Although it doesn’t really come up often in this blog, I am an avid reader not only of Science Fiction but also of Fantasy books, especially multi-tome epics. My all-time favorites in this line of literature have to be Tad Williams’ Memory, Sorrow and Thorn trilogy and The Belgariad / The Malloreon created by David and Leigh Eddings.
Incidentally, I just recently, after reading nothing but classic SciFi for months, picked up Pawn of Prophecy again, for I really wanted to get back in the Fantasy mood and knew The Belgariad would do that for me. It is in many ways easy-reading, without ever to drift off into boring. It combines all the elements you love, the farmboy with a destiny, the immortal wizard, evil sorcerers, a pantheon of Gods and a band of companions so classic it defies description. But unlike other epics of the genre, you won’t get your ten storylines that perhaps will converge in the last 100 pages, 20-page setting-the-mood descriptions of a meadow, or any detailed depiction of a long journey during which basically nothing happens (not that such things are neccessarily a bad thing). Here you follow the protagonist on every step of his way, learn about his destiny as he does, and on every page something happens that brings you, and him, closer to this understanding. You learn about the beautifully drawn characters by watching them through his eyes, and for me that is a wonderful way to get sucked in a new world.
Many people told me how Eddings’ work, especially The Belgariad introduced them to Fantasy in the first place when they were kids, but as for most of really great genre literature, this isn’t just a kids-story. Yes it’s really accessible and probably not ‘high literature’, but even after 20 years it got me hooked all over again, right from the first chapter on. And while I might not be prototype of a grown-up, should you be into Fantasy at all or just curious what the fuss is all about nut too scared to pick up The Lord Of The Rings, give the works of David and Leigh Eddings a try.
And if you like what you read, make sure you also check out David and Leigh Eddings’ (she hasn’t been credited on most of the works but contributed a lot as David stated) other work, not only the follow-up saga The Malloreon, but also the next, somewhat darker epics The Elenium and The Tamuli.
David Eddings passed away on June 2nd, preceded in death by his wife Leigh in February 2007.