The Belgariad Group Read for 2022

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The Belgariad Group Read for 2022

1alcottacre
Jan 8, 2022, 10:58 pm

Paul, Nina and I were talking in December about reading the first book of The Belgariad, Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings. We have now decided to read the entire Belgariad, 5 books, at the rate of a book a month. Anyone is free to join in with us! We are planning to start reading on January 15th, 2022.

2PaulCranswick
Jan 8, 2022, 11:19 pm

It has been sitting on my reading table these weeks passed and clearly unimpressed that I haven't picked it up yet!

Roll on 15th!

Thanks for setting this up, Stasia. xx

3alcottacre
Jan 8, 2022, 11:29 pm

>2 PaulCranswick: No problem, Paul. This is a fun series and I am looking forward to my re-read of it. I think the last time I read it was 2-3 years ago. Not for sure, but it has been a while ago.

4humouress
Jan 9, 2022, 1:45 am

I have Pawn of Prophecy but I'll have to get the other four from the library. Only one of my libraries has The Belgariad vol 1 and all 4 copies are out, with 2 more holds on them; pretty popular for a thirty-odd year old series.

5alcottacre
Jan 9, 2022, 2:14 am

>4 humouress: Wow, that is surprising, Nina.

6drneutron
Jan 9, 2022, 6:09 pm

Added this thread to the group wiki!

7ronincats
Jan 9, 2022, 8:03 pm

Hey! Glad I saw your comment, Stasia, on Paul's thread. I love the Belgariad! Have those five books, the Mallorean 5, and Belgarath the Sorcerer and Polgara the Sorceress to boot. I would be delighted to do a reread with all of you! Never really liked any of Edding's other works, but I do love this series!

8PaulCranswick
Jan 9, 2022, 8:08 pm

>7 ronincats: I always thought of you, Roni, as the doyenne of SciFi/Fantasy readers in the group so it would be a privilege to have you read along with us.

9ronincats
Jan 9, 2022, 8:09 pm

>8 PaulCranswick: *blush* It would be MY privilege...

10alcottacre
Jan 10, 2022, 1:03 am

>6 drneutron: Thanks, Jim!

>7 ronincats: Great to have you on board, Roni! I own all the same books. I think we will decide, after the first 5, if we want to continue on with the Mallorean too.

11fairywings
Jan 11, 2022, 7:16 pm

I re-read the Belgariad last year so not quite ready for another go, but if you decide to do the Mallorean Stasia, I could be tempted to join in since I got sidetracked from that one last year.

12alcottacre
Jan 11, 2022, 7:17 pm

>11 fairywings: We are going to decide whether or not to continue after we finish The Belgariad, Adrienne, so maybe check back later?

If we do not do a group read, I would certainly do a shared read with you, if you are interested.

13fairywings
Jan 11, 2022, 8:55 pm

>2 PaulCranswick: Looking forward to your thoughts Paul. Hope you enjoy the series as much as we do.

>12 alcottacre: Sounds good Stasia.

14alcottacre
Jan 11, 2022, 8:55 pm

>13 fairywings: I will keep you posted as to if and when.

15FAMeulstee
Editado: Jan 15, 2022, 7:06 am

I will read with you all.

I just reserved De voorspelling at the library. It has to come from elsewhere, so it will arrive sometime next week.
They have all books from the series, only the copy of book 4 is out.
Now hoping it will be returned, as I am still waiting for Robert Jordans Wheel of Time book 10. After my reservation early November the copy was marked as out at first, and turned into "unavailable" last week :-(

16Athabasca
Jan 15, 2022, 6:03 am

I’d love to do a re-read too. One of my favourite series. It’ll just take me a day or two to find it!

17PaulCranswick
Jan 15, 2022, 6:56 am

>15 FAMeulstee: Good to see you Anita

>16 Athabasca: It will be great to have you join in all the way from one of my absolute favourite cities and my daughter's uni venue.

I'm just starting out!

18Athabasca
Jan 15, 2022, 8:31 am

>17 PaulCranswick: I am indeed lucky, it’s a beautiful place. Is your daughter in Edinburgh at the moment?

19PaulCranswick
Jan 15, 2022, 8:40 am

>18 Athabasca: No, she is working in Oresund in Norway at the moment. She will probably travel to Sheffield to see her mum before returning to Malaysia for an extended visit before we all head back to the Olde Country.

20Athabasca
Jan 15, 2022, 8:48 am

>19 PaulCranswick:. It’s always good to have them back, even though it’s wonderful to see them reach their potential. I’m lucky to have one of my nieces living in Edinburgh just now while she works for a fashion designer. So proud of her.

21alcottacre
Jan 15, 2022, 11:59 am

>15 FAMeulstee: I hate when that happens, Anita! It has happened to me on numerous occasions. Glad to have you with us for the Belgariad though!

>16 Athabasca: Cool beans! We are pretty loose about these parts, so starting on the 15th is not an absolute necessity.

>17 PaulCranswick: Yay, Paul! I have started it as well.

22FAMeulstee
Jan 15, 2022, 12:50 pm

>21 alcottacre: I should have complained earlier, Stasia, two hours ago I got the message that I can pick up the Robert Jordan book! Now I have to shuffle a bit with my planned readings this month.

23alcottacre
Jan 19, 2022, 1:01 pm

>22 FAMeulstee: I do a lot of shuffling, Anita, so I understand!

24alcottacre
Jan 19, 2022, 1:02 pm

BTW - Pawn of Prophecy would fit in TIOLI challenge #13 for this month if anyone is interested! I know that a couple of people have already completed the book.

25FAMeulstee
Jan 19, 2022, 1:29 pm

>24 alcottacre: I was going to ask the same, Stasia. I just got the book today from the library, together with the Robert Jordan.
It doesn't matter to me in which challenge you put it, I have all challenges covered this month.
An alternate could be TIOLI challenge #5, as it is my first Eddings book.

26FAMeulstee
Jan 19, 2022, 4:05 pm

>24 alcottacre: >25 FAMeulstee: I just noticed Paul put it in TIOLI challenge #18, shall we move it there?

27humouress
Jan 20, 2022, 10:50 am

I've finished Pawn of Prophecy (I've always had a quibble with that title, though) and reviewed it on my thread. Let me know which TIOLI challenge to park it in!

28alcottacre
Jan 20, 2022, 12:30 pm

>26 FAMeulstee: Works for me! I will move my copy.

>27 humouress: Looks like it is going to be #18, Nina!

29alcottacre
Jan 20, 2022, 4:07 pm

SPOILER ALERT!!

Some thoughts on Pawn of Prophecy now that I have finished it:

- I appreciate that Eddings gives us a good sense of time, place, and people at the beginning of the book. I especially appreciate the fact that he makes us very aware of the close relationship between Garion and his Aunt Pol. Garion is treated as a "normal" boy.

- I appreciate Eddings' sense of humor. He never appears to take the book too seriously.

- Just before Garion slays the boar, a stag crosses his path. I know that stags are considered to be symbols in some literatures. Is this a recurring theme in these books? It has been so long since I read them that I cannot remember!

Anyone else have any thoughts they would like to share?

30ronincats
Jan 20, 2022, 4:15 pm

If the stag has any recurring import, it has gone completely over my head, Stasia.

Besides what you have noted about the sense of place and humor, I have always liked the third person close-up perspective from Garion's POV, so that we discover things along with him as they develop.

31alcottacre
Jan 20, 2022, 4:17 pm

>30 ronincats: Yeah, sometimes a stag is just a stag. I agree completely about Garion's POV, Roni! Thanks for pointing that out.

32humouress
Editado: Jan 21, 2022, 10:56 am

These were some of the notes I made on Litsy as I was reading:

I think Eddings got ‘sulky teenager‘ right without making Garion bratty. I was around the same age when I first read this series and I could empathise with him. Now my kids are the same age I still find him relatable.

Good pacing and enough description and little incidents to paint in the background and invest you in the characters.

It's not high literature but it is written well and lots of fun; it's a bit irreverent with a lot of banter between the characters. Best of all, it lived up to my memories of it.
I like the way Eddings shows and doesn't tell; mainly we learn about events as Garion does. But it's also easy to put together information and understand a bit more than he has, so far.

>29 alcottacre: I don't remember any more stags, Stasia, so I don't think it's of any import. Mind you, I hadn't remembered that one either :0)

33alcottacre
Jan 22, 2022, 1:16 am

>32 humouress: I agree with your thoughts on Eddings getting the sulky teenager right, Nina.

As far as stags go, I will keep my eyes open for them as we continue on the series. I am probably just making a mountain out of a molehill.

34Athabasca
Jan 23, 2022, 1:57 pm

>32 humouress:, I agree, not too much sulky teenager and the set-up was well handled. A good mixture of action and information. Great characters and humour. I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to re-reading the rest.

35alcottacre
Jan 23, 2022, 2:15 pm

BTW - The TIOLI Challenge list for February is already up. For those interested, I have already added the second book, Queen of Sorcery, to Paul's challenge #3.

36ronincats
Fev 7, 2022, 9:09 pm

Just bumping this up the list. I'm ready to talk about Queen of Sorcery whenever the rest of you finish it up!

37humouress
Editado: Fev 21, 2022, 6:18 am

Queen of Sorcery is in da house so I'm good for this month's group read.

ETA: I'm fairly sure that one of the things that pulled me into fantasy was the cover art, especially on the UK Corgi editions. The ones on the Belgariad books (at that time, in the '80s) were some of my favourites. The Corgi Mallorean were in a similar theme but a bit more edgy and are not quite so high on my list.

My cover for Pawn of Prophecy is the only one of the first five that I have with the Geoff Taylor covers (well, I'm only buying the rest of the series now, and they are being issued with new covers).



I like the 'fanlight' at the top, too; but also the colours, the long vista and the 'fantasy'-type building in the distance.

38alcottacre
Fev 14, 2022, 4:43 pm

I will be starting the book today since I just finished up another fantasy book, Mercedes Lackey's By the Sword, which I greatly enjoyed.

39alcottacre
Fev 20, 2022, 4:29 pm

I just finished this one. A couple of comments:

1) The section where Ce'Nedra is revealed - Silk does not realize who she is. That has never rung true for me. The others I can accept them not realizing, but not Silk.

2) I do not understand why Polgara never taught Garion to read. From what we learn in the first book, they had an extraordinarily close relationship and I think she would have known if he was reading things she would rather he not, so why not teach him to read and write?


Another solid entry in the series, but I prefer the first book just slightly over this one.

40FAMeulstee
Fev 20, 2022, 4:38 pm

We finished Queen of Sorcery almost at the same time, Stasia :-)

On to the next book, I just reserved it at the library. It has to come from an other branch again, so it will arrive sometime next week.

41humouress
Editado: Mar 1, 2022, 5:17 am

I found this map of the whole of the world of the Belgariad (both series):

42humouress
Editado: Mar 1, 2022, 5:38 am

But right now we're focusing on this:

43humouress
Mar 2, 2022, 11:08 pm

Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings



{First of 5 in The Belgariad; fantasy, high fantasy, epic fantasy, quest, adventure} (1982)

The first thing the boy Garion remembered was the kitchen at Faldor’s farm. For all the rest of his life he had a special warm feeling for kitchens and those peculiar sounds and smells that seemed somehow to combine into a bustling seriousness that had to do with love and food and comfort and security and, above all, home.

We meet Garion at a very young age as he is growing up under his Aunt Pol's care at Faldor's farm, deep in Sendaria, which is the most ordinary of all the countries and Sendars are known for the practicality and unimaginativeness. Soon, though, Garion is tagging along with Aunt Pol and the itinerant story teller he calls Mister Wolf on the adventure of a lifetime as they race through the kingdoms of Aloria on the trail of a mysterious object that has been stolen. Along the way they meet a multinational cast of characters. Garion, now fourteen years old, is too young to be entrusted with the details of their quest and often feels sidelined. But ... can Mister Wolf really be hundreds of years old and is there really such a thing as sorcery?

This book does not end on a cliff-hanger but the quest is not complete so you do have to read on.

I first read this series in the '80s when it had been recently published; the (UK Corgi) cover illustrations with their fanlights and art by Geoff Taylor drew me in and were some of the books that got me really started in fantasy in my teens. I was worried that this book wouldn't live up to my memories but it has and I've really enjoyed re-reading it.

I like the way Eddings took time to set the world up beginning with Garion's childhood and his everyday adventures growing up on a farm; I think it grounds the start of the story and invests us in the characters and their interactions as a close-knit group. I think Eddings got 'sulky teenager' right without making Garion bratty. I was around the same age when I first read this series and I could empathise with him; I could see why he didn't appreciate being ignored when there were important events happening around him and everyone else seemed to know what was going on. Now my kids are the same age I still find him relatable. And, though the teenage boy might not have seen it, I liked seeing how deeply Aunt Pol cared for him.

I also remember liking the way that the people of each nation have their own quirks and characteristics; it may not be considered altogether pc in this day and age but I think it works well (and gives Silk many opportunities to poke digs at his friends).
"Thank you for your permission, Captain," Silk said, inclining his head. "Do you know what the King of Sendaria said then, Garion?" he asked.
"No," Garion said. "What?"
"I pray you, your eminences,' the king said, 'have a care for your finery. I have just well manured the bed in which you are kneeling.'"
Barak, who was sitting nearby, roared with laughter, pounding his knee with one huge hand.
"I find this less than amusing, sir," Captain Brendig said coldly, rising to his feet. "I make no jokes about the King of Drasnia, do I?"
"You're a courteous man, Captain," Silk said mildly, "and a nobleman. I'm merely a poor man trying to make his way in the world.
Brendig looked at him helplessly and then turned and stamped from the room.
And I also liked the way that, as they went on, people from almost every nation (in the west) joined their quest; it gave the story a sense of inclusivity and unity.

It's not high literature but it is written well and lots of fun; it's a bit irreverent with a lot of banter between the characters. It has good pacing and enough description and little incidents (relevant or not) to paint in the landscape and the background and invest you in the characters. This is a world-sweeping fantasy with a well constructed world; it has history, geography and distinct cultures to different countries.

I like the way Eddings shows and doesn't tell; mainly we learn about events as Garion does. But it's also easy to put together information and understand a bit more than he has, so far, from the stories of this world.

Best of all, it lived up to my memories of it.

4.5-5 stars
By Belar! Give it an additional half star for nostalgia, why not:
5-5.5 stars

Litsy notes

This was one of the books that got me really started in fantasy in my teens. I‘m going to re-read it for the first time after a long time and I hope it holds up 🤞🏼It was in the era when fantasy books were under 300 pages and some books suffer from being curtailed (on re-reading).
This original Corgi edition cover illustration (can‘t find the artist‘s name) typifies the (UK) fantasy covers of the time 💝 - they helped pull me into that world.

I've found it: the cover artist is Geoff Taylor. 🎨 (3 months ago)

Restarting this because I had library e-books which were expiring.
I like the way Eddings took time to set the world up beginning with Garion‘s childhood; I think it grounds the start and invests us in the characters & their interactions as a family (group).
I also remember liking the way that the people of each nation have their own quirks and characteristics (hey, it‘s fantasy!) A farm-boy/ sword-in-the-stone trope story first published 1982

I love the original cover art on the Corgi edition by Geoff Taylor; this is the 1991 edition (my firsthand copy). Can you believe it was £3.99 when it was published?
"Thank you for your permission, Captain," Silk said, inclining his head. "Do you know what the King of Sendaria said then, Garion?" he asked.
"No," Garion said. "What?"
"I pray you, your eminences,' the king said, 'have a care for your finery. I have just well manured the bed in which you are kneeling.'"
Barak, who was sitting nearby, roared with laughter, pounding his knee with one huge hand.
"I find this less than amusing, sir," Captain Brendig said coldly, rising to his feet. "I make no jokes about the King of Drasnia, do I?"
"You're a courteous man, Captain," Silk said mildly, "and a nobleman. I'm merely a poor man trying to make his way in the world.
Brendig looked at him helplessly and then turned and stamped from the room.
I shouldn‘t laugh but Silk baiting Captain Brendig is always amusing. 😊

I think Eddings got ‘sulky teenager‘ right without making Garion bratty. I was around the same age when I first read this series and I could empathise with him. Now my kids are the same age I still find him relatable.

Good pacing and enough description and little incidents to paint in the background and invest you in the characters.

It's not high literature but it is written well and lots of fun; it's a bit irreverent with a lot of banter between the characters. Best of all, it lived up to my memories of it.
I like the way Eddings shows and doesn't tell; mainly we learn about events as Garion does. But it's also easy to put together information and understand a bit more than he has, so far.

44humouress
Editado: Mar 2, 2022, 11:31 pm

     


I like the way the quest in this series takes us over a large part of this world. These are the maps of the countries covered in the first book.

And I like maps :0)

45humouress
Editado: Mar 2, 2022, 11:28 pm


                                     
                                       

These are the places covered in the second book.

46humouress
Mar 2, 2022, 11:35 pm

So; I finished Queen of Sorcery - but we're already in March. Shall I sneak it into the February TIOLI to increase the points? Or just put it into March?

47alcottacre
Mar 3, 2022, 12:23 am

February works for me, but either way is just fine. Not sure what the cut off date is for entering stuff onto the February TIOLI list though, Nina.

Thanks for posting the maps!

48FAMeulstee
Mar 3, 2022, 2:05 am

>46 humouress: You are too late for putting it in the February TIOLI, Nina, houskeeping day is over.
Speaking of TIOLI in March, I haven't found a spot for Magician's Gambit yet. Maybe you can create a challenge where it fits?

49humouress
Mar 3, 2022, 2:14 am

>48 FAMeulstee: 😞 Well, it wouldn't have been in the spirit of things, anyway.

I'll take a look at March again. That's why I didn't spot Magician's Gambit there.

50ronincats
Mar 4, 2022, 9:13 pm

>41 humouress: Those maps are on the inside covers of my hardbacks of Belgarath the Sorcerer and Polgara the Sorceress in full cover as you show--quite nice, Nina.

51humouress
Editado: Mar 29, 2022, 2:23 pm

>50 ronincats: I've only ever seen the black and white maps in the books I've read - but then, I've always read them as paperbacks (or, for this group read, an e-book for Magician's Gambit).

52alcottacre
Mar 29, 2022, 4:17 pm

Is everyone ready for Castle of Wizardry in April? I know I am!

53ronincats
Mar 30, 2022, 8:47 pm

More than ready, Stasia!

54humouress
Editado: Mar 31, 2022, 12:19 am

Got a book on hold on Overdrive.

Would it be too spoilery if I added the maps for the third book?

