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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 9 January 2012
The whole series (i am currently upto book 2 of the Malloreon) has been fantastic. Brilliantly written, gripping and well paced.
A tip though. Start in the order they were written.

Begin with the Belgariad, then the Malloreon. Then and only then read Belgarath the Sorceror and Polgara the Sorcerous.

I followed some peoples tips on here and read them out of sequence (starting with Belgarath and Polgara) This was a mistake.
Belgarath and Polgara although acting as sequels and filling in the characters of these two are written as a reminiscence of the events and thus do contain a few quite important spoilers.
If you haven't read the books before do yourself a favour and save these until last in the order they were meant to be in. Get to know the characters and events in Belgariad and Malloreon first. Then return to these 'prequels'
Trust me, you will enjoy them more this way.

Anyway this slight gripe done with i have enjoyed and am currently gripped by these books. The Eddings' have to be one of my favourite couple of writers. The Elenium as well is highly recommended. Possibly more so than this series. Sparhawk and is horse are fantastic!!!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 7 February 2003
Some people might expect this book to be less engaging than the others in the "proper" series of the Belgariad and the Malloreon, but this is certainly not the case. How Eddings can write the story of a seven-thousand-year old sorceror without either giving us a novel thousands of pages long, and without boring his readers with too much of the same is incredible, but hardly surprising when the series themselves were so successful. As it is, he gives just as much of the vivid descriptions and intruiging plot as in his other books, and the story of Belgarath the sorceror could stand as a classic in its own right.
I would recommend new readers to try the Belagariad before attempting this book, but mostly only because it has so many subtle links with the story in those books that some people may find the story is a bit complicated. If you have already read those, however, it is an absolute joy to read, and answers a lot of important questions, like exactly how Belgarath, the great sorceror, was trained and grew up
All in all, this is a very good book, but can be hard to leave half-way through and then pick up again. I would suggest it for anyone remotely interested in fantasy, or even those who simply like beautifully-written books, and it has the same simple, glowing style that any Eddings fan will recognise.
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on 11 January 2015
“Belgarath the Sorceror” is a prequel to the Belgariad series. It was written a few years afterwards, and the set up for the novel was that it was written afterwards as well. The prologue to the book is the main characters from the series sitting down after it’s all over, and saying to Belgarath “you’ve been around for a lot longer than the rest of us. What happened before?” And the novel is Belgarath’s story. There’s a fair amount of reading here. After all, Belgarath is about 7000 years old at this point! “He’s what?” I hear you exclaim. I see I have some explaining to do here.

The Belgariad follows thirty wears in the life of Garion, who is born to be a great sorceror and to reunite a world divided many years before by the God Torak, one of seven Gods who created the world. Much like Tolkien’s ring, there is a powerful object in this world, the Orb of Aldur, which has been stolen by Torak and his disciples several times over the years, and usually reclaimed. At the start of the Belgariad, the orb is currently in Torak’s hands, and Garion, along with a number of friends, which include his “ultimate” Grandfather Belgarath (you see where the title comes from now?) must set out to reclaim this. Garion doesn’t know it, but the whole adventure has been prophesied many, many years before and Belgarath has spent centuries chasing around trying to ensure that these prophesies are made to come true, and has tried to keep the world in one piece (or, at least, it’s current two) until Garion comes along to reunite it. Belgarath, as a disciple of one of the other Gods, Aldur, has been taught/studied sorcery and granted immortality. Well, not immortality as such, but the ability to live for a very long time.
There have been many stories told in this world, of Belgarath’s life and the things he has done which have included stealing the Orb back from Torak on a number of occasions. Most of these stories have passed into legend or become part of the world’s religious teachings.

At the end of Garion’s adventures, he wonders how much of the things he’s heard about Belgarath, or has been told, were really true. So, he asks Belgarath to write his autobiography and set the record straight. After all, he was the only person who has been there at every event he’s heard of, and stories get twisted, embellished, or have bits missed off over the years. Seven thousand years of “Chinese whispers” is going to have an effect on even the simplest story. Belgarath, reluctantly, sits down to write.
For readers of the Belgariad, what then follows is a different perspective on what is probably a well-loved story. The stories of many of the major events that Belgarath has had a hand in are told at the start of each of the five books that make up the Belgariad, but in the third person, and with the embellishments I’ve already mentioned.

