Castle of Wizardry

Time for the review of the fourth book of David Eddings Belgariad.  It’s interesting to watch how longer series handle the later books.  Do you follow the same structure that worked in the earlier books, or do you start to expand upon it to widen the scope of the story?  It’s an interesting balancing act.

Book Stats

246 pages

Fantasy

4th book in the series (sequel to Pawn of Prophecy, Queen of Sorcery, and Magician’s Gambit)

Characters

Writing about the characters throughout the course of a long series is kind of troubling.  What can I say for this review about the main characters that I haven’t said in the reviews for the first three books?  The backstory for Belgarath and Silk is explained a little more in this book, and it’s interesting to see some of what shaped their lives.  Ce’Nedra is once again a viewpoint character in this book, and towards the end of the book she begins to grow and take charge and actually try and push the events forward, rather than just letting everything come to her as she had done for the first several books (which Garion also did in the first several books).

Setting

The same world as the first three books (obviously) although rather than going through entirely new territory in this book as they had done in the earlier books, the characters are retracing their steps a little bit because they have reacquired the Orb of Aldur and need to take it back to Riva.

Plot

After the characters retake the Orb at the end of the third book, they bring it back to Riva so that Garion can be crowned as king (which we’ve all known would happen since the beginning of the third book).  This book also deals with some of the other prophecies that we’ve read about, specifically Garion being betrothed to Ce’Nedra.  As Garion finally learns that he will have to face Torak, he makes the decision (yes, he finally makes a decision) that he would rather face Torak on his own rather than throwing away millions of lives by raising armies and having a full scale war.

Enjoyment

My sole complaint for every book in the series is even more apparent here.  Although I’m now 4 books into the series, there are no break points at all, it’s just one story.  Also, there really aren’t any sub-plots or anything going on throughout these books.  While the writing and worldbuilding are still first-class, the fact that there really haven’t been any resolutions to anything is starting to annoy me in this book.  Garion and Ce’Nedra are the two characters whose viewpoints we’ve had in the series, and while they each make their first actual decision in this book to act rather than to just follow Belgarath and Polgara, they still haven’t had any personal triumphs throughout the series.  I’m still going to read the last book and finish the series, but this book was by far the weakest novel in the series to me.

Overall Grade

Some of the charm of the earlier books is starting to wear off, but I’m still looking forward to reading the final book.

6/10

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