|Submitted by Spot |
(Feb 15, 2004)
Fantasy books can loosely be grouped into two categories, those that adamantly take themselves seriously, mimicking Tolkien (not always openly), and those that seem determined to prove they do nottake themselves seriously, parodying him. Eddings is one of the few (possibly the only) author able to walk the line between the two. Belgarath the Sorcerer is quite simply one of the most human heroes seen in the fantasy genre in years. He is irascable, moody and disreputable, yet redeeemed by a dry wit and (sometimes) sentimental moral conscience. Reading this book honestly lets you feel you know the character personally. Rather than detracting from the story the side swipes at other characters add depth to what would otherwise be a rather skeletal narrative. Quite simply they feel just like the sort of comments you would find in a genuine diary. I read this before any of his other books and enjoyed it (after all, I went on to read the others), but frankly the whole thing had a whole lot more meaning once I had some idea of the end result of Belgarath's epic saga, not to mention the chance to meet the characters he refers to. Therefore I would heartily recommend this book with only one proviso. If you want to fully appreciate it, read the Belgariad first.