For a new reader, there follows a tale of Gods and magic, wars and a world created and divided. Belgarath, during his long lifetime, has seen every corner of the world, and has performed some amazing acts. Anyone who has lived for seven thousand years will have some stories to tell, as anyone who ever asked an older relative about the war will be well aware. Belgarath comes from a time when the world was in a single part, before the Orb of Aldur was created, before the prophesies were required as the Gods still lived in the world amongst their people, and guided them as needed. He witnessed the evil God Torak take up the Orb and split the world in two, and has set to reclaim it. He has created new countries, and has advised rulers. He has seen himself be a pawn of the prophecies, has seen many of his friends die, has been a teacher and a father, a matchmaker and a thief.

Fans of fantasy novels will no doubt be expecting an epic tale at this point. Even non-fans might be expecting something special. I hate to disappoint anyone, but it doesn’t quite work out that way. What you get is, without a doubt, a very good story. But you can’t escape the feeling that all of this has already happened and that what you are reading is merely a recounting of events. What you have here are two very good storytellers, with Eddings feeding the story through the mind of Belgarath, who has made a living, and a disguise, out of storytelling over his many years. You can read with great pleasure, but it’s difficult to get yourself involved in the book.

Eddings, as any fan will tell you, has an easy writing style. Add this to Belgarath’s ever present, and sometimes slightly cynical sense of humour, and you find yourself with a novel that seems to fly by. There are any number of little asides, and little jokes spread throughout this book. Unfortunately, most of them are “in” jokes that you have to be a reader of the Belgariad to get.
For fans of the Belgariad, this book is a very useful and entertaining addition to your library. For everyone else, however, this book may well disappoint. If you didn’t enjoy the Belgariad series, this book feels a little like an attempt to cash in on its success. The characters are familiar, but many of the stories Belgarath tells are told in other places. Perhaps not as entertainingly, but they’re there.

For fans of “hard” fantasy, such as Tolkien, this may prove deeply unsatisfying. This really is “soft” fantasy. Yes, there are knights in shining armour, a dragon gets and a mention, very briefly, and there are some strange creatures around which, again, feature only briefly. However, most of the characters are men, by and large, and a large amount of the incidences of magic involve nothing more exciting than changing shape, or communicating telepathically.

If you haven’t read the Belgariad, there is very little point in bothering with this book, especially at £8 a go. You won’t get it. The reason why it’s being written, as explained in the Prologue, will be lost on you, and a lot of the bits that Belgarath skips over, and the little jokes and snide references to other people he scatters about will go over your heads. It’s a shame really, as thanks to Edding's flowing style, reading this is an enjoyable experience.

If you’ve read and enjoyed the Belgariad, and are already familiar with Eddings’ style and the events described, this is almost essential. It’s just about different enough to be worth the investment, although it is from a single perspective. You’re looking at the world with a limited view, rather than from the outside, as in the Belgariad. It’s limiting, but entertaining. Had Garion been writing this, it would have been a complete waste of time, but as it’s Belgarath, it seems to work. For those of you who didn’t understand that last sentence, either read something else, or start with “Pawn of Prophecy”, the first book of the Belgariad, and come back later. For those that did, but haven't read this book, you really must!

This review may also appear under my name at any or all of www.ciao.co.uk, www.thebookbag.co.uk, www.goodreads.com, www.amazon.co.uk and www.dooyoo.co.uk
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on 28 August 2009
This is the first prequel to the Belgariad and Malloreon (before Polgara the Sorceress).

In this prequel, Belgarath tells us about his youth and how he became Aldur's pupil and then disciple, along with his brothers Zedar, the twins Belkira and Beltira, Belmakor, Belsambar and the dwarf Beldin.

For a while they all live happily in the Vale, quietly studying, until Aldur's evil brother Torak steals the Orb and cracks the World.

Then follows a history of the events that led to the birth of Garion the Godslayer: Belgarath's meeting the remarkable she-wolf who'll become his wife Poledra, the division of Aloria between Cherek and his sons Dras, Algar and Riva, the birth of his daughters Polgara and Beldaran, the start of the Rivan line and Torak's disciples' efforts to obliterate it, the Battle of Vo Mimbre...

