Into the Labyrinth (Death Gate Cycle #6)

Into the Labyrinth (Death Gate Cycle #6)

by Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman

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Overview

From his army of the undead, Xar, Lord of the Nexus, learns of the existence of the mysterious Seventh Gate. It is said that this gate grants whoever enters it the power to create worlds—or destroy them. Only Haplo knows its location—but he doesn't know he knows it. Now an ex-lover has been sent to betray Haplo and bring back his corpse. Meanwhile, the assassin Hugh the Hand is also after Haplo, wielding the Accursed Blade. With his old companion Alfred, Haplo must seek sanctuary in the Labyrinth—a deadly prison maze whose inhabitants are condemned to death. 

 Millennia ago a battle raged between the Sartan and the Patryn, and the Sartan sundered the world into four realms—air, fire, stone, and water—and then vanished. But now the two races have rediscovered each other through the magic of the Death Gate—and war is about to erupt anew.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307486363
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/18/2008
Series: Death Gate Cycle Series , #6
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 496
Sales rank: 75,117
File size: 5 MB

About the Author

Dr. Werner W.K. Hoeger a professor emeritus of the Department of Kinesiology at Boise State University. He remains active in research and continues to lecture in the areas of exercise physiology, physical fitness, and wellness. He is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and also of the Research Consortium of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance. Dr. Hoeger is the recipient of the first 2004 Presidential Award for Research and Scholarship in the College of Education at Boise State University. Dr. Hoeger uses his knowledge and experiences to write engaging, informative books that thoroughly address today's fitness and wellness issues in a format accessible to students. In addition to PRINCIPLES AND LABS FOR PHYSICAL FITNESS, he has written several other textbooks for Cengage Learning, including Fitness and Wellness, Principles and Labs for Fitness and Wellness, Lifetime Physical Fitness and Wellness, Wellness: Guidelines for a Healthy Lifestyle, and Water Aerobics for Fitness and Wellness (with Terry-Ann Spitzer Gibson). Dr. Hoeger was the first author to write a college fitness textbook that incorporated the wellness" concept and introduced the principle that to truly improve fitness and health and to achieve wellness, a person needs to go beyond the basic health-related components of physical fitness. As an innovator in the field, Dr. Hoeger has developed many fitness and wellness assessment tools, including fitness tests such as the modified sit and reach, total body rotation, shoulder rotation, muscular endurance, muscular strength and endurance, and soda pop coordination tests. Proving that he "practices what he preaches," at 48, he was the oldest male competitor in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. He raced in the sport of luge along with his 17-year-old son Christopher. This was the first time in Winter Olympics history that father and son competed in the same event."

Sharon A. Hoeger is vice-president of Fitness & Wellness, Inc. of Boise, Idaho. Sharon received her degree in computer science from Brigham Young University. She is extensively involved in the research process used in retrieving the most current scientific information that goes into the revision of each textbook. She is also the author of the software that accompanies all of the fitness and wellness textbooks. Her innovations in this area since the publication of the first edition of Lifetime Physical Fitness & Wellness set the standard for fitness and wellness computer software used in this market today. Sharon is a co-author on five of the seven fitness and wellness titles. Husband and wife have been jogging and strength training together for over 34 years.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1
 
ABARRACH
 
 
ABARRACH: WORLD OF STONE, WORLD OF DARKNESS LIT BY THE fires of molten sea, world of stalagmites and stalactites, world of fire dragons, world of poisonous air and sulfurous fumes, world of magic.
 
Abarrach: world of the dead.
 
Xar, Lord of the Nexus, and now Lord of Abarrach, sat back in his chair, rubbed his eyes. The rune-constructs he was studying were starting to blur together. He’d almost made a mistake—and that was inexcusable.
 
But he had caught himself in time, corrected it. Closing his aching eyes, he went over the construct again in his mind.
 
Begin with the heart-rune. Connect this sigil’s stem to an adjoining rune’s base. Inscribe the sigla on the breast, working upward to the head. Yes, that was where he’d gone wrong the first few times. The head was important—vital. Then draw the sigla on the trunk, finally the arms, the legs.
 
It was perfect. He could find no flaw. In his mind’s eye, he imagined the dead body on which he’d been working rising up and living again. A corrupt form of life, admittedly, but a beneficial one. The corpse was far more useful now than it would have been moldering in the ground.
 
Xar smiled in triumph, but it was a triumph whose life span was shorter than that of his imaginary defunct. His thoughts went something like this:
 
I can raise the dead.
 
At least I am fairly certain I can raise the dead.
 
I can’t be sure.
 
