Polgara the Sorceress

This is the final continuation of the Belgariad and the Malloreon series, following on from the Belgarath the Sorcerer continuation. The two continuation books are really just the same stories told from other perspectives, yet Belgarath the Sorcerer managed to be a really interesting read. It probably helped that Belgarath’s story predates the Belgariad by thousands of years. On the other hand, most of the territory covered in this book is not new.

This book started well, but the tone quickly became annoying for me. I think it was the several hundred pages of Arendish history that ruined it for me — its just not that interesting where Polgara’s bathroom is located, and who won a particular jousting match. There are also these really annoy asides littered throughout the text. The same element appeared in Belgarath, but seemed less annoying there for some reason. It annoyed me that there would be a passage of prose, broken in the middle with supposedly witty comment, which invariably fell flat.

The other problem with this book is that Polgara herself comes across as a bit of a sociopath. She’s always sure of herself, and lacks depth as a character because of it. I’ve got kids, and I find a character who is dumped into raising an orphan at zero notice being so self assured all the time. Surely she made mistakes and learnt something along the way? You wouldn’t know it from the book though — all of that is glossed over.

On the other hand, the book is ok apart from the long middle bit in Arendia. This would have been a better book if that had been omitted.

[isbn: 0345422554]

Belgarath the Sorcerer

This book is a follow on from The Belgariad and The Malloreon written from the perspective of one of the protagonists in those two series — Belgarath the Sorcerer. This book has quite a different style from the others. It is written in the first person as Belgarath’s personal memoir. The book is really long at over 700 pages, and covers a 6,000 year (ish) period. That means that the book tends to skip around and over some things at a very high level. That’s probably a good thing, as it stops you from getting bogged down in boring detail you don’t care about.

One problem with this book is that to people who have read the previous series, this is all old territory. You totally know what is about to happen, and that makes it a lot less fun to read. I’m also not sure I’m a big fan of the first person style either. However, I did enjoy this book more than some of the others I have read recently, despite it not being Eddings’ best work.

[isbn: 0345403959]

King of the Murgos

This is book two of the Malloreon, the sequel series to the Belgariad. Some people complain that this series is just a repeat of the previous series with some of the names changed, and I certainly used to think that myself. Now that I’ve read this book again I think that’s unfair — the story line is actually quite different, and the characters are generally older and wiser (which makes them feel more developed). I enjoyed this book, probably more than I did Guardians of the West.

[isbn: 0345358805]

Guardians of the West

I read this book as a child, and must admit I didn’t like it. That’s interesting to me, because it quite liked it this time. Its not the greatest literature ever written, but it is a good read. You need to have read the Belgariad first though, because this book (the first of the Mallorean) reuses the characters without spending a lot of time introducing them to you. I think I prefer it that way because it would be annoying to have to go through all that character development again as someone who has read the first series.

[isbn: 0345352661]

The Belgariad

The Belgariad is a fantasy series by David Eddings. There are five books in the series, although there is also a follow series called the Mallorean, as well as three tie in books. The series follows a small farm boy as he grows up, discovering along the way that his relatives are famous, he’s important to the history of the world, and that he has to defeat an ancient evil. The five books in the main series are: