On steamy Pryan, never-ending sunlight and plentiful rain have created a jungle so vast that humans and elves dwell high in the trees and only dwarves live anywhere near the ground. From the treetops the aristocratic elves sell weapons to the other races, whose incessant warfare sends a steady steam of profits and essential resources skyward. Now, generations of dissent and race hatred will not heal -- not even under the threat of annihilation at the hands of legendary Titans. Armed with little more than their wits and prophecy, an elf, a human, and a dwarf must unite to try to save the world from destruction.
Destruction looms over the dwarves, men and elves of Pryan, the World of Fire, in this second volume of The Death Gate cycle, begun in Dragon Wing . Childlike but immensely powerful, eyeless tytanssp.ok move through the three societies, killing all in their path. Elven arms dealer Paithan Quindiniar, arriving too late with weapons for the dwarves, flees to warn his people, accompanied by Rega, the human woman he warily loves against all convention, and other survivors. Meanwhile, arriving among the elves are Zifnab, a human and slightly addled wizard with an attendant dragon, and Haplo, an agent of the Lord of the Nexus, member of an ancient race that seeks to regain lost power over the four worlds created by the long vanished Sartan. A race for survival ensues. The authors deploy colorful characters in an intricate plot line and universe as the story slowly develops in what is intended to be a seven-volume saga. The atmosphere is often diluted by jarring touches, however, especially references to and jokes about our current world.
Of all of the books in the series, this one is probably my favorite. The imagery and general feel are somewhat different than the others, and it's here that the physics of the universe the authors have created really shine.