29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
I read these books for the first time when I was about 15 years old. I am still convinced they were the cause of bad results in my school exams. I have just finished reading the Harry Potter series of books and they pale into insignificance when compared with the exploits and Adventures of Garion, Pol and Belgarath!
The plot is decipherable and you know what is going to...
Published on 15 Nov 2001
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A not so great beginning of a great series
When I read "Pawn of Prophecy" I thought it was simply OK: not bad, but certainly not one of the best fantasy books. Eddings' style seemed a bit too "naive" and at times it made me think that the book was intended for people in their early teens. In any case, I was convinced to pick up the rest of the Belgariad books and I am truely glad for this...
Published on 18 July 2001
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!,
By A Customer
The plot is decipherable and you know what is going to happen at the end of the fifth book, by the time you reach half way through the first but I couldn't put them down!! They are the only set of books that, 16 years after I first read them ,I can read again and again!! I highly recommend these books for anyone of any age who enjoys the Harry Potter books!
If you like these and want to find out more about the characters, then read "Polgara the Sorceress" and "Belgarath the Sorcerer" these are prequels to the Belgariad and give you an insight into the lives of these two fantastic characters!
83 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eat your heart out Tolkein,
This review is from: Belgariad 1: Pawn of Prophecy (The Belgariad (RHCP)) (Paperback)This book forms part of a terrific series beginning with `Belgareth the Sorcerer'. I don't read much of this genre (fantasy) but like The Hobbit/ Lord of the Rings this will appeal to a large audience.
Following Belgareth the Sorcerer there are two series of 5 books, `The Belgariad' and `The Mallorean' and it is advisable to read them in order, and if you can read `Belgareth' first (although you could save it and read it afterwards like a prequel).
I raced through the series. The Eddings' (the books were written by a couple) create a Tolkein-esque world with our hero Belgareth learning powers known as `the will and the word' through centuries of study under a benevolent God (the gods that created this world still live on it in physical form). This study elevates him to the status of a sorcerer and elongates his life span - he becomes a legend and a force for good in the world. However, another disciple of his benevolent master rebels and steals the holy `Orb' stone, following a more sinister God. In the later series the Gods have left the planet in fear that their battle will destroy the world but their peoples continue to war - following the Prophecies left to them by the Gods. The two series follow the course of events as Belgareth leads the hunt for the traitor and the stone. It's very cleverly written and characters and events reappear as we become familiar with the history of this fictional world through the course of the books.
Really good fun and a definite recommendation if you want a light hearted escape that will keep you reading late into the night.
This is the order of the books:
1. Pawn of Prophecy
2. Queen of Sorcery
3. Magician's Gambit
4. Castle of Wizardry
5. Enchanters' End Game
1. Guardians of the West
2. King of the Murgos
3. Demon Lord of Karanda
4. Sorceress of Darshiva
5. The Seeress of Kell
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The start of a set of books I will never forget,
But Garions small country life is rudely interrupted when the story teller arrives with grave news and soon Garions life is turned upside down as you learn about the true identity of Garion's Aunt Pol and the old story teller and the truth of garions grave heritage is finally revealed.
Allong the way you meet a great many characcters such as Barak, the Cherek warrior or Silk, the theif and spy of Drasnia. David Eddings writes as though he knows the characters as if were his best friends and by the end I promise you that you will know each characters life history as if it was your own.
These books are addictive, once you have picked one up, BEWARE for you will not put it down until you have read the set.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute Masterpiece,
This review is from: Belgariad 1: Pawn of Prophecy (The Belgariad (RHCP)) (Paperback)I was first introduced to this book by my father when I was eight years old. He handed me a dog-eared and yellow-paged paperback, with a watercolour illustration of three characters, a sword and a valley on the cover. He had read them during his years at police training school and I was soon to be bewitched by them as well.
