Book Review: CASTLE OF WIZARDY by David Eddings

Title in white on yellow next to image of bare tree with shining roc before swirling yellow inside a silver circle
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: Adult
Star Rating: 4.5 stars
Series: yes - fourth book

*SPOILER ALERT: contains SPOILERS for PAWN OF PROPHECY, QUEEN OF SORCERY and MAGICIAN’S GAMBIT*

Synopsis:

Book cover for CASTLE OF WIZARDRY: title in white above painting of people approaching a castle above a waterfall

It had all begun with the theft of the Orb that had so long protected the West from the evil God Torak. Before that, Garion had been a simple farm boy. Afterward, he discovered that his aunt was really the Sorceress Polgara and his grandfather was Belgarath, the Eternal Man. Then, on the long quest to recover the Orb, Garion found to his dismay that he, too, was a sorcerer.

Now, at last, the Orb was regained and the quest was nearing its end. Of course, the questors still had to escape from this crumbling enemy fortress and flee across a desert filled with Murgo soldiers searching for them, while Grolim Hierarchs strove to destroy them with dark magic. Then, somehow, they must manage to be in Riva with the Orb by Erastide.

After that, however, Garion was sure that his part in these great events would be finished.

But the Prophecy still held future surprises for Garion – and for the little Princess Ce’Nedra!

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


Review:

I did correctly remember that this was my favourite of the series. With the exception of the final battle/confrontation with the evil god (which is obviously left for the last book), this instalment contains the payoff for pretty much all the classic fantasy tropes set up so far.

I particularly enjoy the fact that Garion is not a natural at the role he finds himself in. He has a good, solid, practical upbringing that helps, but he so clearly relies on his friends to help – selecting who to ask based on their skill. Everyone does keep saying “he’s a natural”, but it’s because he’s willing to work hard and is not afraid to ask for help. It’s such an important message.

Again, most of the book is from Garion’s perspective, but Ce’Nedra has a few chapters at the start (and yes, it’s very romance focused there of her realising she’s in love.) However, the final section is narrated by Ce’Nedra alone, as the plot splits into two, one following Garion and one Ce’Nedra. And this is the section where the sheer cost, both in terms of human lives and emotional consequences, of epic battles begins to be explored.

Every time I read this book, I love seeing Ce’Nedra finally step into her own. Yes, there’s a romance element to what she’s doing, but she is so much more than “a girl falling in love.” She finally becomes this really rounded character struggling under a significant portion of the world that she’s voluntarily taken on. She gets so much character development (long overdue!)

One book left to go in this series! (Thank goodness there’s a sequel series, as this audio urge is lasting a LOT longer than usual for me – we’re more than 3 months in!)


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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