55humouress
Mar 31, 2022, 12:25 am

Queen of Sorcery by David Eddings

This is my favourite cover:

{Second of 5 in the Belgariad; fantasy, quest, adventure, epic fantasy, high fantasy}(1984)

I'm really enjoying this re-read. This was one of the first fantasy series I read and I'm having a lot of fun revisiting it. Fair warning, this is the second book of an ongoing quest and there may be spoilers for the first book ahead (although I'll try and avoid them).

Garion, an ordinary farm boy from Sendaria, is travelling on a quest with his aunt Pol, Mister Wolf, an old disreputable-looking peddler (also known as the sorcerer Belgarath), and their friends Durnik, a smith from the same farm, Silk, a Drasnian merchant, and Barak, a huge Cherek warrior. They are tracking an object that has been stolen by a disciple of Torak, the maimed god of the Murgos; an object which has until now assured the safety of the countries of the west and discouraged invasion by Torak's hordes. Belgarath can sense where the object has passed and they have to try to prevent it being taken across the border between west and east. However their journey is hampered by Murgos, Grolims and Nadraks who oppose their goals and along the way they also have to stop to visit the rulers of the countries that they travel through to warn them of impending war with the east. And, as they travel, they pick up companions from different countries so that Belgarath can feel that he's covered the eventualities mentioned in an obscure version of the Prophecy which they happen to be fulfilling. However, their foes are following an opposing Prophecy which they are equally determined to fulfil.

There is a lot that Eddings tells us in the prologues to each book, narrated as legends and tales of this world, that Garion doesn't pick up on; well, would you suspect that the aunt who raised you from a baby was also a famous sorceress who is thousands of years old? But I do know how the story goes and I can't remember if some of the details I caught the first time or if I'm retro-fitting. Though I wonder about some of the things that the characters are trying to hide in plain sight; aunt Pol with her single white lock in her dark tresses isn't a long way from Polgara the sorceress, for example.

This series is fun. It's serious enough but it's not deep and dark and intensive. The interaction between the characters, especially the core characters, is a joy and I'm really enjoying this re-read.
'... I'll wear my blue gown, and you'll wear the white robe. I insist, father.
'You what? Now listen here, Polgara-'
'Be still, father,' she said absently, examining Garion's blue doublet.
Wolf's face darkened, and his eyes bulged dangerously.
'Was there something else?' she asked with a level gaze.
Mister Wolf let it drop.
'He's as wise as they say he is,' Silk observed.
(Belgarath, remember, has been revered in legend for thousands of years.) I love the banter (however 'cheesy' as another review notes). Silk is sardonic without being mean, Barak and even Hettar get in the occasional dig and aunt Polgara is always there to support Garion when he needs it. And now he's really turning into a teenager, with all the unreasonable behaviour even when he knows better (reminds me of certain aspects of my teenage boys’ behaviour).

Garion finds it difficult to come to terms with the idea that his aunt Pol is a powerful sorceress - and then discovers he has powers, however unwelcome. I think that's fair; if you've grown up believing that all magic is confined to stories and legends and then discover that your relatives are two of the most powerful of those legends, that would throw anyone. I still think Eddings has got the balance of sulky teenager without being bratty right; Garion is believable and I can still empathise with him even if I do roll my eyes a bit.

The style of writing can come across as a bit simplistic at times but it's like comfort food; it tells the story and it's very readable. There's quite a bit of violence and blood splashed around, which I'd forgotten, but somehow it's not off-putting, even though we do witness a few deaths - maybe because it's dealt with matter-of-factly. The strength of the narrative is in the seemingly irrelevant background details and little throw away incidents that create the ambiance without detracting from the narrative.
The lawn in the garden was neatly manicured. There were softly splashing fountains, and the rosebushes were all well-pruned. Fruit trees that seemed to be very old were budding, almost ready to burst into bloom in the warm sun. Sparrows bickered over nesting sites on the twisted limbs. Grinneg and the others followed Morin along a curving marble walk toward the centre of the garden.
I've always enjoyed the multinational cast of characters, especially the core group. I do remember noticing, when I read it the first time at height of the Cold War, that the countries in the west represented the 'good guys' while easterners were the 'bad guys' - but I suppose someone has to be. I've always recognised that the characters are stereotyped by country in this world but that's actually one of the things I enjoy about it; the way Sendars are considered staid and full of good sense, Chrereks are large, loud and boisterous, and Arends are the epitome of honour and chivalry - to a fault, unfortunately.
On two opposing hills parties of armored knights with bright-colored pennons on their lances watched the battle. Great siege engines lofted boulders into the air to crash down on the struggling men, killing, so far as Garion could tell, friend and foe indiscriminately. The valley was littered with the dead and the dying.
'Stupid, ' Wolf muttered darkly.
'No one I know of has ever accused Arends of brilliance,' Silk observed.
In this book, we first meet the ‘monsters’ i.e. non-humans of this universe, who also have an important role in the Prophecies. The world of this series continues to expand as we journey through its countries and meet its peoples/ creatures.

And, I have to add, I've always found the Drasnian spy language, using flickers of fingers, a fascinating concept.

I really enjoyed re-reading this; it's so much fun.

4.5-5 stars

Litsy notes

Very readable.
The style of writing can come across as a bit simplistic at times but it‘s like comfort food; it gets the job done decently well. The strength of the narrative is in the background details and little throw away incidents that create the ambiance.

I‘m re-reading this after decades but it was one of my first fantasy series and I remember the basics of the story. Things that should be ominous, unfortunately, aren‘t anymore 😕

They‘re tracking a stolen item that had assured the western kingdoms‘ safety to prevent it crossing the border and visiting rulers as they go, to warn them of war. I like that the crew is multinational. But they all seem to have romantic problems 🤗 I‘m still enjoying the interactions & friendships

There's quite a bit of violence & gore, which I'd forgotten. Somehow, though, it's not upsetting. I suppose it's not gratuitous or dwelt on (a bit like watching manga or an 80s TV show) though we do witness a few deaths.
I do remember noticing, when I read it the first time at height of the Cold War, that the countries in the west were the 'good guys' (stereotype?) - but, hey, someone's got to be.
below. Two grim, black castles faced each other across a broad valley, and several villages dotted the plain on either side of the road. The nearest village was in flames, with a great pillar of greasy smoke rising from it to the lead-gray
sky overhead, and serfs armed with seythes and pitchforks were attacking each other with a sort of mindless ferocity on the road itself. Some distance off, pikemen were gathering for a charge, and the air was thick with arrows. On two opposing hills parties
of armored knights with bright-colored pennons on their lances watched the battle. Great siege engines lofted boulders into the air to crash down on the struggling men, killing, so far as Garion could tell, friend and foe indiscriminately. The valley was littered with the dead and the dying.
'Stupid, ' Wolf muttered darkly.
'No one I know of has ever accused Arends of brilliance,' Silk observed.
Topical
'... Durnik and Silk and Garion can wear the doublets Fulrach gave them in Sendar: I'll wear my blue gown, and you'll wear the white robe. I insist, father.
'You what? Now listen here, Polgara-'
'Be still, father,' she said absently, examining Garion's blue doublet.
Wolf's face darkened, and his eyes bulged dangerously.
'Was there something else?' she asked with a level gaze.
Mister Wolf let it drop.
'He's as wise as they say he is,' Silk observed.
- about a man revered in legend

I love the banter and the seemingly irrelevant details that really contribute to the ambiance without detracting from the narrative.
The lawn in the garden was neatly manicured. There were softly splashing fountains, and the rosebushes were all well-pruned. Fruit trees that seemed to be very old were budding, almost ready to burst into bloom in the warm sun. Sparrows bickered over nesting sites on the twisted limbs. Grinneg and the others followed Morin along a curving marble walk toward the centre of the garden.

I've finished reading this. I really enjoyed re-reading it; it's so much fun.
I've always found the Drasnian spy language, using flickers of fingers, a fascinating concept. 👌

56alcottacre
Mar 31, 2022, 12:33 am

>53 ronincats: Woot!

>54 humouress: No, I do not think so, Nina. Add away!

57FAMeulstee
Mar 31, 2022, 4:24 am

I am waiting for book 4, the Dutch title is Het lied van de Orbus.
It is lended out from the library, and supposed to be back next week. Hope it will be returned in time.

58alcottacre
Mar 31, 2022, 2:28 pm

>57 FAMeulstee: I hope so too, Anita!

BTW - For those who take part in the TIOLI Challenges, Morphy is allowing Castle of Wizardry to be placed in her challenge #17 for April.

59alcottacre
Maio 5, 2022, 8:34 pm

Well, I wrapped up the final book in the Belgariad today and am sad to see the characters go. Throughout these books, I appreciated Eddings' sense of humor and the fact that he does not take his characters too seriously. I thoroughly enjoyed this re-read of the series and am willing to go on to the Mallorean series if anyone else is interested!

60FAMeulstee
Maio 6, 2022, 5:53 pm

>59 alcottacre: Looking forward to Enchanters' End Game. It is next in line to read.
The Mallorean is hard to find here, so this is going to be my last David Eddings.

61alcottacre
Maio 6, 2022, 10:24 pm

>60 FAMeulstee: Oh, that is too bad, Anita. I sure hope you enjoy the last one though!

62humouress
Maio 7, 2022, 6:36 am

>60 FAMeulstee: That's surprising Anita. I hope you are able to find copies somehow and join us - if we do continue. I actually have the Mallorean on my shelves; they were some of the first books I ever bought.

