“And who knows. We might even win”

December 9, 2009

I picked up Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings over Thanksgiving as the perfect vacation reading and oh it was.  Its actually seeming like the perfect post-vacation reading as well because I only got through the first three books (there are five in the Belgariad series) during my actual vacation time.  I had kind of forgotten just how delightful these books are.  I just finished the fifth book last night.  So many laugh out loud moments flow together through the plot that its hard to keep track of them.  But it fits the pattern of a good fantasy epic to a T.

The plot would be disgustingly formulaic if it weren’t so self consciously tongue in cheek.  The story begins with a clueless young boy named Garion, living on a farm.   Dramatic mysterious evens precipitate him into leaving it in the middle of the night along with the farm’s sensible stolid blacksmith, a disreputable old wizard and his aunt, who turns out to be Polgara the sorceress.  Thus begins their epic journey over land and see.  They travel along accumulating companions, each of whom turns out to be a prince or noble man from one of the world’s kingdoms.  Everyone has a task.  Everyone gets paired up eventually (seriously there is never a young woman thrown into the mix who isn’t clearly destined for one of the other characters within pages).  They must battle an evil sleeping god to fulfill the prophecy of the return of the Rivan King, whose throne has stood empty for a thousand years.  If anyone doesn’t know this is Garion within the first 100 pages of the first book then I don’t even feel bad about spoiling it for them.  Anyway, its not the sort of book you read to find out what happens next.  You read it find out what your favorite delightfully sarcastic or ridiculously chivalrous or endearingly confused character is going to say next.

Here are a few favorites:

“Well, Garion did kind of cut her tail off.  She might take it personally.”

“Aren’t you being a just a little blase, Errand?”  Belgarath asked.  “Do people go around threatening to kill you so often that it bores you or something?”

“You killed him?” Garion asked in a shocked voice.
“Of course I didn’t kill him. All I did was run him through the leg- just a little bit.”
“How can you run somebody through just a little bit, Lelldorin?” Garion demanded of his friend in exasperation.

“Doesn’t she EVER listen to ANYBODY?” the little princess grumbled to Garion as they rode along behind Aunt Pol and Durnik on the road to Medalia.
“She always listens,” Garion replied.
“But she never changes her mind, does she?”
“Not very often- but she DOES listen.”

“With only a little encouragement, a force of Mimbrates would cheerfully mount an assault on winter or a changing tide.”

Its very enjoyable.  I’ve already begun the sequel series.  Eddings shamelessly unties his neat bow ending of the first sequence in a few short chapters and begins the drama all over again with a new version of the old prophecy and we’re off to the races with all our favorite characters and more.  I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy.

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2 Responses to ““And who knows. We might even win””

  1. jodi Says:

    i have to say, i read all of these books [belgariad/mallorean/elenium/tamuli/belgarath/polgara] at least once per year. quite possibly my favorite books of all time:)

  2. dihansmann Says:

    I agree, there’s nothing like re-reading a favorite book (or better yet a favorite series) and the Eddings sets are great candidates. Fun characters, witty dialogue and no-longer-unexpected twists of the plot are a recipe for success!


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