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Belgarath the Sorcerer

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Others however are less pleasant, such as Belgarath’s casual dismissal of the time he spends as a sexual slave in The Wood of the Dryads, treated literally as property and passed around between different dryads for breeding purposes, (I don’t think either Eddings or most readers would be quite so sanguine were this a woman being held as the sexual property of a group of men). He was most known for his ostentatious displays of Will to get others to listen or as distractions — the most memorable example being his illusion of the sun rising, convincing enough that thousands of Morindland magicians lost control of their demons and were killed.

His ceaseless devotion was foredoomed to cost him that which he held most dear--even as his loyal service would extend through echoing centuries of loss, of struggle, and of ultimate triumph. And that's charming for about a minute, and then you realize that the narrator is really kind of a self-satisfied asshole. This is Belgarath's story from his beginnings as a boy thief, through his apprenticeship with the God Aldur to reach the status of sorcerer and right up to the birth of Garion (The Belgariad and The Mallorean series).However, by the time I got around to reading the Eddings' attempt to retcon the Belgariad with the follow-up series, The Mallorean, I was already chafing a little bit from impatience with the repetitiveness of the narrative - actually a plot point in and of itself, if you can believe that! Belgarath is fundamentally interesting, deeply flawed and certainly a petty thief and vagabond he is also principled, viscous and loveable. Getting to the part of their writing career when David and Leigh were clearly starting to run out of new ideas and set to reworking and elaborating on existing plotlines.

It was truly like visiting old friends, and now I definitely want to pick up the series from the beginning again. Even our most ancient of civilizations such as China and Egypt are nothing like they were towards the beginning of their existence, however in this book many countries and people change little from their inception to the "modern day". The core of the book is in the form of Belgarath's memoirs starting with his becoming an outcast from his village and becoming first disciple of the god Aldur and ending with the birth of Belgarion—a span of about seven thousand years.Granted there are some changes, after all this is a rather thick book full of changes, but in my mind's eye they don't seem to be enough. In fact, the book makes extremely, painfully clear the problems inherent in the Eddings' conception of this fictional universe. The firsthand account of some of the larger Events hinted at throughout The Belgariad and The Mallorean was also quite fun, as was getting to know the beginnings of Belgarath's brother sorcerers Beldin, Belkira and Beltira.

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