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Thief of Time Book Summary

The Death Gate Cycle, Book 5

by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

Thief of Time

The Death Gate Cycle, Book 5

Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman


In the fifth installment of the Death Gate Cycle, ‘Thief of Time’, the stakes escalate as Haplo, Alfred, and their companions race against time to prevent the catastrophic collapse of the multiverse. The Sartan’s manipulation of time has thrown the different worlds into chaos, and our heroes must navigate treacherous landscapes, confront powerful enemies, and make difficult choices to restore balance and save existence itself.

Table of contents

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Author & Writing Background

Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman are a renowned duo in the fantasy genre, known for their collaborative works such as the Dragonlance Chronicles and the Death Gate Cycle. Their writing is characterized by rich world-building, complex characters, and epic storylines that explore themes of good versus evil, free will, and the power of belief.

Key Takeaways

The Sundering and its Consequences

The book delves deeper into the Sartan’s decision to sunder the world into four elemental realms and the Labyrinth, exploring the long-term consequences and imbalances caused by this act.

Haplo’s Internal Conflict

Haplo, the Patryn protagonist, grapples with his loyalty to his lord, Xar, and his growing understanding of the Sartan’s flaws and the potential for a different future.

Alfred’s Growth and Transformation

Alfred, the mensch protagonist, continues his journey of self-discovery, embracing his magical abilities and his role in the fight against the Sartan.

The Serpent Mage and the Seventh Gate

The book introduces the enigmatic Serpent Mage, a powerful being manipulating events from the shadows, and reveals the existence of the Seventh Gate, a crucial element in restoring balance to the worlds.

Time Travel and Temporal Paradoxes

The story involves time travel and explores the complexities and paradoxes associated with altering the past and future.

The Search for the Seventh Gate

Haplo and Alfred embark on a perilous quest to find the Seventh Gate, facing challenges and enemies in each of the elemental realms.

Confrontation with the Sartan

The protagonists confront the Sartan leadership, challenging their motives and their control over the flow of time.

The Fate of the Multiverse

The climax of the book involves a desperate struggle to prevent the collapse of time and the destruction of all existence.

FAQ about Thief of Time

Is ‘Thief of Time’ a standalone book, or do I need to read the previous books in the series?

While ‘Thief of Time’ can be enjoyed on its own, it is highly recommended to read the previous books in the Death Gate Cycle to fully understand the complex plot, character development, and world-building.

What are the main themes explored in the book?

The book explores themes of free will versus determinism, the consequences of playing god, the balance between order and chaos, and the importance of understanding different perspectives.

How does ‘Thief of Time’ contribute to the overall Death Gate Cycle storyline?

‘Thief of Time’ is a pivotal point in the series, revealing crucial information about the Sartan, the nature of the Sundering, and the path towards restoring balance to the worlds.

Thief of Time Quotes

  • ”The future is not set. There are many paths before us. We choose which one to take."
  • "Time is a river, always flowing. We cannot stop it, but we can choose to swim with the current or against it."
  • "The greatest weapon is knowledge. With it, we can shape our own destiny.”