Book Review: PAWN OF PROPHECY by David Eddings

Title in white on blue next to sword on silver roundel
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: Adult
Star Rating: 4 stars
Series: yes - first book

Synopsis:

Book cover for PAWN OF PROPHECY title above drawing of a boy with a sword against a lush backdrop

Long ago, so the Storyteller claimed, the evil God Torak sought dominion and drove men and Gods to war. But Belgarath the Sorcerer led men to reclaim the Orb that protected men of the West. So long as it lay at Riva, the prophecy went, men would be safe.

But that was only a story, and Garion did not believe in magic dooms, even though the dark man without a shadow had haunted him for years. Brought up on a quiet farm by his Aunt Pol, how could he know that the Apostate planned to wake dread Torak, or that he would be led on a quest of unparalleled magic and danger by those he loved – but did not know? For a while his dreams of innocence were safe, untroubled by knowledge of his strange heritage. For a little while… 

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


Review:

These books are the first ones I ever read by David Eddings and are such favourites because they were with me through school – these old editions that I’ll be using for covers are the ones I was given by a family friend and are the right size for a blazer pocket.

I’m not completely sure what age range this book is. There are editions that have been sold in children’s, but the current common edition in the UK is sold in adult. And while this book is a coming of age, starting when he’s little and ending when he’s 16, because of the tone of the series, and the age he is by the end of the two series (the Mallorean follows this), I’m going to consider it adult.

The Belgariad is a classic “farm boy” fantasy story, the start of an epic quest. The way it’s written, you can figure out a lot more information than Garion does (thanks to the prologue), so you can guess what the future holds. However, the focus is not on his ignorance, or the bits and pieces he learns (not the full story that the reader can guess), but on how alone and unmoored the bits he works out makes him feel. Everything he learns compounds that feeling, and it’s quite powerful to see him go on that journey.

I hadn’t listened to this before, and I will say that the narrator’s tendency to use a normal diction for common words and then a “fantasy pronunciation” for the made up words was a bit irritating. He changed the stress pattern and how he said certain phonetics rather than keeping his diction the same, which drew attention to the words. However, I am going onwards with listening to this series., because he’s quite good at making the characters sound different.


Read my reviews of other books by David Eddings:

The Belgariad (this series):

The Malloreon (chronologically after this series):

Companions to the Belgariad and the Malloreon:

The Elenium:

The Tamuli (chronologically after the Elenium):

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