||This article reads like a review rather than an encyclopedic description of the subject. (November 2008)|
The front cover of "Fire Sea" by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman.
|Author||Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman|
|Series||The Death Gate Cycle|
|Media type||Print ( )|
|Preceded by||Elven Star|
|Followed by||Serpent Mage|
Abarrach, the Realm of Stone. Here, on a barren world of underground caverns built around a core of molten lava, the lesser races—humans, elves, and dwarves—seem to have all died off. Here, too, what may well be the last remnants of the once powerful Sartan still struggle to survive. For Haplo and Alfred, enemies by heritage, traveling companions by necessity, Abarrach may reveal more than either dares to discover about the history of the Sartan and the future of all their descendents.
Abarrach, the World of Stone is just that: lava, stone, poisonous fumes, and precious little food that can be grown. The peoples of Abarrach rely on giant rune-inscribed stone pillars called colossi to provide warmth and breathable atmosphere, but the colossi have been failing slowly for many years. The mensch have all died out, and the only remaining people — all of them Sartan — are far reduced in power; most of their innate magic is consumed with simply keeping them alive.
Haplo is sent to this world and discovers, much to his alarm, that Alfred has somehow infiltrated the Nexus and stowed away on his ship. Before he can do anything, however, the vessel passes through Death's Gate, and their consciousnesses switch; the two are forced to relive each other's most painful memories: Haplo, as a boy of seven, seeing the slaughtered bodies of his parents and being taught that it is all the fault of the Sartan; and Alfred, waking up to find that he is the only Sartan left alive on Arianus... for all he knows, the only one in all the worlds. They have been forced to walk in each other's shoes, and the two are never able to look at each other with quite the same hatred (in Haplo's case) or fear (in Alfred's) as before.