Return once again to the world of "The Belgariad."
Some seven thousand years ago, when the world was young and the
gods still walked the earth, a young man fell in with the god
Aldur. Aldur housed the man, taught him, and gave him a new name,
the name by which the whole world now knows him -- Belgarath the
Sorcerer. And ever since, whenever world-shaking events happen,
Belgarath is there in the middle.
Partly this is because Belgarath is naturally meddlesome. More
importantly, though, Belgarath and his brother sorcerers have been
charged to assist in the fulfillment of the Prophecy -- the same
Prophecy involved in Eddings' first two series. Where "The
Belgariad" and "The Malloreon" tell of the culmination of the
Prophecy, the tale of Belgarath the Sorcerer presents the
entire history of the Prophecy -- the first theft of the Orb and
Torak's cracking of the world when he tries to use it, the
dictation and interpretation of the prophetic codexes, the
massacre which sends Garion's Rivan ancestors into a thousand
years of hiding, everything -- through the eyes of one of a man
who saw it all.
Belgarath the Sorcerer ends where Pawn of
Prophecy, first book of "The Belgariad," begins. The story,
however, is not quite finished, suggesting that Belgarath's
daughter Polgara still needs to tell her part. We know this mainly
because one of the characters, having read Belgarath's version, is
preparing to ask Polgara for hers.
The best part of an Eddings book is the humor. Whether the
characters are "too serious" or self-acknowledged wits, the
Eddings definitely have a knack for lively, quirky
"Well," Anrak said, choosing his words carefully,
"Lady Polgara was just a little indifferent to appearances when
I first saw her. I think she's a sorceress -- like her father.
Of course, he's a sorcerer, not a sorceress, but you know what
I mean. Anyway, all sorcerers are very deep, you know, and
she'd probably been thinking about something for several
million years, and --"
"I'm only sixteen, Anrak," Pol reminded him gently.
"Well, yes, I know, but time doesn't mean the same thing to
you people as it does to us. You can make time stop and start
again any time you want, can't you?"
"Can we do that, father?" she asked me with some
"I don't know." I looked at Beldin. "Can we?"
"Well, theoretically, I suppose," he replied. "Belmakor and
I discussed the possibility once, but we decided that it
wouldn't be a good idea...[We] weren't sure what that
might do to the universe -- rip it to pieces, maybe, or just
make it vanish."
"It wouldn't do that."
"I wasn't going to try to find out."
"You see what I mean about how deep these people are?" Anrak
said to his cousin. "Anyway, the Lady Polgara had flown up into
a tree, and she was doing sorceress things. I sort of suggested
that I might consider marrying her -- since her sister was
going to marry you, and twins always like to do things
together. She didn't think too much of the idea, I guess, so I
didn't press the issue. To be honest about it, she wasn't very
tidy when I first saw her." He stopped, looking at Pol with a
"I was in disguise, Anrak," she helped him out.
"Really? Why was that?"
"It was one of those sorceress things you mentioned."
"Oh, one of those. It was a very good disguise, Lady
Polgara. You were an absolute mess."
Another amusing conceit in the current book is Belgarath's
frequent asides to the other characters he presumes to be his
audience. When describing the god Belar and some girls whose
admiration does not "seem to be entirely religious," for instance,
Belgarath interrupts himself to add, "All right, Polgara, just let
it lie, will you?"
The problem with the Eddings' work is length. Belgarath the
Sorcerer is almost a stand-alone novel, but is still closely
associated with "The Belgariad" and "The Malloreon." I love having
a shelf full of Eddings' books, but wish it were possible to read
a single novel without committing to a series five or ten books
Read a sample
chapter from Belgarath the Sorcerer at the Del Rey
Other books set in Belgarath's world:
Pawn of Prophecy. Ballantine, 1982
Queen of Sorcery. Ballantine, 1982
Magician's Gambit. Ballantine, 1983
Castle of Wizardy. Ballantine, 1984
Enchanters' End Game. Ballantine, 1984
Guardians of the West. Ballantine, 1987
King of the Murgos. Ballantine, 1988
Demon Lord of Karanda. Ballantine, 1988
Sorceress of Darshiva. Ballantine, 1989
The Seeress of Kell. Ballantine, 1991
Belgarath the Sorcerer. Ballantine, 1995
Polgara the Sorceress. Ballantine, 1997
The Rivan Codex. Ballantine, 1998
This review copyright 1996 by Wendy Morris
Information last updated January 17, 1999