That was the pall over his elation. There were no dead for him to raise. Or rather, there were too many dead. Just not dead enough.
 
In bitter frustration, Xar slammed his hands down on the elaborately conceived rune-construct. The rune-bones1 went flying, skittering and sliding off the table onto the floor.
 
Xar paid no attention to them. He could always put the construct together again. Again and again. He knew it as well as he knew the rune-magic to conjure up water. For all the good it would do him.
 
Xar needed a corpse. One not more than three days dead. One that hadn’t been seized by these wretched lazars.2 Irritably he swept the last few remaining rune-bones to the floor.
 
He left the room he used as his study, headed for his private chambers. On his way, he passed by the library. And there was Kleitus, the Dynast, former ruler (until his death) of Necropolis, the largest city on Abarrach. At his death, Kleitus had become a lazar—one of the living dead. Now the Dynast’s gruesome form, which was neither dead nor alive, wandered the halls and corridors of the palace that had once been his. The lazar thought it was still his. Xar knew better, but he saw no reason to disabuse Kleitus of the notion.
 
The Lord of the Nexus steeled himself to speak to the Lord of the Living Dead. Xar had fought many terrible foes during his struggles to free his people from the Labyrinth. Dragons, wolfen, snogs, chaodyn—every monster the Labyrinth could create. Xar feared nothing. Nothing living. The lord couldn’t help feeling a qualm deep in his bowels when he looked into the hideous, ever-shifting death-mask face of the lazar. Xar saw the hatred in the eyes—the hatred that the dead bore the living of Abarrach.
 
An encounter with Kleitus was never pleasant. Xar generally avoided the lazar. The lord found it uncomfortable talking to a being who had one thought on his mind: death. Your death.
 
The sigla on Xar’s body glowed blue, defending him from attack. The blue light was reflected in the Dynast’s dead eyes, which glittered with disappointment. The lazar had tried once, on Xar’s arrival, to kill the Patryn. The battle between the two had been brief, spectacular. Kleitus had never tried it again. But the lazar dreamed of it during the endless hours of his tormented existence. He never failed to mention it when they came together.
 
“Someday, Xar,” said Kleitus, the corpse talking, “I will catch you unawares. And then you will join us.”
 
“… join us,” came the unhappy echo of the lazar’s soul. The two parts of the dead always spoke together, the soul being just a bit slower than the body.
 
It must be nice for you to have a goal still,” Xar said somewhat testily. He couldn’t help it. The lazar made him nervous. But the lord needed help, information, and Kleitus was the only one—so far as Xar could determine—who might have it. “I have a goal myself. One I would like to discuss with you. If you have the time?” Nervousness made Xar sarcastic.
 
Try as he might, Xar could not look for long at the lazar’s face. It was the face of a corpse—a murdered corpse, for Kleitus had himself been slain by another lazar, had then been brought back to hideous life. The face would sometimes be the face of one long dead, and then suddenly it would be the face of Kleitus as he had been when he was alive. The transformation occurred when the soul moved into the body, struggled to renew life, regain what it had once possessed. Thwarted, the soul flew out of the body, tried vainly to free itself from its prison. The soul’s continual rage and frustration gave an unnatural warmth to the chill, dead flesh.
 
Xar looked at Kleitus, looked away hastily.
 
“Will you accompany me to the library?” Xar asked with a polite gesture, his gaze anywhere but on the corpse.
 
The lazar followed willingly. Kleitus had no particular desire to be of assistance to the Lord of the Nexus, as Xar well knew. The lazar came because there was always the possibility that Xar might weaken, inadvertently lower his defenses. Kleitus came because he hoped to murder Xar.
 
Alone in the room with the lazar, Xar considered briefly summoning another Patryn to stand guard. He immediately abandoned the idea, was aghast at himself for even thinking such a thing. Not only would such a summons make him appear weak in the eyes of his people—who worshipped him—but he wanted no one else to know the subject of his discussions.
 
Consequently, though he did so with misgivings, Xar shut the door made of braided kairn grass, marked it with Patryn runes of warding so that it could not be opened. He drew these runes over faded Sartan runes, Sartan magic that had long ago ceased to function.
 
Kleitus’s lifeless eyes sprang suddenly to life, focused on Xar’s throat. The dead fingers twitched in anticipation.
 
“No, no, my friend,” Xar said pleasantly. “Another day, perhaps. Or would you like to come again within the circle of my power? Would you like to feel again my magic starting to unravel your existence?”
 
Kleitus stared at him with unblinking hatred. “What do you want, Lord of the Nexus?”
 
“… Nexus,” came the sad echo.
 