All the while, Belgarath and his brothers are taking care that everything clicks together, deciphering madmen's prophecies, and accordingly arranging meetings and marriages to ensure that Garion will be surrounded by the right companions when the time comes.

All in all, I enjoyed re-reading this prequel more than the ten main volumes, even though Belgarath's flaunty remarks to the reader tended to rile me. Eddings's style and plot crafting has definitely improved during the years between the writing of The Seeress of Kell and this present volume. I hope I will now enjoy Polgara the Sorceress as much as I did when I first read it, it's always been my favourite among the lot!
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on 29 March 2008
To tell you the truth I hadn't intended to read this book. I picked it up having bought it many years before when I was deriving immense enjoyment from the Belgariad and Malloreon series and with only the intention of scanning through the first few lines to remind me of what this author and his imagined land were all about, I opened `Belgarath the Sorcerer' and turned to page one. But before I knew it I had been drawn in, but not by the fascinating origins of Belgarath the Sorcerer, at least not immediately, but instead quite cleverly by events that followed on from the ending to the Malloreon series with Garion, Durnik and Belgarath enjoying each others company in the Vale and contemplating all that brought them there.

I admit- quite a bit of what I'd read & absorbed in those two series had escaped my memory in the intervening years, but very soon I realised that I recalled enough to know that this beginning was an addition to the ending of the `Seeress of Kell' that I would have given my eye-teeth to read those handful of years ago. So to sum things up- it begins brilliantly and only gets better...it's a fantastic story in fact and while it is peppered with the Eddings witticisms and habitually over-used phrases that I grew to loathe in his `Elenium' and `Tamuli' series (be nice / I guess / old boy / sort of) those small annoyances are almost a part of its charm. A little more disappointing is the glossing over of moments when main characters are at their most vulnerable and interesting (such as when secondary characters perish)- but Eddings never seems inclined to dwell on those, favouring instead to dive headlong into the next conflict with the Child of Dark and his evil disciples ordained by infuriatingly-cryptic prophecy.

It's a long book, but it doesn't ever feel that way, such is the terrific pace that the author sets and while it is slightly derivative, it's nonetheless absolutely engrossing throughout and if like me you thought yourself immune to this type of somewhat formulaic story-telling then prepare yourself to be totally blown away!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 19 April 2011
I'd read the Belgariad and the Mallorean, and so was interested to know about Belgarath's history. The book is really well written, with lots of humour and exciting characters. I'd really recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 January 2012
This book is an amazing edition to a wealth of fantasy lore. The Belgariad and the Malloreon are some of the best books I have ever read and I would highly recommend this book as an extra to the series. The story of Belgarath is interesting, funny, adventurous and at times heart breaking, but always a brilliant read. Eddings was a master of his art, and I recommend this to anyone at all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 January 2014
I would recommend people to read both the Belgariad and Malloreon before reading this book, as this book starts where the last book in the Malloreon series finishes off.

Basically, it tell the back story of events over thousands of years that lead up the Belagriad series through the eyes of Belgarath. There is a lot of humour and sadness in this book. It's a great read.
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on 26 November 2012
It's been some time since I read the first series, and I was looking forward to diving back into the world. All was going okay for the first half of the book - it was interesting, but I wouldn't say gripping.

Then suddenly I turn the page on a new chapter, and it seems to be written by a totally different person. Back when the first half of the book was started! I don't want to give too much away, but in the first half the language used by Belgarath is very flowery to begin with (lots of thee's and thou's). Thankfully this fades away as the chapters roll by. Up until the middle of the book when they suddenly start up again.

Unfortunately, I found this such a jolt that I put the book down and haven't picked it up since. Perhaps I will one day, but for me it was a shame to see such a start change.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 29 July 2000
This book provided a brilliant end to the Belgariad and Mallorean (even though it is a prequel you should read it after you have read the other books) and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It tells the tale of Belgarath right through his life (seven thousand years or so)and is very hard to put down once it has been started.
I suggest that anyone planning on reading this book should read the Belgariad and Mallorean first, not because Belgarath the sorcerer is difficult to follow, but because reading this first may ruin these two series as it gives quite a lot away (only if you plan on reading the belgariad and mallorean. If you don't want to read either of them then feel free to read this on its own).
It's a great book. Well worth 5 out of 5.
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