I took Pawn of Prophecy with me on holiday to Spain, and read it in three hours on the way home. Everything about it entranced me. The characters, the setting, the incredible way in which Eddings weaves his story using beautiful language, it was all mesmerising for an eight year old girl with a mammoth imagination. But you don't need an immense imagination to read it. I believe anyone could pick up this book and be fully immersed in it by chapter four. My father had a copy of Queen of Sorcery and I devoured that straight away, and it wasn't long before I owned a full set of the Belgariad and the Mallorean. I read the series' every year, like some people I know read the Lord of the Rings every year.
The story, the first in two series that span ten books, follows farm boy Garion, his Aunt Pol and their blacksmith friend Durnik, along with the mysterious storyteller Mister Wolf through a world alive in sorcery, swords and evil gods. Garion has grown up on Faldor's farm, a practical place where his Aunt Pol holds sway over the kitchens. He couldn't be happier in this home, until one Eristide festival he hears the story of how the world came to be and becomes wrapped in a conspiracy of hidden identities, an ancient prophecy and his true destiny. Over the course of the five books of the Belgariad, Garion will be faced with questions over his past and his future. Is Aunt Pol the woman he thinks she is? And who exactly is the grizzled Mister Wolf? These questions begin to be answered in Pawn of Prophecy as Garion's story begins to gain momentum and move towards its' ultimate and heart stopping climax.
This book has been with me for ten years now, and it's still fresh every time I read it. It's been a huge inspiration for my life, my own writing and keeping my treasured imagination alive. I fully believe that Eddings deserves to be placed amongst the greatest fantasy writers of all time. Read this book, and you will not be disappointed.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How it all began...,
Garion, Polgara and Garath are all introduced here for the first time and very soon they'll become entrenched in your imagination and as the quest they embark upon gains pace and we learn ever stranger and ever more fateful details about our young hero Garion...it only becomes harder not to love these characters, especially after ten books travelling along beside them through good times and bad times and truly horrific times. Upon finishing 'Seeress of Kell' (book five in the Mallorean) I'm not ashamed to admit that I shed a tear at having to leave the side of each and every one of these wonderfully drawn characters. I guarantee you that once you pick up 'Pawn of Prophecy' (the first book in the Belgariad) in a surprisingly short space of time you'll be putting down 'Seeress of Kell' and thinking back to how it all began on the farm where Garion knew nothing of what he would become, nothing of the secrets he would uncover and nothing of his future, or what it held for him, his companions and especially not for the entire world...
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quickly absorbing and un-put-downable,
On actually starting the book, I was instantly hooked right into the story, easily identifying with Garion, the series' main character. I know my life is very disimilar to his, but his youth, naivety, and his setting does nothing but intrigue the reader. The plot itself always held mystery and moved at a fair pace, with good twists and original charcters that played off one another and individually and collectively added something to the narrative.
Although many modern fantasies have the quest of the almost-orphaned farmboy, often hunting a fabled relic/jewel, this certainly has a fresh feel and a sense of history and depth, and therefore believability, which therefore makes it an easier read. It at no point bogs the reader down, and sets itself out in a clear, ordered manner, while not necessarily meaning we knew what to expect.
Eddings himself said, if you read 100 pages, he had you, but, for me, it took but the prologue so much was the pull this book had over me. And now, over 3 years on from reading it, I felt I had to recommend it to others in search of a fantasy series to engage and delight.
A definite must for all readers
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A one sitting read you can't put down,
By A Customer
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic high fantasy,
Pawn of Prophecy marks the first book in the five book sequence of The Belgariad - and I confess to being surprised by the slightness of the novel. It is a mere two hundred and fifty or so pages in my copy. Compared to the over bloated fantasy epics we see these days, it is a very swift read.
The prose helps with this immensely. It is smooth and readable, with lively characters and clever dialogue. We follow the adventures of Garion, a farm boy growing up in the depths of Sendaria, learning solid Sendarian values of practicality and honesty. For the first third of the book, Eddings builds a rural picture of bliss and harmony, presenting Garion's life as peaceful and fulfilling. His Aunt Pol rules the kitchen, and an itinerant storyteller occasionally visits, bringing mischief in his wake.