“I want to sit down,” Xar said. “I’ve had a wearing time of it. Two days and nights on the rune-construct. But I have solved it. I now know the secret to the art of necromancy. I can now raise the dead.”
 
“Congratulations,” said Kleitus, and the dead lips curled in a sneer. “You can now destroy your people as we destroyed ours.”
 
Xar let that pass. The lazar tended to have a dark outlook on things. He supposed he couldn’t blame them.
 
The lord took his seat at a large stone table whose top was covered with dusty volumes: a treasure-trove of Sartan lore. Xar had spent as much time studying these works as possible, considering the myriad duties of a lord about to lead his people to war. But this time spent among the Sartan books was minute compared to the years Kleitus had spent. And Xar was at a disadvantage: he was forced to read the material in a foreign language—the Sartan language. Although he had mastered that language while in the Nexus, the task of breaking down the Sartan rune-structure, then rebuilding it into Patryn thought, was exhausting and time-consuming.
 
Xar could never, under any circumstances, think like a Sartan.
 
Kleitus had the information Xar needed. Kleitus had delved deep into these books. Kleitus was—or had been—a Sartan himself. He knew. He understood. But how to worm it out of the corpse? That was the tricky part.
 
Xar wasn’t fooled by the lazar’s shambling walk and bloodthirsty demeanor. Kleitus was playing a far more subtle game. An army of living, warm-blooded beings had recently arrived on Abarrach—Patryns, brought here by Xar, brought here to train for war. The lazar hungered after these living beings, longed to destroy the life that the dead coveted and at the same time found so abhorrent. The lazar could not fight the Patryns. The Patryns were too powerful.
 
But it required an immense outlay of the Patryns’ magic to sustain life in the darksome caverns of Abarrach. The Patryns were beginning to weaken—ever so slightly. So had the Sartan weakened before them; so had many of the Sartan died.
 

Table of Contents

1. Physical Fitness and Wellness. 2. Behavior Modification. 3. Nutrition for Wellness. 4. Body Composition. 5. Weight Management. 6. Cardiorespiratory Endurance. 7. Muscular Strength and Endurance. 8. Muscular Flexibility. 9. Skill Fitness and Fitness Programming. 10. Stress Assessment and Management Techniques. 11. Preventing Cardiovascular Disease. 12. Cancer Prevention. 13. Addictive Behavior. 14. Preventing Sexually Transmitted Diseases. 15. Lifetime Fitness and Wellness.

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Into the Labyrinth 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 51 reviews.
draksig More than 1 year ago
I love this series and continue to re-read them all of the time. Just bought the ebooks. The ebooks are good but the entire series is full of spelling mistakes, misplaced spaces, and what appears to be OCR errors. The entire series of ebooks should be re-proof read and re-released. But even with the errors, they are still good reads.
coffeesucker on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
To me, the series began to suffer at this point.
SonicQuack on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Although the pace picks up in the latter half of Labyrinth, there is no disguising the languishing pace of the first half and the absence of any noteworthy scenes. Labyrinth is setting the stage for the final conflict, drawing together a fellowship, with the usual traitor within, and actually creates some worthy tension as a result. Distracting from that is Fizban, a plot mechanic so absurd that it immediately dissolves any engagement with the story. Why the James Bond gags? It's high fantasy, not comedy and it's strikingly out of place. The final stage is worth fighting to though and at that point the lengthy build-up does pay dividends and ensures that readers will be yearning for resolution in the final chapter to follow.
Adam_Gentry More than 1 year ago
A common threat creates an uneasy truce. Peace has come to Arianus, but for Haplo the fight continues. His only hope lies in convincing Lord Xar of the truth, and stopping him. For Lord Xar has found a new ambition, the Seventh Gate. Now Haplo must contend with Xar’s messenger. Unwilling to kill, Haplo must convince a fellow Patryn to join him in open rebellion. At first the story relies on a series of vignettes to establish where each character is, gradually bringing them together, uniting the diverse threads into two parallel plots. Most of the story focuses on self-contained subplots, relying on frequent changes of perspective to conceal the sluggish pace of the main plot. Internal conflicts dominate, bringing characters together in pairs for brief scenes, revealing a small amount of information about each character, then breaking them apart, sending each character off to collide with another character, starting a fresh scene. Tensions slowly build towards climactic group discussions, which make strong use of each character’s distinct voice before scattering the group once more. Touching moments bring one storyline to a predictable conclusion, while the other ends on a cliffhanger, paving the way for the final installment. +Strong Characters +Strong Dialogue *Strong but Fragmented Plot *Frequently Changing Perspectives -Slow 3.5/5
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