Genre: Fantasy Age Range: Adult Star Rating: 3.5 stars Series: yes - second book in companion series
*SPOILER ALERT: contains SPOILERS for GUARDIANS OF THE WEST*
Garion knows that it is the mysterious figure Zandramas who is responsible for the abduction of his infant son, and he and his companions journey many miles and encounter many strange beings in their search for him.
Their way leads through the foul swamps of Nyissa, ruled over by the Snake-Queen, and on into the dark kingdom of the Murgos, where human sacrifices are still made to the dead god Torak. Further on, however, even beyond those forbidding lands, they must face the ultimate danger – not only to themselves but to all mankind…
Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.
The second book in this companion series departs from the more domestic nature of the first and takes the series to the more classical quest format. It is much like the second book in the first series, where not much happens overall in terms of quest progress. A few new companions join them (returning character Saadi from the first series and new to this series Velvet/Liselle, though both got a bit of page time last book) and they all follow the trail of Zandramas.
Instead of being so much about the quest, this book feels to me to be more about introducing new lands and setting the stage to introduce the most important of the new characters next both (though that character is technically a returning character from the previous series, who just had a very minor role there.) The book ends with the set up for the questers meeting Zakath next book.
Storywise, yeah, not much is happening. It’s pretty much all moving pieces into place and revealing more intrigues and schemes along the way. This is the book that takes the series away from the “kingdoms of the west” and into the south (the next three books are pretty much all in the east.) These are the lands that the first series didn’t really explore much, other than a small sliver where the focus was war or general destruction.
It was nice to see a bit more of Cthol Murgos, and to get another side of these people who were generally written as faceless enemies last series. They’re still a hinderance by and large, but King Ethel and his court do humanise them a bit (though more work could have been done there to avoid stereotypes.)
This is overall the filler book to get through before reaching the third one, where things start to gather up speed and feel like progress is being made towards the finale.
Read my reviews of other books by David Eddings:
The Belgariad (chronologically before this series:)
- PAWN OF PROPHECY (#1)
- QUEEN OF SORCERY (#2)
- MAGICIAN’S GAMBIT (#3)
- CASTLE OF WIZARDRY (#4)
- ENCHANTER’S END GAME (#5)
The Malloreon (this series):
Companions to the Belgariad and the Malloreon: