Books by Margaret Weis

STORM RIDERS by Margaret Weis
Released: July 16, 2013

"Sheer epic fantasy fun."
Action, adventure, revenge, political intrigue and magical technology soar in the second volume in the Dragon Brigade series (Shadow Raiders, 2011). Read full book review >
RAGE OF THE DRAGON by Margaret Weis
Released: April 24, 2012

"A middling fantasy adventure that will appeal mainly to the authors' longtime fans. "
Weis and Hickman (Secret of the Dragon, 2010, etc.), co-authors of more than a dozen fantasy novels in the popular Dragonlance series and the seven-part Death Gate Cycle, among other works, again team up for the third book in their Dragonships of Vindras series. Read full book review >
bones by Margaret Weis
Released: Feb. 24, 2009

"Despite some contrived plot developments, a grimly powerful hybrid: provocative literary fiction crossed with a propulsive thriller."
Part earnest Dreiserian tragedy, part Cormac McCarthy novel transplanted to the Steel Belt, Meyer's debut in the end takes a gothic turn into blockbuster-movie bloodbath. Read full book review >
MASTER OF DRAGONS by Margaret Weis
Released: Nov. 1, 2005

"A paint-by-numbers fantasy whose soap-opera characterizations, laughable dialogue and execrable prose will have judicious readers rolling their eyes."
The battle between humans and dragons comes to a head in the unimpressive concluding volume to Weis's Dragonvarld trilogy (The Dragon's Son, 2004). Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 26, 2003

"Better-than-average fantasy retread that offers few surprises but tells the familiar quest story with a dash of wit and verve."
Rousing, action-heavy, well-plotted conclusion to the prolific fantasy duo's sprawling, derivative sword-and-sorcery trilogy. Read full book review >
Released: June 1, 2003

"The bang-up climax finds Melisande giving birth to twins, one wholly human, one half-dragon, as the pot boils for volume two."
Weis abandons her uncompleted Sovereign Stone Trilogy (Guardians of the Lost, 2001, with Tracy Hickman) to kick off a new solo effort. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 13, 2001

"A straightforward quest tale that loses its way under the annoying intricacies of the larger conflict among good, evil and the adroitly confused."
From a pair of prolific fantasy writers, a massive and for the most part monotonous continuation of events first seen in Well of Darkness (2000). Having vanquished his half brother and aligned himself with the evil power of the Void, Prince Dagnarus, ever so youthful (though he's 200 years old), now needs only to get his hands on the Sovereign Stone and he'll rule all of Loerem. (The Stone is a magical gem that has been split in four parts, each giving the person who knows how to use it powers over human and nonhuman inhabitants.) In the previous installment, Weis and Hickman, adopting this standard fantasy plot, invested their medieval-Tolkien pastiche of a world with an unusual depth while retaining requisite amounts of sword and sorcery. Here, the opening is a chiller, with Lord Gustav discovering one of the stones in a moldering grave, then defeating a hideously vicious Vrykyl (an intelligent corpse with magical powers) but finding himself slowly dying of a wound from the Vrykyl's magically lethal knife (a weapon, we discover, that Vrykyls also use to communicate with each other). The dying Gustav is discovered by the dwarf Wolfram, the human boy Jessan, and his elf buddy Bashae, who take him to a village of Trevinci warriors, where a young mad girl utters dark prophecies that, Cassandra-like, are not believed. Heeding the advice of the village's matriarchal healer, Gustav lets fate decide who will bring the stone to an elfin lady opposing Dagnarus—and who will be the decoy. Jessan's warrior uncle Ravenstrike must also get rid of the Vrykyl's oozing armor by giving it to the High Magus, a sorcerer who, unbeknownst to everyone, is actually the evil Vrykyl Shakur inhabiting the Magus's corpse, now acting on Dagnarus's behalf. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 2000

"Conventional but sturdy sword and sorcery, well controlled, with good characters and intriguing developments: quite a surprise for both fans and detractors."
First of a new fantasy trilogy from the authors of dozens of best-selling yarns (Dragons of a Fallen Sun, p. 218, etc.), this one, like the Dragonlance series, based on an eponymous role-playing game. Magic portals connect the human empire of Vinnengael with the lands of the horse-riding dwarves, warrior elves, and seafaring orken. To protect the portals and promote peace, King Tamaros has called upon the gods to create Dominion Lords; their shining armor is proof against all but the most potent magical weapons. But the nonhuman races grumble that none of them are Dominion Lords, so Tamaros promises to create ten of each. The ambitious elves, meanwhile, send Silwyth into Tamaros's court as a spy. Tamaros's unruly, defiant, ignorant youngest son, Dagnarus, acquires a whipping boy, Gareth, whom Dagnarus orders to study forbidden Void magic. Tamaros calls upon the gods to create the Sovereign Stone, a huge diamond that divides into four parts, one for each race; only Dagnarus, thrilled, notes the Void at the jewel's center. At Dagnarus's behest, Gareth creates a vampire Vrykyl, as powerful as a Dominion Lord but dedicated to the Void. Dagnarus insists on becoming a Dominion Lord: during the ceremony, he's consumed by flames, then saved by the Void and clad in black armor. Tamaros dies; his heir, the scholarly Helmos, casts Dagnarus out, and civil war looms. Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 2000

