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Home arrow Books arrow The Belgariad (volume one) -- David Eddings

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The Belgariad (volume one) -- David Eddings Print
Written by Mike Noel   
Thursday, 12 July 2007
The Belgariad
Back in the 1980's, when I was in high school, I read every bit of fantasy I could get my hands on. I went through all the standards: Tolkien, Lewis, Donaldson, Anthony, Brooks, etc. Somehow my fantasy reading flurry passed over the books by David Eddings. Recently I rectified that situation by reading the first three books in the five book series title The Belgariad.
The Belgariad is classic 80's fantasy. It's a sword & sorcery quest with a group made up of characters from a variety of races. Eddings put a group together that's a mixed bag containing royalty, serfs, wizards, knights, warriors, thiefs, and so on. The series revolves around a prophecy concerning the end of the world. Thousands of years prior to the book's events some of the gods fought and created a rift in the fabric of the world. Now, the time is coming to a point where the fabric will either rend entirely or be put back together. The prophecy provided a recipe for the types of people needed to fulfill it and the steps they have to take.
Spearheaded by the wizard Belgarath, the group traverses through country after country on the trail of the enemy who has stolen a powerful orb. Somewhere near the end of book two they give up on tracking down the orb and change to a different quest. The new direction leads them to the heart of the enemy's country where the group will try to destroy one of the main enemy leaders. The group succeeds at the end of the third book.
Eddings work doesn't appear to be as derivative as some other fantasy from that time period but it isn't very mature either. The characters are fairly one dimensional and the plot is fairly linear. Once a character drops out of the group we never hear from them again. The change of directions that happen in the story are fairly abrupt and not really explained. They lead me to think that large portions of the story are not thought out all that well.
The books were good for light reading but I don't plan to read the rest of the series. After reading three books I think I have a pretty good idea what will happen (in broad strokes) and I think I've read enough Eddings to satisfy my curiosity.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 12 July 2007 )

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