Brilliant descriptions of surroundings and of actions combine with utterly convincing character development to create an utterly enjoyable reading experience. Though some of their concepts may sometimes be a little "out there," the narratives are truly immersive and convincing.
"The Death Gate Cycle"
Sky, stone, fire, and water. A sundered world, torn in four by sorcerers possessed of amazing powers has now all but forgotten its once powerful magical rulers. Now the rivals of the Sartan sorcerers, the Patryns, have begun to escape from their prison, the Labyrinth. They alone know of the presence of the four worlds and now plan to bend them to their iron will by using the Death Gate, the only means of transport between the realms of sky, stone, fire, and water.
The Realm of Sky, Arianus: Humans, elves, and dwarves live on airborne islands; magical elven ships float on currents of magic while humans soar on the backs of dragons. Water is extremely scarce; all monetary systems are based upon the precious liquid. The elves, in control of the majority of the skys also control the dwarves who have been fooled into thinking the elves in their flying ships are gods. The mysterious machine, the Kicksey-winsey, which was left for the dwarves to care for, produces a good amount of water which the elves "trade" for junk which the dwarves take to be valuable artifacts; gifts from the gods. But, the world of sky is changing. Civil unrest is boiling in the dwarven society, a human assassin is hired by the king to kill the prince, a mysterious stranger crashes into the dwarven island and is proclaimed a god, while all the time, an insidious wizard waits at the uppermost part of the world for a chance to enact his plan to subjugate Arianus.
The Realm of Fire, Pryan: The sun constantly shines, always beating down upon the world. The light and plentiful rain have caused an immense jungle to grow. Elves and humans live high in the huge trees, while dwarves live closer to the surface and have actually seen dirt, which is regarded as a myth to the other cultures. The aristocratic elves sell weapons o the warring humans, thus giving them a steady stream of profits and allowing the humans to continue their wars. But, the racial animosity and stress is growing at a time when cooperation is needed. The legendary tytans have appeared and their wrath and heartless destructive nature threatens all of the lesser races' civilizations. Now, a band of unlikely companions must forget their racial differences in order to survive. Meanwhile, Haplo continues to learn about the worlds and their inhabitants while a strange, seemingly bumbling wizard appears with maybe more purpose and knowledge than he at first glance seems to possess.
The Realm of Stone, Abarrach: Humans, elves, and dwarves have all seemed to die off on this world of subterranean caves built around a core of molten lava. He only inhabitants seem to be the last remnants of the once powerful Sartan; even they struggle to survive a dying world. Now, Haplo and Alfred must work together to survive, and, in the process they may discover more about the history and of the future of the Sartan and the sundered world they left behind than either one ever hoped or dared to learn.
The Realm of Sea, Chelestra: Alfred has at last found his people, but he must be catuios as he finds that he can't fully trust those that he had dreamed of finding. Even though, by heritage, they should be enemies, Haplo and Alfred are the only ones that they can both trust. Haplo's lord has ordered that all Sartan are to be considered the enemy and Haplo cannot bring himself to go against his master. On this world, humans, elves, and dwarves have learned to live in peace, but the Sartan and Patryns may soon disrupt that peace with their ensuing war. Yet there are even greater threats to the four worlds and only Haplo and Alfred know anything about them.
"The Hand of Chaos"
The Lord of the Nexus sends Haplo and the human child, Bane, back to Arianus, the Realm of Sky. Meanwhile, Alfred has been cast into the Labyrinth by his own people and Hugh the Hand has been resurrected in order for him to complete his task. As Haplo's doubts about his master grows, the evil force that he and Alfred discovered has finally escaped the world on which it had been trapped for so long. Now, Haplo must make the decision whether or not to betray his master and work towards peace in the worlds or to allow evil to run its course while he remains tied to his lord.
"Into the Labyrinth"
Xar, Lord of the Nexus, has learned of the existence of the Seventh Gate from his army of the undead. It is believed that whoever enters the gate will be given the power to create worlds and to destroy them. Haplo is the only one that knows of the gate's location, but even he is unaware that he possesses that knowledge. Now, an ex-lover has been sent to kill Haplo even while Hugh the Hand stalks him, wielding the Accursed Blade. Haplo must now seek sanctuary and his old companion, Alfred, within the Labyrinth.
"The Seventh Gate"
Haplo, mortally wounded, lies within the mercy of Lord Xar who plans to subject him to a fate beyond death. The Lord of the Nexus plans to resurrect Haplo in order to force him, as a member of the undead, into revealing the location of the Seventh Gate. Now, Haplo must rely upon Hugh the Hand, and Marit, his lost love. In order to save him, they must enter the Seventh Gate and risk alerting Xar to its location. They must make a terrible choice between their friend and risking putting all of the sundered world into the hands of a tyrant.