The Belgariad is a series of fantasy books written by David Eddings in collaboration with his wife Leigh Eddings, although she didn’t get recognition until much later. They where written between 1982 and 1984 and first published by Ballantine Books and Corgi Books in England. It’s a classic tale about Good vs. Evil.
In five parts:
- The Pawn of Prophecy
- Queen of Sorcery
- Magician’s Gambit
- Castle of Wizardy
- Enchanter’s End Game
In five enchanting works the authors take us on a journey across the “Kingdoms of Alorns and Angaraks”. As usual in fantasy literature, the Fate of the World hinges upon the shrill shoulders of a young orphan boy who must Master his Fears and Face a terrible evil ere the story ends. Not unlike Young Frodo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings at all.
This orphan's name is Garion
and we get to know him very early in life in the kitchen
at Faldor’s Farm
. It’s an absolute joy to see how Garion
’s ordinary life is unstoppably becoming less and less ordinary
. Things are afoot in his world that make it an exiting time
to live in indeed, and together with his aunt Pol
he gets to see a lot of that world.
On the road they enlist all sorts of interesting traveling companions: Silk, a charming hook-nosed thief; A burly red-haired “giant” called Barak; the excitable Lelldorin and the most paramount knight of the world, Mandorallen, to name but a few. Together they face innumerable dangers, beat overwhelming odds and end up saving the world.
Of course, one would do well to read the books should one want to find out what the story is about.
A word of thanks should go to mr.nick whose remarks captured some of my feelings about this book.
David and Leigh Eddings have written an extremely legible series of books. They’re easy to read and easy to comprehend. This is due to two factors. Firstly, the characters are very pronounced and straightforward (, yet not boring). Secondly, the dialogs are natural and smooth. This makes it fairly easy to imagine being one of the participants of the conversation and to appreciate the inside jokes.
While the series obviously has a lot in common with the legendary The Lord of the Rings by Tolkien, The Belgariad is by no means a simple clone. The fact that Garion is really growing into his heritage makes it a definite bildungsroman. Also, the underlying philosophy is a very original one: “Pawn of Prophecy” turns out to be a very apt name for the first title in the series.
Garion’s story does not end with the climatic events in “Enchanter’s End Game”. Au contraire! Garion, or actually Belgarion, will have to go round the world once again. The tale of this even more extensive journey is told in The Malloreon, which is also a series of five books. These are:
- Guardians of the West
- King of the Murgos
- Demon Lord of Karanda
- Sorceress of Darshiva
- The Seeress of Kell
And still did David and Leigh Eddings write more about the world of Belgarion. Both “Belgarath the Sorcerer” and “Polgara the Sorceress” are prequels to The Belgariad, not quite unlike how “The Silmarillion” is a Prequel to the The Lord of the Rings. Finally there is The Rivan Codex which can be viewed as an appendix to both the series.
A note of caution though, if you reread these books as often as I have, you're bound to run into (more than) a few Inconsistencies.