One night all this changes, as Mister Wolf (as Garion terms the storyteller) comes to sweep Aunt Pol and Garion away to try and find 'something' that has been stolen. As they travel across Sendaria and into Cherek, Garion learns that he travels with important people and that he is living through a time of epic prophecy.
So far, so cliched, right? Of course, this book was written way back in 1982 - a world away in terms of how far fantasy has since travelled. Now the farmboy who saves the world is sneered at in terms of plot device, and the epic quest is left aside in favour of grimy warfare. At the time, Pawn of Prophecy would have felt fresh and new, showcasing a humorous team of questers who bicker and snark. The bad guys can be easily identified as such by their squinting eyes and body odour; the good guys are all loyal and clever.
Equally, to the 14 year old girl that I was, Pawn of Prophecy was like nothing I had ever read. I fell in love with the characters, particularly Silk, and devoured each book at a rate of knots. I loved the gentle romance and the moments of high fantasy. I didn't care that the characters were straight out of a D&D game, with the wise old wizard, and the barbarian, and the sneak thief - I just delighted in the snappy dialogue and the sweeping descriptions of the world these characters inhabited.
I still read it through rose-tinted spectacles to an extent - but I can see the limitations of the novel these days as well. It certainly won't feel fresh to an adult who has read a number of fantasy novels; it will feel tired and ever so slightly ridiculous. Some of the dialogue is a little too self-consciously clever, and there are moments when it seems as though Eddings thought of something good and shoehorned it into the novel.
However, there are still lovely points in the novel, and the comedy can still bring a smile:
"What of me, Aunt Pol?" Garion asked. "What do I do?"
"You can be my page."
"What does a page do?"
"You fetch things for me."
"I've always done that. Is that what it's called?"
As I mentioned, Pawn of Prophecy is a warm and cosy read, perfect when you don't want to have to think too hard. It is akin to drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows in the winter. A lot of people will become bored with the novel, comparing it unfavourably to more recent novels, but I adore it thanks both to nostalgia and appreciation for a book that almost stands the test of time (even as cliche-ridden as it is). I would recommend it for those who are a) starting out new into the fantasy genre b) those who enjoy gentle high fantasy, where the bad guys wear black and the good guys are always good and c) those people suffering the break-up of a relationship. For those people, this is a damn near perfect read.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Introduction,
Eddings is nothing like Tolkien, which is probably a good thing and makes him an ideal place to start. Tolkien is a legend no doubt but his tendancy for extreme description makes his books a little daunting for the ff-newbie.
Pawn of Prophecy does not suffer from this. Being the gateway to a wonderful story that contains all of the necessary characteristics - human nature, sorcery, good versus evil this book stands alone as a great achievement. The major players are introduced virtually immediately and by the time you are through the book you feel like you know them as you know your friends.
Lots of people have bought this on my recommendation and thoroughly enjoyed it...moreso they have gone on to read the rest of the Belgariad as well. You are in a privileged position in that you do not need to wait for the rest of the series to come out so what are you waiting for!
Go on, you will be hooked.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Halfway between Tolkien and Terry Pratchett,
I admire Tolkien, and I am entertained by Terry Pratchett; this is halfway in between. Tolkein has substance and knows how to tell a great tale, but he's often more than a bit dour. Prachett, of course, has humour, and can make a telling point through it, but he has never attempted an epic tale. The strenghts of both approaches come together here. Plot development takes place, philosophical questions are debated, and serious points are made in the naturalistic conversations during which so much of the action of these books takes place, with no shortage of humour.
Yes, there are some weaknesses, if you call using the archetypical characters and devices of this type of literature weaknesses. The authors (David and his wife Leigh, who finally gets acknowledged in later books)have been quite open about there methodology in more recent volumes. My view is - it works - and the 'stock characters' have rarely been so well depicted, or so much plain fun, as here.
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Pawn Of Prophecy: Book One Of The Belgariad (The Belgariad (TW)) by David Eddings