Pawn of Prophecy

Fantasy is easily my favorite genre of fiction.  One of the more famous authors of Fantasy novels is David Eddings.  Although I’ve heard very good things about his work before, I’ve never read any of his novels until I picked up Pawn of Prophecy a couple weeks ago.  I finished reading it earlier today and I was quite pleased.

Book Stats

192 pages (as part of 2 volume collection, volume 1 has books #1-3)

Fantasy

First book of the Belgariad

Characters

The character that we follow for this book is Garion, who is a fairly typical main character for a fantasy novel, ok, he’s a whiny farm boy.  While falling into a now standard trope, Garion is a well written character who is very observant and quick to ask a lot of the questions that the reader wants to ask about what is going on in the novel.  Another main character of the book is Belgarath, a sorcerer who is several thousand years old and well known throughout many of the cities that we visit in this book.  If you’ve read a lot of fantasy books, you’ve seen all of the types of characters in this book.  Even though they’re all familiar, they’re very well written and all have their own quirks.

Setting

Thousands of years ago, the world was created by 7 gods.  All of the gods had various peoples who worshipped them with the exception of Aldur.  Aldur eventually took on some disciples (including Belgarath) and created an item of enormous power.  Another god, Torak, sought the power of this orb.  Ultimately the orb scarred Torak as well as the world.  Ultimately the gods had the orb hidden under the protection of a line of humans.  The land of Aloria at the time of the book is split into several different countries, and it’s interesting to read about the differences between the countries.  Once again, there is nothing terribly new or unpredictable about the setting of this series, but it’s still well done.

Plot

Garion is living at a small farm in Sendaria with his Aunt Pol.  He is 10 when the book starts and fairly free of responsibilities from farm work.  From time to time a wandering storyteller that is only named Old Wolf by Aunt Pol comes by.  Fairly early on in the book you start to realize that Garion is more than just your average farm boy.  The prologue of the book (which is really where most of my description of the setting comes from) really gives you a good idea of what is going to happen throughout the series.

Enjoyment

Nearly 30 years after this book was originally released, it seems like a very standard fantasy tale.  However, even though the tale is fairly standard, the telling is very well done.  There were some moments of humor throughout the book.  Really my only complaint is that the first book does not stand on it’s own at all.  If I had to wait for a while after reading this book before reading the second book I would be irritated.  As it turns out, I don’t even need to pick up another book, my copy of The Belgariad has the 5 novels in two volumes, so I just need to turn the page to start the next book.

Overall Grade

If you’re a fan of fantasy novels, there will be absolutely nothing in this book that will surprise you, except perhaps the quality of the book.  This book is a wonderful beginning to a series and I look forward to book two.

7/10

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1 Comment

  1. I read this series back when I was 13 or 14–it was the first fantasy series I ever read and I loved it. After the Belgariad, the story is continued with another series called the Mallorean, which is equally wonderful (if memory serves). Then there are two other books, one each about Belgarath and Polgara. Reading your review makes me want to re-read them all. I might just do that next year. Good stuff.

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