The Belgariad: Sometimes fun is enough

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsbook review David Eddings The BelgariadTHE BELGARIAD by David Eddings

Back before David Eddings became a shampoo-rinse-repeat sort of author, churning out the same old storylines and character types, there was the original Belgariad series, which remains by far his best work.

The premise is an old stand-by — farmboy discovers he’s not who he thought he was and, along with a band of helpers, goes on a quest to stop the world’s destruction/domination by the evil one. But Eddings manages to breathe a lot of life into the archetypical plot. His characters are gradually revealed throughout the series to have hidden layers of complexity, his main character, Garion, grows throughout the series, the tone darkens and deepens as one goes on, the world tour is detailed and interesting, the plot quick moving, and there is a great deal of humor laced throughout, often in the form of great character banter.

The Belgariad remains one of the better series to have come out, and in fact the formula worked so well that Eddings basically decided to use it again and again and again. Personally I found the repetition in later series grew too tiresome to tolerate, but none of that diluted the first joy that came with reading The Belgariad. It’s not as strong in its depth or literary creation as some others, but sometimes fun is enough.

The Belgariad — (1982-1998) Young adult. Publisher: It all begins with the theft of the Orb that for so long protected the West from an evil god. As long as the Orb was at Riva, the prophecy went, its people would be safe from this corrupting power. Garion, a simple farm boy, is familiar with the legend of the Orb, but skeptical in matters of magic. Until, through a twist of fate, he learns not only that the story of the Orb is true, but that he must set out on a quest of unparalleled magic and danger to help recover it. For Garion is a child of destiny, and fate itself is leading him far from his home, sweeping him irrevocably toward a distant tower — and a cataclysmic confrontation with a master of the darkest magic.

David Eddings The Belgariad: Pawn of Prophecy, Queen of Sorcery, Magician's Gambit, Castle of Wizardry, Enchanter's End GameDavid Eddings The Belgariad: Pawn of Prophecy, Queen of Sorcery, Magician's Gambit, Castle of Wizardry, Enchanter's End GameDavid Eddings The Belgariad: Pawn of Prophecy, Queen of Sorcery, Magician's Gambit, Castle of Wizardry, Enchanter's End GameDavid Eddings The Belgariad: Pawn of Prophecy, Queen of Sorcery, Magician's Gambit, Castle of Wizardry, Enchanter's End GameDavid Eddings The Belgariad: Pawn of Prophecy, Queen of Sorcery, Magician's Gambit, Castle of Wizardry, Enchanter's End Game


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BILL CAPOSSERE, who's been with us since June 2007, lives in Rochester NY, where he is an English adjunct by day and a writer by night. His essays and stories have appeared in Colorado Review, Rosebud, Alaska Quarterly, and other literary journals, along with a few anthologies, and been recognized in the "Notable Essays" section of Best American Essays. His children's work has appeared in several magazines, while his plays have been given stage readings at GEVA Theatre and Bristol Valley Playhouse. When he's not writing, reading, reviewing, or teaching, he can usually be found with his wife and son on the frisbee golf course or the ultimate frisbee field.

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