"Kirkus, having previously remarked on the inexplicable popularity of the Weis-Hickman combo, has nothing to add."
From the bestselling duo, the first entry in a trilogy Read full book review >
NIGHTWORD by Margaret Weis
Released: May 1, 1998

Another Starshield yarn (Sentinels, 1996), continuing the adventures of Earth astronaut Jeremy Griffiths (he's had a huge grab-bag of knowledge dumped into his head, courtesy of a wizard who expired before he could explain why) and galactic Omnet operative Merinda Neskat, set against a hybrid fantasy/sf backdrop designed to permit dragons, wizards, and suchlike to coexist in the same universe as computers and spaceships. Why anyone should want this is another matter entirely. The fearsome weapon of the title is missing, and the fate of the galaxy trembles in the balance. Jeremy, of course, with his vast if involuntary knowledge, knows where it is. Problem is, the bad guys know that Jeremy knows. . . . Addicts only—but there are zillions of them. (Author tour) Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 1, 1998

Twenty substantial stories, 195095, featuring magic in all its many and startling guises. Included are: ``Mazirian the Magician,'' from Jack Vance's first masterpiece, The Dying Earth; a tale of Lankhmar and Gray Mouser, from Fritz Leiber; one of Larry Niven's ``fading magic'' yarns; magic in pre-Revolutionary America (Katherine Kurtz); Zenna Henderson's classic ``The Anything Box''; one of Ursula K. Le Guin's stories from which developed the magnificent Wizard of Earthsea trilogy; Merlin vs. Lancelot (Roger Zelazny); and the ultimate magic word (F. Paul Wilson). Wrapping up the all-star cast are: Orson Scott Card, Robert Silverberg, Melanie Rawn, Joe Haldeman, Raymond E. Feist, C.J. Cherryh, Andre Norton, Mercedes Lackey, Ray Bradbury, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Greg Bear, and Christopher Stasheff. A well-chosen, pleasingly varied assemblage that deftly avoids both the overly familiar and the tediously obscure. Read full book review >
Released: June 8, 1997

Sequel to the duo's vastly popular paperback Darksword trilogy. Following the destruction of the Darksword, planet Thimhallan is now all but devoid of magic, and many inhabitants have fled to Earth. Humans everywhere, however, are threatened by the insensate invading alien Hch'nyv (they refuse to negotiate with anyone—except, when the plot requires it, with the evil science/magic Technomancer, Kevon Smythe). On Earth, old Saryon and his mute scribe, narrator Reuven, are visited by the magic-powered Enforcer, Mosiah; he tells them that Joram has crafted a new Darksword back on Thimhallan. (How? Why? He just has, okay?) Smythe wants the sword, either to fight the Hch'nyv or to bargain with them. So Saryon, Reuven, and Mosiah go to Thimhallan to plead with Joram, but he doesn't want to give up his new sword. Joram's daughter, Eliza, grabs it and flees when the group is attacked by Smythe's henchmen. Fortunately, Scylla, an angel sent by God, has the ability to jump between alternate timelines to ensure that the good guys win in the end. And then there's the mysterious, magical Simkin, who also has an agenda and may actually be the Darksword. We never get to meet the Hch'nyv. A loopy farrago of motiveless doings, gruesomely mingled magic and technology, fitful plot contortions, smoke and mirrors: another smash hit from the monarchs of no-brainer fantasy. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 1, 1996

Kicking off a new series from the bestselling duo (the Death Gate cycle, most recently The Seventh Gate, 1994, etc.), Galactic affairs—involving dozens of contending empires, both human and alien—are coordinated by the Omnet, an organization dedicated to gathering and disseminating information and to recovering the Nine Oracles, a set of omniscient synthetic intelligences (``synths''), missing since the fall of an ancient empire. When the first starship from Earth arrives in the vicinity, its crews find that nothing on board works anymore; they're attacked by aliens, and several of them are fed to a demon. Survivor Jeremy Griffiths finds his head full of information, dumped there by a wizard who expires before he can explain. Crisscrossing the galaxy, it emerges, are ``quantum wave fronts'' behind which different sets of physical laws operate (this notion, not a new one, allows the presence of demons, magic dragons, etc., in an ostensibly science fiction setting; its more profound implications seem to have sailed right over the authors' heads). Jeremy, captured by angry Omnet operative Merinda Neskat, learns that the galaxy's ordinary synths are being subverted: Instead of doing their jobs, they're dedicating themselves to a shadowy power group called the Sentinels. To save the day, Merinda must locate the Nine Oracles and obtain an authoritative ruling that should whip the rebellious synths into line. Ambitious hogwash, guaranteed to become a huge success. (150,000 ad/promo; author tour) Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 1995