63FAMeulstee
Maio 7, 2022, 6:24 pm

>62 humouress: That would get rather expensive, Nina, only libraries in other provinces have those. To me it isn't worth 4,50 euro for each book.

64alcottacre
Maio 8, 2022, 2:25 am

>62 humouress: I am in if you are, Nina! I would love to continue and finish out Garion's story.

65humouress
Maio 8, 2022, 9:57 am

>64 alcottacre: Well, why not? Let's do it.

66ronincats
Maio 11, 2022, 10:51 pm

I, ahem, reread them all in January, but still love to follow along as you discover them!

67alcottacre
Maio 11, 2022, 11:15 pm

>66 ronincats: Yeah, you big cheater you :)

I am rediscovering the books and loving it! It has been years since I read them.

68humouress
Maio 12, 2022, 6:57 am

>66 ronincats: Well!

>67 alcottacre: I'm on a journey of rediscovery, too. They're holding up pretty well.

69alcottacre
Maio 17, 2022, 1:01 pm

>68 humouress: Well, I figure we can keep on keeping on at the pace of one a month, if that is OK?

70humouress
Maio 18, 2022, 5:08 am

>69 alcottacre: Works for me. I’ll be traveling but I should be able to fit the first book into June once I get back. Which reminds me … better get on with Enchanter’s Endgame before we leave.

71alcottacre
Maio 18, 2022, 5:44 pm

>70 humouress: OK, sounds good then. I will be out of town the first week of June, but I will pick up the book when I return.

72alcottacre
Maio 26, 2022, 1:54 pm

Nina and I are starting the Mallorean in June, if anyone wishes to join in the fun! I have also put the book in TIOLI Challenge #8 for those who are interested.

73fairywings
Jun 1, 2022, 3:33 am

I would join you but I'm halfway through the 4th book so I figure there's not much point joining in. Maybe next time.

74humouress
Jun 2, 2022, 5:41 am

>73 fairywings: Hit pause and wait for us?

75fairywings
Jun 3, 2022, 3:25 am

>74 humouress: I could do that. I might even re start the 4th book when you get up to it.

76humouress
Editado: Nov 17, 2022, 12:29 am

I need to polish my review of Magician's Gambit but these are the notes I made:

Magician's Gambit by David Eddings

 

Belgarath's group continue to cross the continent in their race to prevent the orb reaching the east in this third book of the quest. Their journey takes some unexpected twists and they gain (and lose) more companions on the way.

This one feels like things are getting a bit more serious as Garion comes into his powers and the stakes climb, though the banter still continues. The teenagers of the group start to grow up and act a bit more responsibly although Garion still struggles with what he can do with his unexpected (and unwanted) sorcery.

4.5****

Litsy notes

Despite the summery image on the original (Corgi UK) cover, it's winter and the group spends a lot of time being cold

readingjedi Oh gosh, that brings back memories! My late father had the series with that style of covers. Wish I still had them ...
humouress @readingjedi I love those covers too (art by Geoff Taylor, if you want to hunt them down) but they‘re not in print anymore 😕

Litsy quotes
The wind tore at them as they rode, and the driving sleet half-blinded them…The ledge curved along the mountainside, disappearing in the swirling sleet ahead…The wind blasted directly into his face as he stepped around the granite outcrop, and he had to put his hand in front of his face to keep the sleet from blinding him… the upper edge of (the door) was lost in the swirling sleet.

As soon as a friendship passed a certain point ... a woman quite automatically became overwhelmed by a raging compulsion to complicate things.
😂

‘I thought Ctuchik was a sorcerer,‘ Garion said, puzzled. ‘Why do you keep calling him a magician?‘
‘It‘s a term of contempt,‘ Belgarath replied. ‘It‘s considered a deadly insult in our particular society.'

Review done (finally):

10) Magician's Gambit by David Eddings

 

{Third of 5 in the Belgariad; fantasy, quest, adventure, epic fantasy, high fantasy}(1984)

I'm really enjoying this re-read. This was one of the first fantasy series I read and I'm having a lot of fun revisiting it. Fair warning, this is the third book of an ongoing quest and there may be spoilers for the first two books ahead (although I'll try and avoid them).

Garion, an ordinary farm boy from Sendaria, is travelling on a quest with his aunt Pol, Mister Wolf - an old disreputable-looking peddler (also known as the sorcerer Belgarath), and their friends Durnik - a smith from the same farm, Silk - a Drasnian merchant, and Barak - a huge Cherek warrior. They are tracking an object that has been stolen by a disciple of Torak, the maimed god of the Murgos; an object which has until now assured the safety of the countries of the west and discouraged invasion by Torak's hordes. And, as they travel, they pick up more companions from different countries so that Belgarath can feel that he's covered the eventualities mentioned in an obscure version of the Prophecy which they happen to be fulfilling. However, their foes are following an opposing Prophecy, which they are equally determined to fulfil.

Belgarath's group continue to cross the continent in their race to prevent the object reaching the east and being used to wake the slumbering Torak in this third book of the quest. Their journey takes some unexpected twists as they travel into more regions and countries of the west and they gain (and lose) more companions on the way, all necessary to the prophecy they are following.

This one feels like things are getting a bit more serious as Garion comes into his powers and the stakes climb, though the banter still continues. The teenagers of the group start to grow up and act a bit more responsibly (well, a bit):
Over the months since she had joined them, he had seen her attitude toward him change until they had shared a rather specialised kind of friendship. He liked her: she liked him. Everything had been fine up to that point. Why couldn't she just leave it alone? Garion surmised that it probably had something to do with the inner workings of the female mind. As soon as a friendship passed a certain point - some obscure and secret boundary - a woman quite automatically became overwhelmed by a raging compulsion to complicate things.
although Garion still struggles with what he can do with his unexpected (and unwanted) sorcery.

Despite the summery image on the original (Corgi UK) cover, it is winter and the group spends a lot of time being cold.
The wind tore at them as they rode, and the driving sleet half-blinded them. Garion moved confidently, however. For some reason every rock about them seemed absolutely familiar, though he could not have said why. He rode just fast enough to stay in front of the others. He knew they would ask questions, and he didn’t have any answers. They rounded a shoulder of the peak and rode out onto a broad rock ledge. The ledge curved along the mountainside, disappearing in the swirling sleet ahead.
‘Where art thou taking us, lad?’ Mandorallen shouted to him.
‘It’s not much farther,’ Garion yelled back over his shoulder.
The ledge narrowed as it curved around the looming granite face of the mountain. Where it bent around a jutting cornice, it was hardly more than a footpath. Garion dismounted and led his horse around the cornice. The wind blasted directly into his face as he stepped around the granite outcrop, and he had to put his hand in front of his face to keep the sleet from blinding him. Walking that way, he did not see the door until it was almost within reach of his hands.
The door in the face of the rock was made of iron, black and pitted with rust and age. It was broader than the gate at Faldor’s farm, and the upper edge of it was lost in the swirling sleet.
The characterisation is very clear; each person has their own quirks and you never confuse any of the ensemble cast. The addition of new members and the introduction in person of some of the gods of this universe show us that, though Belgarath and co. are intent on fulfilling their prophecy to make it come out in favour of Good, there are other important events happening in this world.

The chess and magic theme of the book titles carries on.
‘I thought Ctuchik was a sorcerer,' Garion said, puzzled. ‘Why do you keep calling him a magician?'
‘It‘s a term of contempt,' Belgarath replied. ‘It‘s considered a deadly insult in our particular society.'
(Ctuchik being the magician in question attempting the gambit.) This book does end on a bit of a cliff-hanger (almost literally); the group have a major breakthrough but we leave them in the midst of danger.

I'm enjoying re-reading this series, which was one of the first books to introduce me to a life-long love of fantasy. I initially borrowed them from the library to re-read in the hopes that I would still be able to find and buy books with the original Corgi UK covers by Geoff Taylor, which I love, but they've been reissued with new covers.

(March 2022)
4.5 stars

77humouress
Editado: Jun 30, 2022, 5:42 am

The maps for Magician's Gambit


                                     
                            

ETA: I found these maps on the internet and they are the ones I remember from the original books. I notice that the maps in my current edition (which I bought this year) are different and don't fully line up with the map in the front of the book, even though that also looks as though it's been revised (the mountains are depicted differently, for instance).

Ah - I spotted a signature; Shelly Shapiro drew the original maps for the Belgariad

78humouress
Editado: Nov 17, 2022, 12:31 am

This review is more complete (but still needs a bit of work):

Castle of Wizardry by David Eddings



Warning: possible spoilers for the previous books ahead.

The quest for the Orb has been fulfilled but now the company need to get it out of Cthol Murgos and back to the Hall of the Rivan king, collecting Ce’Nedra on the way so she can present herself there on her sixteenth birthday. Garion feels that this is the end of the adventure and wonders what he is going to do with his life from now on, after realising that he can no longer return to Faldor’s farm as he had once assumed that he would. But he discovers that the quest was only the beginning and the Prophecy has not finished with him yet.

The recovery of the Orb leads to the catalyst that awakens Torak, the maimed god of the Murgos, which in turn will renew the aeons old war of East agains West. As we know, Belgarath warned the monarchs of the countries the group passed through to start preparing for war and now the armies start massing. Both Garion and Ce’Nedra accept that they have no control over their own destinies and grow into the roles that the Prophecy has proscribed for them.

