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The Belgariad

December 1, 2008 3 comments

Book 1Book 2Book 3Book 4

Although I’ve only reviewed the first book of the series, I’ve continued on and I’m currently reading the fourth.  Honestly, I didn’t really know what to say for a review of the second and third books.  My reactions to the first still held true for the rest; I’m enjoying the series.  As expected, the first book in a series is typically a bit slower as the characters and world must be introduced to the reader.

The second and third books were packed with action and adventure as Garion learns about his identity and capabilities.  I don’t plan on reviewing each book individually, but once I finish the last book I will write a review for the series.

I’ve been looking at what series I want to read next and although I’ve come across many options, I think I’m going to give Raymond Feist‘s Riftwar Saga a shot.  I’m a slow reader so I’d like to stay away from the series’ with 9 books at 700 pages each; right now I just want to keep trying new authors and new stories to find what I like.

You’ve got a review for Feist’s Riftwar Saga or opinions on The Belgariad? Leave it in a comment!

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Review: Pawn of Prophecy

November 11, 2008 1 comment

 

Cover of Pawn of Prophecy

Summary:

Pawn of Prophecy follows the main character Garion – a 14-year-old farmboy raised by his Aunt – as he is forced to leave the world he has known – the farm he’s lived all his life – to embark on a journey with his Aunt, a mysterious old man, and a small group of supporting characters.  For much of the book Garion is kept in the dark on what is going on: their reasons for abrupt venture, the identities of the people he is with, and most importantly who he is.  It is quickly apparent to Garion that he is more than just a simple-minded farmboy, yet his identity and background are kept from him for most of the book.  

After leaving the farm, the story picks up the speed and maintains the pace as the group is chasing after and being chased by something.  As to what, Garion feels to be the only one who doesn’t know.  The story sends the group North, to a city of snow and chills as a meeting is to take place among many kings.  The party remains in the city as the story draws to an end, and little by little Garion learns more of who he is and who he is in the company of.  After matters have been discussed and plans made, the party leaves the city of the North by sea to head South and continue the chase.

I just finished book 1 of The Belgariad; it was a quick yet fun and enjoyable read.  As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I’m new to the Fantasy genre and fairly new to reading for pleasure (i.e. I haven’t been much of a reader).  With that said, I would immediately recommend this book to young readers or someone new to the genre.  The main story is straightforward and there aren’t many side-stories.  Eddings uses common English – no thee’s and thou’s and Yoda structured sentences to slow down the reading.  The words he chooses serve their purpose and no more – I didn’t have to rely on context to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words.  The focus remained on the main characters, and the time spent covering side-characters was not enough to require the reader to keep pen and paper nearby.  In other words, I hardly found myself asking “Now who is this person again?”  As some Fantasy authors have trouble doing, Eddings keeps his character and environment descriptions to a reasonable length, saving the pages for the story.

As said, Pawn of Prophecy was a quick and fun read that anybody should be able to pick up and enjoy; whether they want to continue the story for 4 more books is up to them, but as for me, I’ve already bought them all.

A Song of Fire and Ice Gave Way To The Belgariad

November 9, 2008 Leave a comment

I’m new to reading Fantasy.  Last summer on family vacation my brother handed me a book to read – A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, book 1 of the series A Song of Fire and Ice.  Despite being 900 pages and myself not much of a reader, I managed to power through it before returning from vacation.  I enjoyed the book so much I picked up the second – A Clash of Kings -upon returning home.  Unfortunately, I only managed to read a quarter of A Clash of Kings before I drifted away from reading.

Earlier this month I dusted off A Clash of Kings and started over.  I began to do some online investigating of the Fantasy genre; I’ve always liked fantasy, I just haven’t been much of a reader, nonetheless a Fantasy reader.  I kept coming across the same handful of names – Robert Jordan, David Eddings, Terry Goodkind, and David Farland.  After more investigation into the authors and their works I was interested and looking forward to reading some of them.  But, surely, I can’t quit George R.R. Martin‘s A Song of Fire and Ice – I’ve got to finish the series before starting another series!

Well, I failed, I gave in – once again, I put A Clash of Kings back on the bookshelf, still only managing to make it a quarter through the 750 pages.  What did I give it up for? David Eddings’ The Belgariad.  Why?  I was just waiting to finish A Song of Fire and Ice so I could read something else – surely not the right reason to read a series.  I was only a quarter through the second of 4 books, each 800 pages or so – not something I could “wrap up” in a week or so.  At the rate I was reading, it would’ve been…3 or 4 months before I finished A Song of Fire and Ice.  I decided it would be better to read what I wanted to read – after all, reading is supposed to be fun right?

I went over to Borders and grabbed the first book of David Edding’s The Belgariad: Pawn of Prophecy; what a change from George R.R. Martin.  Although there are more books in The Belgariad, each book is less than half the size of a book from A Song of Fire and Ice.  Not that a book should be judged by its page count, but from what others have said it seems that Fantasy series’ can have a tendency to drag on and on (Jordan’s Wheel of Time anybody?).  I’m half way through Pawn of Prophecy and so far the world is definitely more fantastic compared to A Song of Fire and Ice.  There’s real magic (real magic, what the hell!?), not so-skilled-it’s-like-magic magic; there’s more physical combat compared to political combat; and there’s the obvious one-character-of-each-class-from-Dungeons-and-Dragons characteristic.

It’s quite a refreshing change from Martin’s world – there aren’t so many characters that I need to keep note of who’s who, there’s less politics to tangle the story (although allowing for excellent twists), there are fewer side stories, and there’s less pages put into descriptions of the world and its inhabitants.  I’m finding that with less descriptions I’m able to leave the picturing of things to my imagination rather than try and figure out exactly what the description is telling me, allowing me to focus more on the story and less on the environment.

The Belgariad is more simple than A Song of Fire and Ice – probably a good thing since I’m new to the genre.  I certainly plan to finish A Song of Fire and Ice, but perhaps I need a bit more experience with the genre before I can really appreciate Martin’s story.