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There comes a point in a long running series of x number of fantasy novels that you begin to wonder if a) the thing will ever end and b) why on earth you ever undertook the somewhat immense project of reading them in the first place. When I last read the Hand of Chaos an immense feeling of hopelessness and despair came over me.
I'd been reading this series for some time now, I'd explored for new worlds with our anti-hero Haplo - incidentally, his conversion to good in this novel is pretty much complete, anyway - and I was eager to see the plot and intrigue open up and the characters and scenarios of all four worlds interacting. Well, its afe to say that Weis and Hickman fail here,c atastrophically, on almost every level. The adventure simply shifts back to Arianus and we get the adventures of the dwarves (or "Gegs" and their Kicksey Winsey pt 2. Lord Xar, you see, wants to understand how the machine works so that he can control it and cause more chaos in the world. Meanwhile the evil dragon snakes from the last book are out to cause some serious mischief.....and by mischief I mean, persuading Lord Xar to do all the bad things he'd already intended to do...cunning plan huh?
If all this sounds uninspiring enough in compressed reform, the actual structure of the book somewhat mirrors that of the uniquely plotted "Fire Sea". i.e it is one long chase scene. Wooo hooo.
Maybe there's something really good around the corner in Book six eh? After all, if you've gotten this far....
While the Lord of the Nexus orders his servant, Haplo, and Bane, the human child, to further their master's work on Arianus, the resurrected assassin, Hugh the Hand, seeks to complete his mission.