This series was some of the very first books I read in fantasy and helped cement my love for the genre. I’m re-reading it for the 2022 group read. The banter is still there in this book but, with the approach of war things get a bit more serious. Eddings makes it clear that war is not all fun and glory. I didn't agree with what Vordai had done with her fenlings; maybe that was the point?

I found this book very readable. For someone who has only managed 16 books this year and been struggling especially with re-reads, I zipped through this in under 24 hours.

4.5*****

Litsy quotes & notes

Great was the wrath of the Emperor of Tolnedra. He assembled his armies to cross the Sea of the Winds and do war. Then the peaceloving Alorns held council to try reason upon this rash Emperor. And they sent out a message to advise him that, should he persist, they would rise, up and destroy Emperor and kingdom and sweep the wreckage thereof into the sea. And the Emperor gave heed to this quiet remonstrance and abandoned his desperate adventure.

Um …. diplomacy?
As we know, Alorns never go looking for a fight

One criticism I‘ve seen about this series is that Garion doesn‘t get told everything. Well, apparently there‘s a reason …

He wondered also about his own life. The visit to Faldor's farm had forever closed that door to him, even if it had ever really been open. The bits and pieces of information he had been gathering for the past year and more told him quite plainly that he was not going to be in a position to make his own decisions for quite some time.
'
I don't suppose you'd consider telling me what I'm supposed to do next?' He didn't really expect any kind of satisfactory answer from that other awareness.
'
It's a bit premature,' the dry voice in his mind replied
'
We'll be in Riva tomorrow,' Garion pointed out. 'As soon as we put the Orb back where it belongs, this part of the adventure will be all finished. Don't you think that a hint or two might be in order along about now?'
'
I wouldn't want to spoil anything for you.'
'
You know, sometimes I think you keep secrets just because you know that it irritates people.'
'
What an interesting idea.'
The conversation got absolutely nowhere after that.

Very well done, Belgarion,' the dry voice complimented him.
'
Oh, shut up,' Garion said.
Sometimes that little voice in your head can get just a bit too annoying.

It was still early spring, and the night was cool but not chilly. There was a fragrance in the air, washing down over the city from the high meadows in the mountains behind Riva and mingling with peat smoke and the salty tang of the sea. The stars overhead were bright, and the newly risen moon, looking swollen as it rode low over the horizon, cast a glittering golden path across the breast of the Sea of the Winds. Garion felt that excitement he always experienced when starting out at night. He had been cooped up too long, and each step that took him farther and farther from the dull round of appointments and ceremonies filled him with an almost intoxicating anticipation.
I love that feeling of adventure when the rest of the world is hushed and the air is cool with the promise of a beautiful day ahead. For me, that happens on early mornings; I‘m not a morning person so it happens rarely, which makes it more special.

On their journey they come across a witch who despises humans and lives among otter-like creatures but she wants Belgarath to give them the power of speech. Seems counterintuitive and also very wrong to change them away from what nature intended.

Disappointingly most of the title pages for the different sections have come out as blacked out rectangles in this edition (Corgi paperback 9780552168366 2012) and there‘s no Contents page. At least the maps all seem to be there.

Final review:

16) Castle of Wizardry by David Eddings



{Fourth of 5 in Belgariad series; fantasy, high fantasy, quest fantasy, young adult} (1984)

Warning: possible **spoilers for the previous books** ahead.

The quest for the Orb has been fulfilled but now the company need to get it out of Cthol Murgos and back to the Hall of the Rivan king, collecting Ce’Nedra on the way so she can present herself there on her sixteenth birthday. Garion feels that this is the end of the adventure and wonders what he is going to do with his life from now on, after realising that he can no longer return to Faldor’s farm as he had once assumed that he would. But he discovers that the quest was only the beginning and the Prophecy has not finished with him yet.

One criticism I‘ve seen about this series is that Garion doesn‘t get told everything. Well, apparently there‘s a reason …
He wondered also about his own life. The visit to Faldor's farm had forever closed that door to him, even if it had ever really been open. The bits and pieces of information he had been gathering for the past year and more told him quite plainly that he was not going to be in a position to make his own decisions for quite some time.
'
I don't suppose you'd consider telling me what I'm supposed to do next?' He didn't really expect any kind of satisfactory answer from that other awareness.
'
It's a bit premature,' the dry voice in his mind replied
'
We'll be in Riva tomorrow,' Garion pointed out. 'As soon as we put the Orb back where it belongs, this part of the adventure will be all finished. Don't you think that a hint or two might be in order along about now?'
'
I wouldn't want to spoil anything for you.'
'
You know, sometimes I think you keep secrets just because you know that it irritates people.'
'
What an interesting idea.'
The conversation got absolutely nowhere after that.
(but later on in the story:)
Very well done, Belgarion,' the dry voice complimented him.
'
Oh, shut up,' Garion said.

Sometimes that little voice in your head can get just a bit too annoying.

The recovery of the Orb leads to the catalyst that awakens Torak, the maimed god of the Murgos, which in turn will renew the aeons old war of East agains West. As we know, Belgarath warned the monarchs of the countries the group passed through to start preparing for war and now the armies start massing. Both Garion and Ce’Nedra accept that they have no control over their own destinies and grow into the roles that the Prophecy has proscribed for them.

This series was some of the very first books I read in fantasy and helped cement my love for the genre. I’m re-reading it for the 2022 group read. The trademark banter is still there in this book, even in the prologue, but with the approach of war things get a bit more serious. Eddings makes it clear that war is not all fun and glory.
Great was the wrath of the Emperor of Tolnedra. He assembled his armies to cross the Sea of the Winds and do war. Then the peaceloving Alorns held council to try reason upon this rash Emperor. And they sent out a message to advise him that, should he persist, they would rise up and destroy Emperor and kingdom and sweep the wreckage thereof into the sea. And the Emperor gave heed to this quiet remonstrance and abandoned his desperate adventure.
(Um …. diplomacy?) As we know, Alorns never go looking for a fight ...

Amongst the story and the banter he scatters some descriptive gems.
It was still early spring, and the night was cool but not chilly. There was a fragrance in the air, washing down over the city from the high meadows in the mountains behind Riva and mingling with peat smoke and the salty tang of the sea. The stars overhead were bright, and the newly risen moon, looking swollen as it rode low over the horizon, cast a glittering golden path across the breast of the Sea of the Winds. Garion felt that excitement he always experienced when starting out at night. He had been cooped up too long, and each step that took him farther and farther from the dull round of appointments and ceremonies filled him with an almost intoxicating anticipation.
I love that feeling of adventure when the rest of the world is hushed and the air is cool with the promise of a beautiful day ahead. For me, that happens on early mornings; I‘m not a morning person so it happens rarely, which makes it more special.

There's a little side adventure with a witch in the fens (once again there's a gentle hint that the prophecy is not the only thing happening in this world). I didn't agree with what Vordai had done with her fenlings but maybe that was the point? Just because you have power and intend to do good, it may not be the right thing to do.

I found this book very readable (although, disappointingly, most of the title pages for the different sections have come out as blacked out rectangles in this edition (Corgi 9780552168366 2012) and there is no Contents page. At least the maps all seem to be there). For someone who has only managed 16 books so far this year and been struggling especially with re-reads, I zipped through this in under 24 hours. Still enjoying being back in this world.

(April 2022)
4.5 stars

79humouress
Editado: Jun 30, 2022, 7:45 am

Maps for Castle of Wizardry:

     
                              

80humouress
Editado: Jun 30, 2022, 10:42 am

Maps for Enchanter's End Game:


             

81humouress
Jun 30, 2022, 10:56 am

I didn't manage to finish Enchanter's End Game before we left for our long trip to London last month and finally finished it last night (this year has been slow for reading for me). I'm not going to finish Guardians of the West tonight, even if I did start it now. I'll read it in July ... and pencil in King of the Murgos too, but no guarantees! I assume we'll continue discussions in this thread?

I liked the story and the way it wraps up the loose ends. There were some surprises for first time readers, though I remember them so they weren't the shocks they would have been. I suddenly remembered that the first time I read the series I wasn't impressed by Ce'Nedra but, since she was obviously important to the scheme of things, I tolerated her; this time I didn't mind her but I thought she could have been given a bit more gravity rather than the constant references to her as 'the flighty princess'. I like Pol's 'glorious eyes' although, to be honest, I have no idea what they would look like. And I like 'Adara's rose'.

The memory of the last scene still makes me chuckle; the one where Belgarath has a rather one-sided conversation with a blushing Orb before he leaves. It was a nice way to end the series.

82humouress
Nov 17, 2022, 12:37 am

24) Enchanter's End Game by David Eddings



{Fifth of 5 in Belgariad series; fantasy, high fantasy, quest fantasy, young adult} (1985)

The final book in the Belgariad pentology. Everything Eddings has told us without telling us, such as Garion's true identity, has come to fruition and now all bets are off. We know that the Child of the Light is destined to face the Child of the Dark as the representatives of the two opposing prophecies that have existed almost since the dawn of time and finally cancel out one prophecy but no-one, not even those entities themselves, knows which will win. Garion, Mister Wolf and Silk trek towards that momentous meeting while Aunt Pol, Ce'Nedra and the armies of the West try to distract the hordes of the East, which have been steadily amassing, from intercepting them and preventing the meeting. And so we get to meet several of the rulers of the East - who may not have a vested interest in their god waking for the proscribed event or even in cooperating with each other.

