Genre: Fantasy Age Range: Adult Star Rating: 4 stars Series: yes - second book
*SPOILER ALERT: contains SPOILERS for PAWN OF PROPHECY*
The master Sorcerer Belgarath and his daughter Polgara the arch-Sorceress were on the trail of the Orb, seeking to regain its saving power before the final disaster prophesized by the legends.
And with them went Garion, a simple farm boy only months before, but now the focus of the struggle. He had never believed in sorcery and wanted no part of it. Yet with every league they travelled, the power grew in him, forcing him to acts of wizardry he could not accept
Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.
The second entry in the Belgariad returns the company to their quest, after the diversion at the end of the first book. The questers also increases in size, with three new companions joining the party – bringing their own tensions to the group.
We cross three countries, each feeling very different. The first is split between two groups in a historic civil war of enmity, both sides with their fault and sheer stubbornness. It’s the most chivalric of the countries, taken to the point of stupidity at times. The second is a political complexity of trade and secession crisis. The third is a dangerous swamp.
I liked how different they were, pulling up different fantasy ideas and then running them to their extreme. It was a fun way to play on different tropes, while retaining that very archetypical fantasy quest feeling.
There’s more magic, and more enemies too. We start to see what Garion’s role in the prophecy might be, as he learns more about his capabilities. Like with the first book, the focus is not on the abilities. Rather, it’s on the moral crisis they trigger, which is more than a bit understandable, and all wrapped up in teenage rebellion (triggered in part by the lingering effects of the identity crisis of the first book.)
This all hides the fact that the quest doesn’t actually make any noticeable progress. They are further across the country, but they haven’t really struck a blow at their enemies, and it ends with discovering that someone else has got hold of the thing they’re after. In that respect, the book sort of doesn’t end well, because you don’t feel like anything on a macro level has happened – instead, all the focus is on the micro-level conflict in Garion, which mostly makes up for it, but it is a bit of a dissatisfying end.
Read my reviews of other books by David Eddings:
The Belgariad (this series:)
The Malloreon (chronologically after this series):
- GUARDIANS OF THE WEST (#1)
- KING OF THE MURGOS (#2)
- DEMON LORD OF KARANDA (#3)
- SORCERESS OF DARSHIVA (#4)
- SEERESS OF KELL (#5)
Companions to the Belgariad and the Malloreon: