DO NOT READ THIS IF YOU HAVE NOT READ BELGARATH THE SORCERER BY DAVID EDDINGS AND DO NOT WISH TO READ SPOILERS REGARDING THIS STORY
Well, first off, I have to admit this blog will be a sort of mixed bag. A story about myself, naturally, and my love of books, mainly the more traditional style of fantasy, namely by the author, Eddings…
I started off with horror novels in my teens, but as I grew older and had children of my own, I started looking and hoping for something more fulfilling, and I found David Gemmel and his book Dark Moon, but then as I ventured further into the world of fantasy, I discovered Eddings.
Of course, I started the series all wrong, back to front, and all that, but it hasn’t prevented me from loving the books or the stories within their pages.
So, my first David and Leigh novel was, Belgarath the Sorcerer. I really loved the voice they gave to Belgarath, full of dry wit and humor. It had all the usual stuff a traditional fantasy book has, like the orphan boy whose parents had died when he was so young he barely remembered them, BUT, Garath as he was know then wasn’t your typical orphan, he mostly took care of himself, by stealing from those in the village, as he liked to point out, locks hadn’t been invented then, so it was pretty easy, and of course, he had a habit of kissing local village girls in the barn/hayloft, the reason he got kicked out! He sulked about it for a bit, and then, decided (even though he didn’t know he was being magically pushed at this point) to travel.
Garath wandered, until he came upon a glade, and a very old tree, which in itself was a bit of a trick, it enthralled him so that by the time he came out of the trance it was snowing and left him no choice but to try and find shelter, which came in the form of a tower.
Naturally, this all led to him being trained by the God who resided in said tower, who went by the name of Aldur, and the start of an adventure which would lead to the stealing of a stone called the Orb of Aldur, taken by the God’s own brother, Torak.This led to War, the invention of siege engines, loss of friends and comrades, making of allies, new cultures, and eventually a wife for Garath, who was also renamed Belgarath by the God Aldur, after Belgarath learned a very important lesson about the Will and the Word.
This story also leads to loss and grief, many changes, some good, others not so good.
I loved it! I still do. It’s been read so many times now the spine is well worn and cracked in places by my constant re-reading of this amazing story.
Yes, it may have some of the old tropes stashed away in between those pages, but it’s the way it’s been written that captures my attention over and over again. Like I said, I really like Belgarath’s voice, and also the way Eddings put so much life into the characters, not just Belgarath, but the other disciples, the god’s themselves, were like real people, with gifts and powers, yes, but also humour, compassion, flaws and so many of the issues that taint the personalities of people in the real world.
I also like the hard choices in there as well, the fact Belgarath wasn’t perfect, that he and his daughter Polgara had so many differences, and didn’t like each other straight away, though Begarath tried to be a father, they eventually settled on allies, but underneath it all, they loved each other deeply.
Some of the events when I first read them and even now after all this time make me teary, angry, I still get excited by the story.
I think this is what a really good book should be, something you want to go back to over and over, where the reader loves the world and the characters so much they want to revisit them at least several times a year. These are books I cherish, they have pride of place on my bookshelf.
My books are probably what I’d run back into house for if it were on fire, as well as the photos of my kids, they’re equally priceless to me.
So, for the next few days, I’ll be going on about these old books, and asking for comments from folks who follow this blog, or just happen to be passing by, to tell what book is their most favourite and why? 🙂