Garion's character continues to evolve as he comes to term with his destiny.
If he had consciously sought any of this, he could have accepted the duty which lay on him with a certain amount of resignation. He had been given no choice in the matter, though, and he found himself wanting to demand of the uncaring sky, 'Why me?'
He rode on beside his dozing grandfather with only the murmuring song of the Orb of Aldur for company, and even that was a source of irritation. The Orb, which stood on the pommel of the great sword strapped to his back, sang to him endlessly with a kind of silly enthusiasm. It might be all very well for the Orb to exult about the impending meeting with Torak, but it was Garion who was going to have to face the Dragon-God of Angarak, and it was Garion who was going to have to do all the bleeding. He felt that the unrelieved cheerfulness of the Orb was - all things considered - in very poor taste, to say the least.
He's not in a good mood as he and his two companions trek through the fens of Drasnia and cross the mountains into the eastern kingdoms under leaden winter skies as the book opens.

Ce'Nedra too, while not changing in essence, matures and uses all her wiles and charms to recruit ordinary people, including peasants and serfs, to the army of the West but her compassion has also developed.

As the kings lead their peoples to war, the ladies are left in charge of their kingdoms and come into their own each in their own unique way. Shrewd Queen Layla, for instance, pretends to be clueless and organises her children to run interference to exasperate the persistent Tolnedran ambassador who thinks he can push through treaties favouring his empire while King Fulrach is away. I confess; I may have used this technique myself - maybe this was where I discovered it?

There is more of the banter that I love about this series and which keeps things light despite it being about an all-encompassing world war and the loss of life that comes with battles.
'Instead of letting Sir Mandorallen annihilate these thousand Murgos all by himself, why not select a contingent from each part of the army to deal with them? Not only will that give us some experience in tactical coordination, but it'll give all the men a sense of pride. An easy victory now will stiffen their backs when we run into more ditficult times later.'
'Fulrach, sometimes you positively amaze me,' Rhodar declared, 'I think the whole trouble is that you don't look that clever.'
(Although I'm not entirely sure that that's a compliment.)

The ending wraps up everything neatly - but there is a second series which follows on and which has been set up by events in this book though it doesn't leave you feeling that the story is unfinished.

And, right at the end, I found the discomfited Orb very amusing.
The Orb continued to ignore him, its attention obviously elsewhere.
"What are you concentrating on so hard?' the old man asked curiously.
The Orb, which had glowed with a bright blue radiance, flickered again, and its blue became suddenly infused with a pale pink which steadily grew more and more pronounced until the stone was actually blushing.
Belgarath cast one twinkling glance in the general direction of the royal apartment. 'Oh,' he said, understanding. Then he began to chuckle.
The Orb blushed even brighter.


June 2022
4.5-5 stars

Litsy notes & quotes

the duty which lay on him with a certain amount of resignation. He had been given no choice in the matter, though, and he found himself wanting to demand of the uncaring sky, 'Why me?'
He rode on beside his dozing grandfather with only the murmuring song of the Orb of Aldur for company, and even that was a source of irritation. The Orb, which stood on the pommel of the great sword strapped to his back, sang to him endlessly with a kind of silly enthusiasm. It might be all very well for the Orb to exult about the impending meeting with Torak, but it was Garion who was going to have to face the Dragon-God of Angarak, and it was Garion who was going to have to do all the bleeding. He felt that the unrelieved cheerfulness of the Orb was - all things considered - in very poor taste, to say the least.
Just starting ‘Enchanter‘s End Game‘. Garion is not in a good mood

Starting part II and the ladies are in charge. I love Queen Layla‘s tactics - I suspect I may have used them myself. Hmm - and I first read this series in my formative years …

'Instead of letting Sir Mandorallen annihilate a thousand Murgos all by himself, why not select a contingent from each part of the army to deal with them? Not only will that give us some experience in tactical coordination, but it'll give all the men a sense of pride. An easy victory now will stiffen their backs when we run into more ditficult times later.'
'Fulrach, sometimes you positively amaze me,' Rhodar declared, 'I think the whole trouble is that you don't look that clever.'
I say!
The Orb continued to ignore him, its attention obviously elsewhere.
"What are you concentrating on so hard?' the old man asked curiously.
The Orb, which had glowed with a bright blue radiance, flickered again, and its blue became suddenly infused with a pale pink which steadily grew more and more pronounced until the stone was actually blushing.
Belgarath cast one twinkling glance in the general direction of the royal apartment. 'Oh,' he said, understanding. Then he began to chuckle.
The Orb blushed even brighter.
Love it. The blushing Orb makes me laugh.

83humouress
Editado: Nov 17, 2022, 1:23 am

Sorry to chart-bomb this thread but I find maps for fantasy quests are essential, or I get lost when they start traveling everywhere. Maps for Guardians of the West:

   

84ronincats
Nov 17, 2022, 9:33 am

Good to see you finish this one off! Did you go ahead and start the second series?

85humouress
Editado: Nov 17, 2022, 11:04 am

Yes indeed, we did. Here you go:

29) Guardians of the West by David Eddings



{First of 5 in Mallorean or sixth of 10 in Belgariad series; fantasy, high fantasy, quest fantasy, young adult} (1987)

So what happens after 'happily ever after'?

At the end of the Belgariad, the prophecies were fulfilled, the bad guys were overcome, the good guys celebrated and Garion got married and settled down to his new role (which included some lessons in climate change and using sorcery wisely):
If you thought that was an emergency, you should have seen the blizzard you touched off in the Vale with your foolishness - and the hurricanes it spawned in the Sea of the East - not to mention the droughts and tornados you kicked up all over the world. Don't you have any sense of responsibility at all?'
'I didn't know it was going to do that.' Garion was aghast.
'Boy, it's your business to know!' Belgarath suddenly roared at him, his face mottled with rage. 'It's taken Beldin and me six months of constant travel and the Gods only know how much effort to quiet things down. Do you realize that with that one thoughtless storm of yours you came very close to changing the weather patterns of the entire globe? And that the change would have been a universal disaster?'
'One tiny little storm?'
'Yes, one tiny little storm,' Belgarath said scathingly. 'Your one tiny little storm in the right place at the right time came very close to altering the weather for the next several eons - all over the world - you blockhead!'
'Grandfather,' Garion protested.
'Do you know what the term ice age means?'

'Guardians' opens more or less straight after Enchanter's End Game, following Polgara and another little boy as they settle into domestic life after her long life dedicated to the fulfilling of the prophecy. I felt that his childhood wasn't quite as charming as Garion's had been in Pawn of Prophecy but it served to fill in the time line of several years. There are some events of note as time passes, with incidental details which give dimension to the characters and this world, until Belgarath, Garion and Polgara discover that the prophecies have not all been fulfilled and their task continues, with some of their old companions, and some new ones, to aid them.
Thou must have with thee as well the Guide and the Man with Two Lives - and one other whom I will reveal to thee. Thou wilt be joined at some later times by others - the Huntress, the Man Who Is No Man, the Empty One, and by the Woman Who Watches.'

This book serves mainly to show us how Garion, Polgara et al got on with living their lives since the end of Enchanter's End Game and sets the scene for the beginning of the new adventure. To be honest, I found the beginning a bit slow but there is plenty of action after that; essentially this book is the bridge between the two series and sets up the new quest. The book was true to the ambiance of the first series, which I enjoyed, though of course Garion has grown since then; by the end of Guardians of the West about four or five years have elapsed since the end of Enchanter's End Game so Garion must be around twenty one years old. Eddings's trademark humour from the Belgariad and the banter and affection between his characters are still very much in evidence.

I think there is enough introduction to the characters with the preamble chapters (and the prologue does a good job of summarising the events in the first series) so that you could read this book and the Mallorean series without having read the Belgariad first - though you do have to read the books within each series in order as they are about ongoing quests - but it is probably more enriching to return to the lives of well-loved characters

I like the way Eddings's ladies in these series are always 'lovely', 'flawless', 'exquisite' and so on, but at the same time he makes it clear that they are strong characters. Even maternal Queen Layla disguises her strength under her flutters. I remember thinking, the first time I read this in my teens, that Ce’Nedra gets a bit hysterical but, on mature reflection, I suspect I wouldn’t be too coherent under similar circumstances and her reaction is in line with her character.

I think, the first time I read it, I possibly felt that the Belgariad came to a good ending so I wondered how it would continue but I was happy to keep reading about the same characters that I had grown to love. This time reading it, it flowed more easily from one series to the other and I could see some information being fed to the reader about the 'unfinished business' as early as Enchanter's End Game. In fact, there was a detail (unless it was written into the new editions) that becomes relevant later in the Mallorean. I suspect, though, that the second series hadn't been planned when the very first books of the Belgariad were written.

I did enjoy being able to revisit this world and spend more time with Garion, Polgara, Belgarath and friends.

August 2022
4.5 stars

Litsy notes & quotes

A slow start as it catches us up on what the characters from the 'Belgariad' are up to in the five or so years since the end of that series and sets the scene for the new adventure.

