an interesting story, and that's fine, too.Ultimately, I gave it three stars because the dragged-out sense of this story (which had been building since book 5) put a lot of frustration into the conclusion. Constant, needless repetition of events and scenes that happened earlier in the series exacerbated this. Finally, the writing and portrayal of the characters is certainly not on par with some of the greats, such as Robert Jordan or Tolkien. So I will reiterate, that I did greatly enjoy this series and would recommend it for sure, but that some stories just strive to be a little too epic and cannot always deliver on the reader's high expectations.

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The Seventh Gate is the thrilling conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Death Gate Cycle by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. In this tale of treachery, power, and heroism, Alfred, Haplo, and Marit embark on a journey of death and discovery as they seek to enter the dreaded Seventh Gate. Encountering enemies both old and new, they unleash a magic no power can control, damning themselves to an apocalypse of unimagined proportion in a final struggle between good and evil. From Publishers Weekly Thousands of pages have been spent getting to this seventh and final book in the massive Death Gate Cycle (Into the Labyrinth). Only the most voracious fans of Weis and Hickman will feel it was worth the effort; anyone else will find that incomprehensible (and poorly sketched) landscapes and tedious prose make this volume both dizzying and dull. Here, Marit (a sorceress), Hugh the Hand, Alfred the Sartan and Haplo the Patryn join forces to stop various nefarious (or at least misguided and misunderstood) villains as they try to subjugate each other's races, get to Death's Gate and destroy the world as they know it. A significant portion of the more interesting lore and stories (of elves who imprison their souls in ornate boxes, etc.), however, gets little more than footnotes, an epilogue or a short mention in the appendices. While these addenda seem an attempt to add literary flavor to this hodgepodge of zombies, sorcerors, dragons and a schizophrenically postmodern God who occasionally thinks he's James Bond, they succeed only in upping the page count. Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. From Library Journal A spectacular journey that takes heroes Haplo and Marit through each of the sundered realms and beyond the sinister Seventh Gate culminates with a battle against the forces of evil in this conclusion to the seven-volume "Death Gate Cycle." Purchase where the series is popular. Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
—Ward Bond

I would give this a 4.5 if possible; it's a fitting end to a stunning series. I'm not sure what more I can describe of the book(s). Highlights of the book for me were the redemption of the Sartan on Abarrach (Balthazar ends up being another very solid minor character), Alfred/Coren embracing his power, the positivity of the ending (humans, elves, and dwarves set free from the machinations of others, possible space exploration, the working together of Patryn and Sartan), and the overall badassery

Copied from Dragon Wing. Review is for entire series.Re-readThe 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 villains, the monsters, etc. And the primary protagonist, Haplo, is one of my favorites ever. Maybe my very favorite. He's everything I'd ever want in a protag - strong yet kind, "good", complex, and so easy to get behind and pull for. He's a bad ass, too. - And the plot is perfect and perfectly executed. Everything about this series is just... yeah. I can honestly think of no negatives. Unless to say that I'd like another 7 books. I'll just settle for re-reading, which it handles just fine. This book was just as good today as the first time I read way back in like... idk... 1991 [ETA: probably like 1993 for T7thG] or so. You won't get a much higher recommendation out of me than this.

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