Magician’s Gambit (The Belgariad, Book 3), by David Eddings
Book Review / July 9, 2019

Magician’s Gambit by David Eddings My rating: 2 of 5 stars ““We all have our little shortcomings,” Silk admitted blandly.” This is yet more of the same I’ve read so far in the Belgariad. We’re still travelling, we’re still seeing some fights the result of which is crystal clear from the outset and it’s becoming stale and bland. There’s some character development finally but mostly everyone still feels like an archetype and not like a real person. As if that wasn’t enough, there are lots of “Deus ex machina” moments during which something that should be hard gets resolved effortlessly: “He ran his fingers over the icy iron, not knowing just what he was looking for. He found a spot that felt a little different. “Here it is.”” And just like that, that’s it. Garion explores some more of his capabilities but is still kept small by Belgarath and Pol. The ending is rushed, anti-climactic and actually feels like Eddings just wanted to end the book which doesn’t bode well for the rest of the series. Sometimes I wish I could “unread” books because they were so fantastic. In this case, I would have had to forget an entire genre…

Queen of Sorcery (The Belgariad, Book 2), by David Eddings
Book Review / July 5, 2019

Queen of Sorcery by David Eddings My rating: 3 of 5 stars “Don’t think about it, dear,” Aunt Pol said quietly as they left the village and rode south along the highway. “It’s nothing to worry about. I’ll explain it all later.” This second instalment of “The Belgariad” had a lot of dialogue like the above. Our young hero, Garion, is still on the road, travelling south in pursuit of the thief of an ancient artefact with his Aunt Pol, Mister Wolf and the others. Unfortunately, Pol tries to keep Garion ignorant for reasons partly eluding me and – for reasons completely eluding me – Garion sulks and pouts a bit about it but instead of simply refusing to move another inch till they finally tell him what’s going on, he pretty much accepts being kept in the dark. Very annoying and, at least in my experience as a father of three kids (and having been one myself!), not very truthful either. Plus: It’s simply annoying to me as a reader because I do have a pretty good idea about what Pol and Mister Wolf are hiding from Garion but Eddings should probably have made them loosen up a bit….

Pawn of Prophecy (The Belgariad, Book 1), by David Eddings
Book Review / July 2, 2019

Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings My rating: 4 of 5 stars Wikipedia defines GrimDark as something that is “particularly dystopian, amoral, or violent” and that’s pretty much the definition of what I do not like in my fantasy books. When I read fantasy, I want the heroes to be good people at their core. I want a world that’s essentially worth saving and not a dystopia that basically deserves going down the drain anyway and while violence is nothing I abhor, it’s something that should be used sparingly and only if necessary for the story. Fortunately, “Pawn of Prophecy”, the first volume of “The Belgariad” is quite the opposite of GrimDark and pretty much exactly what I outlined above: Garion, a young farmhand, tutored by his “Aunt Pol” grows up on the farm of a modest, good-natured man who cares about his people. When strangers arrive at the farm, Pol and an elderly story-teller, “Mister Wolf”, come to the conclusion it’s time to make a move of their own and so they leave with Garion and the local blacksmith to go on a dangerous trip through the land, searching for a dangerous ancient artefact and its thief. They’re closely…