- New? I thought all the prophecies were fulfilled? -

So did we all, including the characters. They're a bit nonplussed, too. 😊

Don't worry, Things do start to happen, about halfway through, and there's plenty of action after that.
If you thought that was an emergency, you should have seen the blizzard you touched off in the Vale with your foolishness - and the hurricanes it spawned in the Sea of the East - not to mention the droughts and tornados you kicked up all over the world. Don't you have any sense of responsibility at all?'
'I didn't know it was going to do that.' Garion was aghast.
'Boy, it's your business to know!' Belgarath suddenly roared at him, his face mottled with rage. 'It's taken Beldin and me six months of constant travel and the Gods only know how much effort to quiet things down. Do you realize that with that one thoughtless storm of yours you came very close to changing the weather patterns of the entire globe? And that the change would have been a universal disaster?'
'One tiny little storm?'
'Yes, one tiny little storm,' Belgarath said scathingly. 'Your one tiny little storm in the right place at the right time came very close to altering the weather for the next several eons - all over the world - you blockhead!'
'Grandfather,' Garion protested.
'Do you know what the term ice age means?'
Garion gets a lesson in climate change and man‘s causal effect.

Thou must have with thee as well the Guide and the Man with Two Lives - and one other whom I will reveal to thee. Thou wilt be joined at some later times by others - the Huntress, the Man Who Is No Man, the Empty One, and by the Woman Who Watches.'
A new company for a new prophecy.

86humouress
Editado: Nov 18, 2022, 4:33 am

 

87humouress
Editado: Nov 18, 2022, 4:41 am

Maps from King of the Murgos:


                                                  

88humouress
Nov 18, 2022, 4:43 am

39) King of the Murgos by David Eddings



{Second of 5 in Malloreon or seventh of 10 in Belgariad series; fantasy, high fantasy, quest fantasy, young adult} (1988)

I try to avoid including **spoilers for previous books** in a series when I write reviews but this time I really can’t. Read on at your peril.

The scene having been set in Guardians of the West and the new prophecy given, the quest continues ...

Or, rather, the new quest properly begins and, as you can probably guess from the title (and the fact that this series is called The Malloreon), is another race to the eastern parts of this world. I think I’m not giving too much away to say that this time it is not the Orb but Garion’s son that they need to rescue. Ce’Nedra is, naturally, upset and both parents have a vested interest in seeing this quest concluded as quickly as possible.

The group follows the trail to Prolgu, Tolnedra and Nyissa, meeting old acquaintances on the way, running into hindrances left behind by Zandramas and digging out information about the new prophecy, which was hidden behind the old one.
'Why is it that all of this seems to have happened before?'
'All of what?'
'Everything. There are Angaraks in Arendia trying to stir up trouble - just as there were when we were following Zedar. There are intrigues and assassinations in Tolnedra - the same as last time. We ran into a monster - a dragon this time instead of the Algroths - but it's still pretty close to the same sort of thing. It seems almost as if we were repeating everything that happened when we were tying to find the Orb. We've even been running into the same people - Delvor, that customs man, even Jeebers.'
'You know, that's a very interesting question Garion.' Belgarath pondered for a moment, absently taking a drink from his tankard. 'If you think about it in a certain way, though, it does sort of make sense.'
'I don't quite follow you.'
'We're on our way to another meeting between the Child of Light and the Child of Dark,' Belgarath explained. That meeting is going to be a repetition of an event that's been happening over and over again since the beginning of time. Since it's the same event, it stands to reason that the circumstances leading up to it should also be similar.' He thought about it a moment longer. 'Actually, he continued, 'they'd almost have to be, wouldn't they?'
'That's a little deep for me, I'm afraid.'
'There are two Prophecies - two sides of the same thing. Something happened an unimaginably long time ago to separate them.'
'Yes. I understand that.'
'When they got separated, things sort of stopped.'
Then they discover that Zandramas has fled towards Cthol Murgos - as well as a few other things they had not suspected about this new enemy. They cross the border and discover that, though the eastern kingdoms are distracted by being at war with each other, Zandramas has slowed them down by leaving their descriptions with orders for their arrests. When one member of their group displays unexpected powers all their precautions come to naught as they are arrested and thus come face to face with the King of the Murgos.

I'm enjoying this second series which follows The Belgariad. The first time I read it, as a teenager, I thought Ce'Nedra was a bit self-absorbed. Reading it now, I found her behaviour understandable under the circumstances (I certainly wouldn't be too happy) but, given the light treatment she comes across as a bit temperamental. Zith the snake also has a personality and, oddly, comes across as quite cute - as long as you don't annoy her.
Zith sulked in her bottle, still greatly offended.
'Really, dear, ' Sadi assured her, 'it's all right. Don't you trust me?'
There was a snippy little hiss from inside the bottle.
'That's a very naughty thing to say, Zith,' Sadi gently reproved her. 'I did everything I could to keep him from disturbing you.' He looked apologetically at Agachak. 'I really don't know where she picks up such language, Holy One.' he declared. He turned his attention back to the bottle. 'Please, dear, don't be nasty.'
Another spiteful little hiss came from the bottle.
'Now that's going entirely too far, Zith. You come out of there at once.'
This series was written near the end of the Cold War and though there is very much an East versus West vibe we start to see that people are the same all over the world. At one point Garion and his friends shelter at a ravaged farm on their trek through Cthol Murgos:
She sat on a pile of fragrant hay and bounced tentatively a few times.
'And this will make wonderful beds. I hope we can find a place like this every night.'
Garion walked over to the door and looked out, not trusting himself to answer. He had grown up on a farm not really all that much different from this one, and the thought of a band of marauding soldiers swooping down on Faldor's farm, burning and killing, filled him with a vast outrage. A sudden image rose in his mind. The shadowy faces of the dead Murgos hanging on those stakes might very well have been the faces of his childhood friends, and that thought shook him to the very core of his being. The dead here had been Murgos, but they had also been farmers, and he felt a sudden kinship with them. The savagery that had befallen them began to take on the aspect of a personal affront
There is a slightly darker shading to things though the banter and lightheartedness that we know this world for continues.

Something that caught my attention; the prologue quotes
from The Lives of Belgarion the Great (Introduction, Vol. IV)
- I hadn't noticed the plural before. Of course, as a sorcerer, Belgarion could live for a very long time but, as someone pointed out to me, as a part-dryad, Ce'Nedra could also be long-lived.

I'm still enjoying this re-read as we begin to explore parts of this world that we didn't see in the first series.

(September 2022)
4.5-5 stars

Litsy notes & quotes

Starting ‘King of the Murgos‘ for our group (of 2) read on LibraryThing.
Prologue
Being an account of how Belgarion's Son was stolen and how he learned the Abductor was that Zandramas against whom the puissant Orb of Aldur bad warned. -
from The Lives of Belgarion the Great (Introduction, Vol. IV)
I hadn‘t noticed before but this is ‘from the ‘Lives of Belgrion the Great‘‘ (plural)
🤔 I don‘t bother about it too much because it‘s beyond the scope of the story but Belgarion is a sorcerer, who could potentially live for thousands of years, but his wife is not.

Ce‘Nedra is a bit hormonal, which is understandable under the circumstances but, given the light treatment, comes across as a bit temperamental

HeyT I'm pretty sure that Ce'Nedra is long lived as well since she's a dryad.
humouress @HeyT Ah - good point.

'Why is it that all of this seems to have happened before?'
'All of what?'
'Everything. There are Angaraks in Arendia trying to stir up trouble- just as there were when we were following Zedar. There are intrigues and assassinations in Tolnedra - the same as last time. We ran into a monster - a dragon this time instead of the Algroths - but it's still pretty close to the same sort of thing. It seems almost as if we were repeating everything that happened when we were tying to find the Orb. We've even been running into the same people - Delvor, that customs man, even Jeebers.'
'You know, that's a very interesting question Garion.' Belgarath pondered for a moment, absently taking a drink from his tankard. 'If you think about it in a certain way. though, it does sort of make sense.'
'I don't quite follow you.'
'We're on our way to another meeting between the Child of Light and the Child of Dark,' Belgarath explained. That meeting is going to be a repetition of an event that's been happening over and over again since the beginning of time. Since it's the same event, it stands to reason that the circumstances leading up to it should also be similar.' He thought about it a moment longer. 'Actually, he continued, 'they'd almost have to be, wouldn't they?'
'That's a little deep for me, I'm afraid.'
"There are two Prophecies--two sides of the same thing. Something happened an unimaginably long time ago to separate them.'
'Yes. I understand that.'
'When they got separated, things sort of stopped.'

‘Why is it that all of this seems to have happened before?‘
‘All of what?‘
‘Everything. There are Angaraks in Arendia trying to stir up trouble… There are intrigues and assassinations in Tolnedra… We ran into a monster… It seems almost as if we were repeating everything that happened… We‘ve even been running into the same people …‘

She sat on a pile of fragrant hay and bounced tentatively a few times.
'And this will make wonderful beds. I hope we can find a place like this every night.'
Garion walked over to the door and looked out, not trusting himself to answer. He had grown up on a farm not really all that much different from this one, and the thought of a band of marauding soldiers swooping down on Faldor's farm, burning and killing, filled him with a vast outrage. A sudden image rose in his mind. The shadowy faces of the dead Murgos hanging on those stakes might very well have been the faces of his childhood friends, and that thought shook him to the very core of his being. The dead here had been Murgos, but they had also been farmers, and he felt a sudden kinship with them. The savagery that had befallen them began to take on the aspect of a personal affront,
This series was written near the end of the Cold War and though there is very much an East vs West vibe we start to see that people are people. And there is a slightly darker shading to things though the banter and lightheartedness continues.

