I had fully intended to write reviews for all seven books of the Death Gate Cycle series. However, I soon got to a point where I didn’t really know what to say anymore and I just wanted to get through the books and finish the series.
So, overall, what did I think of this series? Well, for starters, the world building was a amazing. Each of the four worlds is very unique, each with their own beauty and dangers.
After the first book, some things were a bit predictable. It was fairly clear that Haplo would be visiting each of the four worlds and that each visit would take place within a single book. What happened after that was much less predictable.
Haplo changes significantly as a character. In the beginning, his loyalty to his lord and his lord’s cause is unwavering. He cares nothing for the people of the world’s he visits. He simply goes there to complete his mission. It isn’t long, though, before Haplo begins to change. The more time he spends around the various people of the different world’s and especially around the bumbling Alfred, he begins to see that his lord may not be the perfect ruler for all the worlds.
Other characters through out the series are interesting as well. Just don’t get too attached as they often have a tendency to die quite suddenly. Although, not every one stays dead.
I liked that the characters from the first four books made reappearances in later volumes. It may them feel more part of the story as a whole as opposed to just filler characters thrown in to serve Haplo’s journey.
I thought the magic system of the Sartans and Patryns was an interesting one. Rune magic isn’t an uncommon thing in fantasy but they way it was used here was less common. Each of the two races has their own set of runes, which the other race cannot use. The runes being tattooed on the skin of the Patryns was pretty cool in my opinion. Their race has existed in a horrid place, the Labyrinth, for centuries and they’ve found a way to help protect themselves and give warning of near by danger without having to actively use their magic.
My biggest dislike in this series is the references back to our modern world. I said this in a previous review that doing that in fantasy always annoys me. I read fantasy novels because I want to escape into an entirely new and different world that came from the author’s imagination. I feel like making that fantasy world into some distant future of our own world is just lazy and unnecessary. I’m sure there are times when it is done well, but I have yet to come across one.
Overall, this series is a solid 4 out of 5 stars. I highly recommend it to any and all lovers of fantasy. I think this would be a good series for someone who is looking to dip their toe into the genre for the first time.
Thanks for reading!