Weis returns to the universe of her Star of the Guardians series with this new outing for cyborg Xris and his crack team of mercenaries, Mag Force 7: flamboyant Raoul, the chemicals expert, and his sidekick, the Little One, an alien empath and telepath; pilot Harry Luck; weapons expert Jamil Khizr; Tycho, an alien with chameleon powers; and medic Bill Quong. They kill only bad guys. This time out, Xris is obsessed with tracking down computer whiz Darin Cowan, whose supposed betrayal of Xris on a previous mission resulted in Xris becoming a cyborg. But when the team finally discovers Cowan's whereabouts—a remote, heavily guarded Marine base—he, or rather she, turns out to be Darlene Mohini, the Navy's chief codemaker and codebreaker. Posing as pest-control operatives, Xris and the team gain access to the base, grab Cowan, and escape- -with Cowan a willing accomplice—only to realize that they've stumbled into a plot by the Knights of the title. These Knights, religious fanatics from Earth, are intent on assassinating Dion, King of the Galaxy, and eradicating his laid-back, new-fangled notions of worship. With Cowan's disappearance, the entire Navy takes itself offline in order to reset its codes, so Xris can't warn old friend Admiral Dixter, who's protecting King Dion. Eventually, Raoul and the Little One will confirm Cowan's innocence regarding Xris's betrayal, and Cowan's computer expertise uncovers the details of the Knights' plans. Lurid comic-book twaddle—but don't underestimate Weis's formidable, if inexplicable, selling power. Read full book review >
THE SEVENTH GATE by Margaret Weis
Released: Aug. 15, 1994

Like the last day of the week or the final sign before the apocalypse, the seventh, and final, book of the crazily popular Death Gate Cycle (Into the Labyrinth, 1993, etc.) has arrived. Alfred, Haplo, and Marit are in so deep that they have to resort to some pretty desperate measures, some of which have large consequences along the lines of precipitating the ultimate battle between Good and Evil. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 15, 1993

Sixth entry in the authors' sprawling, grand-scale Death Gate fantasy series (The Hand of Chaos, p. 30, etc.). This time, protagonists Haplo the Patryn, whose magic derives from his tattoos, and Albert, the bumbling but mysteriously powerful Sartan, enter the Labyrinth—the deadly prison maze whence Haplo escaped in the inaugural volume. Like the previous entries, this one is far from independently intelligible; neither has the authors' technique—ranging from the wretched dialogue through the hopelessly flawed logic of the entire Death Gate notion—shown any sign of improvement. Still, the Weis & Hickman yarns sell exceedingly well. Why? Because they do. Stay tuned for the seventh- -and last—volume. Read full book review >
THE HAND OF CHAOS by Margaret Weis
Released: March 15, 1993

Volume five of the apparently interminable Death Gate Cycle (Serpent Mage, 1992, etc.). Now that the evil-magic serpents of the water-world Chelestra have escaped through the Death Gate, new power alliances are possible—such as that between the serpents and Xar, Haplo's powerful Patryn boss. Despite Haplo's feeble warnings about the serpents' malevolent intentions (they can assume any shape, retaining only tell-tale red eyes), Xar dispatches Haplo and his yappy-dog sidekick to the air-world Arianus, with orders to set species against species and generally create chaos among the lower- order ``mensch.'' And this time Haplo's old rival/accomplice, Albert the Sartan, languishes trapped inside the Labyrinth. So, by himself Haplo must somehow stop the elf-dwarf war by helping the human and elf magicians while placating Xar and devising a means to repel the serpents—oh, yes, and preventing various assassinations, including his own. A hypercomplicated plot whose increasingly improbable convolutions seem designed only to distract attention from the ludicrously implausible scenario, plodding narrative, and irritatingly obtuse characters. Which, being translated into Fannish, means: another smash hit. (First printing of 60,000) Read full book review >
SERPENT MAGE by Margaret Weis
Released: March 16, 1992

Fourth of the projected seven-book series (most recently Fire Sea, not seen), continuing the adventures of Haplo the Patryn and his rival, Albert the Sartan. Haplo arrives on Chelestra, a water-world whose construction makes no geometric, physical, or narrative sense, only to find that the local seawater quenches the tattoos that are the source of his Patryn magic. Meanwhile, Alfred, the clumsy, bumbling Sartan, also arrives and by accident reawakens the slumbering ancient, arrogant Sartan ruling council, who regard askance Alfred's growing friendship with Haplo. Also on Chelestra live some superpowerful dragon-snakes, whose purpose is to stir up trouble, force the Sartan to open the Death Gate, and allow them to escape. Haplo befriends a trio of ``mensch,'' the human, dwarf, and elf subclasses oppressed by the mighty Sartan, and eventually comes to trust Alfred—he turns out to be the Serpent Mage (whatever that is, and not that it makes a shred of difference to anything)—more than his nominal master, the Patryn Xar. Yet another futile exercise, with the implausible backdrop, absurd plotting, and vacuous dramatics highlighting the authors' inability to narrate in other than a pedestrian monotone. Read full book review >