Title: Pawn of Prophecy
Author: David Eddings
Series: The Belgariad #1
Rating: 4.5/5 stars!
The Overview: Long ago, the Storyteller claimed, in this first book of THE BELGARIAD, the evil god Torak drove men and Gods to war. But Belgarath the Sorcerer led men to reclaim the Orb that protected men of the West. So long as it lay at Riva, the prophecy went, men would be safe.
But Garion did not believe in such stories. Brought up on a quiet farm by his Aunt Pol, how could he know that the Apostate planned to wake dread Torak, or that he would be led on a quest of unparalleled magic and danger by those he loved–but did not know…?
Another “must-read” series for fantasy buffs, the “Belgariad” is every bit as good as you’ve heard, containing all the elements that make up a top fantasy novel. A simple good vs. evil storyline, diverse and interesting characters, and a young boy swept away in an epic adventure!
All the basic elements are there for greatness, but Eddings takes it one step further by adding one more: culture. During their travels, the characters journey to different areas of the kingdom, and we are introduced to a whole slew of new cultures, mannerisms, and languages. There’s even a complex sign language that was actually one of my favorite elements of the book.
I’m going to say it again: for me, characterization is the most important element. It seems to be the key ingredient in all of the most popular fantasy, and Eddings’ are no exception. A colorful cast of characters come together throughout the series, and I enjoyed reading about all of them – each one has an interesting back-story that makes you want to know more.
Drawbacks: the author sticks to a strict third-person limited narrative, which means that the only way we, as an audience, learn anything is if the main protagonish learns it. I cant help but wonder how much more vibrant and complex the plot could have been had we been allowed into the perspectives of some of the other characters. The flip-side is that the main protagonist is allways in the middle of the action, so that does add an element of excitement to the book.
Overall, it was a great read with a perfectly “epic” feel to it. I will definitely be picking it up again one day when I’m thirsting for a good adventure!
Recommendations: The “Belgariad” is a set of five novels that start us off in this particular world, and I recommend you begin with “Pawn of Prophecy”. The next five books make up the “Malloreon” and you’ll need to start with “Guardians of the West”. There are also a few spinoff novels if you want to know more about certain characters.
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