Last week, Floyd Hyatt reviewed the Amber series. This week, it’s the 18-volume David Eddings set.
Light Fantasy Series Review
by F. A. Hyatt
The Belgariad / The Malloreon / The Elenium / The Tamuli
Third person POV, largely. Sword and Sorcery- Del Rey 1982-1994
Description & Review
These four Epic Saga style book sets really need to be grouped as one Serial effort, as they chronicle an age-spanning quest in the balance between good and evil in the classic fantasy style, for one particular and evolving world.
I say evolving guardedly, for regardless of the millennium spanned by these four sets (18 large hard bound editions) you are dealing here with a world of armored knights and castles and magicians throughout.
One outstanding feature is the strong voicing of feminine and family ethic by the well-balanced female-to-male lead perspectives served up across the set. The sets are bound together by an ever-present pantheon of gods and nearly immortal or immortal avatars that wend their way through all. All deal with the rise of an evil god that just won’t go down for the last time or their henchmen, and evil’s temporary and repetitive defeat.
Behind it all are two stones that evidently used to run about making worlds until stranded on the mythic world of concern. Now, they play chess, with the world’s residents as pawns, and are behind the individual quests that comprise the four multi-volume epics. Passé as this sounds, the characters are interesting, the prose good, often funny, and the serial quests move along well.
If you are a fan of sword and sorcery, and feel left behind when finishing up a tale, with 18 books to carry on with, you will be in pig heaven here. While there is diversity between the volumes, between the series sub-sets (The Belgariad, The Malloreon, etc.), a certain sense of repetition, partially intended by the story line, exists that panders to just that principle – (if you liked that one, here’s more of the same.) None the less, these are well written, if light, fare, and each volume stands alone well enough to be read without being put off.
This is especially true of Polgara the Sorceress and its companion work, Belgarath the Sorcerer, which stand somewhat outside the main Epics as companion volumes. The lead characters change but slowly through the sets. The Sorceress Polgara and her father, the Sorcerer Belgarath shepherd their child charges through the first few, then a child goddess, Araphel accompanies Knight Sparhawk and his wife/queen through the rest.
Specifically of interest for lovers of the S&S Genre.
Thank you, sir! I’ve never read any of these, so I’m looking forward to diving in.
WRITING PROMPT: Does your main character like to read the same basic book over and over? Or the same book, like the Wilkie Collins character who only read Robinson Crusoe?
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