Zith sulked in her bottle, still greatly offended.
'Really, dear, ' Sadi assured her, 'it's all right. Don't you trust me?'
There was a snippy little hiss from inside the bottle.
'That's a very naughty thing to say, Zith,' Sadi gently reproved her. 'I did everything I could to keep him from disturbing you.' He looked apologetically at Agachak. 'I really don't know where she picks up such language, Holy One.' he declared. He turned his attention back to the bottle.
'Please, dear, don't be nasty'
Another spiteful little hiss came from the bottle.
'Now that's going entirely too far, Zith. You come out of there at once.
Zith the snake also has her own personality - as long as you don‘t annoy her

89humouress
Editado: Nov 18, 2022, 5:41 am

And we're reading Demon Lord of Karanda this month; I’ve just entered ‘boundless Mallorea’ (part two).

90humouress
Nov 18, 2022, 11:56 pm

With all the interest in Tolkien and Wheel of Time and so on, I wonder why this/ these series hasn't come up for an adaptation to screen yet? Or has it? I usually discover these kinds of things at the last minute.

91humouress
Nov 19, 2022, 1:13 am

On to Ashaba; part three. Gosh, I’d forgotten about the plague. Covid strikes even here …

92humouress
Nov 20, 2022, 12:50 am

Making my way through the Mountains of Zamad (part four). This book is definitely full of demons - something we only met briefly in Magician's Gambit.

93humouress
Dez 9, 2022, 2:10 am

44) Demon Lord of Karanda by David Eddings



{Third of 5 in Malloreon or eighth of 10 in Belgariad series; fantasy, high fantasy, quest fantasy, young adult}

Our heroes continue their journey across the eastern continent, which Belgarath and Silk at least have some familiarity with. They spend some time with Zakath, Emperor of boundless Mallorea, before continuing on their way in search of 'the place which is no more' which the seeress Cyradis tells them they must reach by a given time for the final meeting between the Child of Light and the Child of the Dark. On this quest, unlike the previous one in The Belgariad, Belgareth doesn’t have the benefit of the prophecy he followed for thousands of years to help him and must continually stop at known centres of learning to look for evidence of this more obscure prophecy which was hidden behind the first one. The group is handicapped in their movements first when Polgara advises Zakath to seal Mal Zeth against spreading plague through Mallorea (very topical in 2022), with them unfortunately still inside, and then - once they manage to continue on - by having to dodge demons which some Grolims are raising in an attempt to replace Torak and create a new religion.

This time the prologue is presented as an academic article on the kingdoms of the East rather than the usual extract from a book of legends. Cthol Murgos is on the east side of the western continent - but now we explore another continent across the Sea of the East which was barely touched on in the first series.
You're being evasive, Belgarion.' Zakath gave him a steady look, then passed his hand wearily across his eyes.
'I think you need some sleep,' Garion told him.
'Time for that soon enough - when my work is done.'
'That's up to you, I guess.'
'How much do you know about Mallorea, Belgarion?'
'I get reports - a little disjointed sometimes, but fairly current.'
'No. I mean our past.'
'Not too much, I'm afraid. Western historians tried very hard to ignore the fact that Mallorea was even there.'
Zakath smiled wryly. 'The University of Melcene has the same shortsightedness regarding the West,' he noted.
This time, much as in The Belgariad where they continually met the royal families and rulers of the kingdoms of the West through which they travelled, they meet the kings of the eastern kingdoms that they pass through - though they'd rather avoid them - due to their positions and powers (and mainly by virtue of being arrested, but still) whereas in The Belgariad it was because they needed to prepare the western rulers for the coming war.

A new companion joins them to aid them on their quest though, like Belgarath, I’m not enamoured of his brogue. The awareness in Garion’s head doesn’t make much of an appearance but Cyradis, whose destiny it is to make a choice between the Light and the Dark, is able to give them some limited information although she is also bound to give the same information to the Dark side. And, of course, Garion and Ce'Nedra are still desperate to get their baby back.

Garion sees the political benefit in spending time with someone who has been considered the leader of the opposition, or even an enemy, and how they can come to a mutually beneficial understanding; but he also appreciates Zakath as a person. Garion, whom we first met as a child in the Belgariad, has grown into his role as Overlord of the West although he is still the same character at heart.

This series is criticised for being a copy of The Belgariad. I can't deny that the basic formula is the same but I find The Malloreon intriguing because they're journeying through lands that are unknown to most of them - and not so familiar to even Silk and Belgarath - and learning about alien cultures. Although the cultures are very different they find that people are innately the same all over the world regardless of where they are from.

It's nice traveling with the same beloved characters. I'm still enjoying re-reading this series; it's very easy to gobble down.

(November 2022)
4.5 stars

Litsy notes & quotes

Starting ‘Demon Lord of Karanda‘, the third book of the ‘Malloreon‘. This time the prologue is presented as an academic article on the kingdoms of the east rather than the usual extract from a book of legends

Garion and co are now making their way through the kingdoms of the east, much as they went through those of the west in ‘The Belgariad‘, and meeting the royal families/ heads of state (mainly by virtue of being arrested, but still)

In the Malloreon they run into the kings of the eastern continent, though they‘d rather avoid them, due to their positions and powers whereas in the Belgariad it was because they needed to prepare the western rulers for the coming war. It‘s interesting, getting to spend time with the‘opposition‘. And I‘d forgotten about the plague - covid strikes again!

Cthol Murgos is on the east side of the western continent - but now we learn of another continent across the Sea of the East.
You're being evasive, Belgarion.' Zakath gave him a steady look, then passed his hand wearily across his eyes.
'I think you need some sleep,' Garion told him.
'Time for that soon enough- when my work is done.'
'That's up to you, I guess.'
'How much do you know about Mallorea, Belgarion?'
'I get reports-a little disjointed sometimes, but fairly current.'
'No. I mean our past.'
'Not too much, I'm afraid. Western historians tried very hard to ignore the fact that Mallorea was even there.'
Zakath smiled wryly. 'The University of Melcene has the same shortsightedness regarding the West,' he noted.
This series is criticised for being a copy of the first (Belgariad). I can‘t deny that the basic formula is the same but I find it intriguing because they‘re journeying through lands that are unknown to most of them - and not so familiar to even Silk and Belgarath - and learning about alien cultures. Some are very different but they find that people behave the same. And it‘s nice traveling with the same beloved characters.

94alcottacre
Dez 9, 2022, 12:09 pm

>93 humouress: I can‘t deny that the basic formula is the same but I find it intriguing because they‘re journeying through lands that are unknown to most of them - and not so familiar to even Silk and Belgarath - and learning about alien cultures. Some are very different but they find that people behave the same. And it‘s nice traveling with the same beloved characters.

I agree all the way around. Not all the characters are the same - yes, we have several of the same - but new characters are introduced as well, so having the blend of the old and the new works for me.

95humouress
Dez 9, 2022, 1:01 pm

>94 alcottacre: Good point; I'm going to have to borrow it to add to my review :0)

96alcottacre
Dez 14, 2022, 10:22 pm

>95 humouress: Feel free, lol

97humouress
Jan 28, 2023, 1:57 pm

Back in the Eddings’ world for the last instalment and still having fun.

98ronincats
Jan 28, 2023, 2:02 pm

Allow me to point out that you will have the opportunity to relive the ENTIRE story all over again TWO times, once from Belgarath's POV and again from Polgara's (as she accuses him of leaving out the important stuff).

Belgarath the Sorcerer
Polgara the Sorceress

And actually, lest you say, "really, aren't they milking this too much?", I thoroughly enjoyed the replays, they had a lot of extra details, and would strongly recommend them.

99humouress
Jan 28, 2023, 4:25 pm

>98 ronincats: Oh? Thanks. I do have Belgarath but the reviews seem to indicate milking and I hadn’t read it yet. I’ll give it a go.

Stasia, are you up for another two books?

100humouress
Jan 29, 2023, 3:04 pm

I do think that the poor old dragon gets short shrift, apart from being the last of her kind.

101humouress
Editado: Jan 30, 2023, 3:37 pm

So I’ve finished the part which recounts the event that the whole series has been working towards and am now reading the wrap-up to it all. The author(s) built suspense by having the series’s not know until the last moment what choice she would make and with the prediction that one of the companions would lose their life but I always expected Good to win, although that may be because this was a reread for me. There is a fight scene with a lot of blood and violence but, to be honest, it didn’t seem realistic in a grim and gritty way to me so I didn’t really mind it.

Now just tying up a few romances (all G-rated) and loose ends; several chapters to go.

ETA: I notice that throughout this series, hitherto vilified eastern rulers have been treated favourably and remember that it was written in the era of Gorbachev’s glasnost and the warming of western relations with the Soviet Union.

102alcottacre
Fev 3, 2023, 11:03 pm

>99 humouress: Stasia, are you up for another two books?

I was aware of the two other books - I own them both - but was hesitant to mention them to you. If you want to give them a go, I am in!

103humouress
Fev 3, 2023, 11:16 pm

>102 alcottacre: Okay then. Whenever you want.

104humouress
Editado: Mar 10, 2023, 11:23 pm

I have started on Belgarath , I promise! I like the way they (this time it’s attributed to Leigh and David Eddings) continue the story a few months (about nine) after the Malloreon ended before going back to the beginning. And I noticed the way Belgarath keeps sniping at Polgara while he’s telling his story.