I would have to disagree with Demeter
's above argument that seems to show a negative opinion of the above-titled novel.
Belgarath the Sorcerer is as she stated one of two prequels of the Belgariad & Malloreon stories by the author David Eddings.
I disagree that "...outlining the history leading up to the stories, and retelling some of the key events in them." is an accurate representation of the content of the novel.
The novel does concern the history of the story, but is much more detailed, and much more complete than a simple 'outline' would suggest.
It goes a long way to explaining some of the motivation behind the characters, the reasons that certain events took place the way they did and also gave us detail on characters that were only briefly mentioned in the two series.
Also, the novel does not 'retell' any of the events of the previously written books. Except as commentary outside of the bulk of the story.
On the topic of the commentary, and the asides that are occasionally given by the history's 'author' the character of Belgarath. I am not sure whether it is a gender-related issue, or perhaps just a simple difference of opinion, but to myself and to the three or four other male friends of mine that have read the book, the asides were a continuation of the bickering that went throughout all previous novels. The only difference being that in this case, Belgarath actually scored a few points.
On the final point, that 10 books telling the same story was excessive I have to agree. When taking into consideration his other two series, the Elenium and Tamuli.. a favourite expression made by some friends I becomes clear..
"He wrote a wonderful plot, then used it four times"