The Death Gate Cycle

Any fans of this series here?

I’m re-reading it.

I’m on Elven Star, which is when Zifnab appears. What’s the deal with Zifnab…I can’t remember.

He is Fizban from the Dragonlance Chronicles and Legends, that’s the deal with him.

I read all the DL books these authors wrote together, but I have never been able to get into the Darksword or Deathgate series.

I am on the new DL series they wrote now… Maybe after that I will try Deathgate again.

Am I missing something by not having read the other Dragonlance novels?

If Zifnab is the same as Fizban who is a Dragonlance character, are the Death Gate novels supposed to take place in a world that comes after the world of the Dragonlance novels?

No, the writers just don’t have any imagination and they think their readership loves the idea of an idiot wizard who can’t remember his name actually being the benevolent God Of Good.

Death Gate was the series that stopped me from ever reading Weis & Hickman again.

I can’t believe these two are still riding on the fame from the Dragonlance novels.

Maybe I’m just a schlub, but I really enjoy the Death Gate novels. Somehow they just have more coherence than a lot of the other stuff out there.

I mean, the Robert Jordan stuff has become almost unreadable.

Just for the record, I read something that explained that Zifnab was merely modeled on Banfiz and that Zifnab is actually just a really old Sartan that read too many old earth books as a kid.

I do find Zifnab annoying though truth be told. It’s from the Jar-Jar school of “comic relief” in that it doesn’t actually provide any.

I always saw Jar-Jar as a very tall Kender.

If only I had been this smart. Sadly, Death Gate started out on my ‘buy hardcover’ list, then descended to ‘buy paperback’, and after I finished the series Weiss and Hickman went on my ‘borrow from library or from friend’ list. It wasn’t until Sentinels :Starshield vol 1 that I finally wised up.

I feel bad raining on Spoofy’s parade along with everyone else here. It’s been a long time since I read these, but what I remember was some OK generic-four-elements-fantasy setup for each of the four areas in the first four books that was clearly interrupted so that the rest of the series could tie it all together. And then the last three books were a mess trying to pull it all in. They may not have totaly lost control of their plot threads the way Jordan did when I gave up on him, but it still wasn’t pretty.

I think Weiss and Hickman were at the top of their game (wherever you consider that high to be relative to other writers) with the Rose of the Prophet series. I’ll maybe give Weiss her Star Wars-rip-off sci-fi solo series as being good, but it’s such a blatant rip-off it was tough to take seriously.

wow. too bad hemmingway and salinger didn’t write sci-fi and fantasy. they would, at least, have some chance of passing muster around here…

i liked these books. i’ve liked most of the weis & hickman stuff. my only complaint is that they seem to have trouble coming up with good endings. it has been a while since i read them, but i remember the end of deathgate being something of a letdown. ending for darksword was interesting, but very disappointing.

anyway, i’m a weis/hickman fan. the older stuff, anyway. and i thought that the fizban/zifnab crossover was pretty amusing.

I have not read Deathgate as I moved on to a horror phase after the original DL books and the War of the Twins (?) trilogy. I did enjoy both of those series. By the time I took Fantasy novels back up, the sheer number of Wes/Hickman tag team books made me wary. Not that they could not be decent, but out of the wall of work they had published in the interim, I did not know where to start.

In fact, I went back and read the first trilogy (and I rarely re-read anything) and still really liked it. Spoofy, read those.

I should add that as a teen Dragonlance was a huge hit with me. I too have reread them and still find them interesting…It was just that somewhere along the way they seemed to get stuck in a rut.

For me that was page 2 of the first book (Autumn Twilight?)
I was quite a bit older when it hit the stands though. I’m sure I would have liked it a lot more if I had been younger.

I loved their Dragonlance when I was a teen. Tried to read it again a few years ago and I couldn’t get through it.

I’m not saying you can’t get entertainment out of Weis & Hickman, but in a world where I have finite reading time, I’m pretty sure I’ll never read any Weis & Hickman again; there’s just too much other stuff that’s better.


I don’t know. A lot of the newer stuff seems to be in the “Jeorge R.R. Martolkien” mold.

Apparently this style gets labeled “realistic” by the publishers. I don’t know what’s so “realistic” about having torture, more graphic sex, horrible tragedies, and general mayhem. It’s just more gory as far as I’m concerned.

I picked up a new fantasy offering last month in an airport (for the first time in years I might add), and by page 130 I was on descriptions of sexual femdom torture of male slaves that included a charming description of a sorceress/mistress carefully whipping the shape of a pentagram into a guy’s back.

I threw the book in the trash.

Anyway, my point is that there’s a continuum from the sickeningly sappy and phony David Eddings style of fantasy to the fantasy/horror/erotica tripe towards (and beyond) the George Martin zone.

Looks something like this:

David Eddings (nothing bad ever happens to the main characters permanently)
Raymond Feist
Robert Jordan
George R.R. Martin (dudes are dying and getting cursed left and right)
Brian Lumley

Oh well.


I’m about halfway through that sorceress/femdom book you talked about and man, is it BAD . The Fifth Sorceress is the title so folks can avoid it.

So far, it contains about every fantasy cliche that exists, then tops it off with gratuitous sex and violence to make it more “adult.” There’s even a blurb on the jacket from some critic saying it’s in the vein of Martin. Sorry, but not even close.[/b]

I’m glad I chucked it then!

I’m also not a fan of George R.R. Martin either though. He’s obviously a better writer, but my beef with his novels is that he treats his characters too shabbily.

I want something in between the Eddings tendency towards invincible characters that are always coming out on top without a scratch and the George Martin style of murder and mayhem.


Burn him. He’s a witch!

Hey! I weigh more than a duck!

I’m with you on this one, Spoofy. Actually, I am getting kind of burned out on Fantasy as a genre. Its all the same, except for Harry Potter anyway. /ducks and runs

So, Spoofy, where does Terry Goodkind fall in your continuum? His new book comes out any day…