Author | Title | Rating | Latest
A book review by Steven Wu
December 19, 2001
|Rating: 7 (of 10)|
I had a couple of other problems with the book. Unlike Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings, Belgarath and Polgara are surprisingly childish and petty for a pair of 6,000-year-old semi-deities; Belgarath in particular tends to want nothing but drink and games. Also, there is a surprising amount of extremely gory violence in this book: one segment describes "blue-colored loops and coils of his entrails...[seeming] to come boiling out through his fingers." And finally, it's getting a little hard to keep up with all the names that people are slinging around. This could, of course, stem from the fact that I've been reading a book a day, but whatever.
Fortunately, the series is still great fun. Parts of it were, as in the first book, simply hilarious. Mandorallen's joust with the two nobles, Garion's bath in the river, and all of Garion's innocent shenanigans with beautiful countesses or stubborn princesses: wonderful scenes, all.
Part of the reason the series is so refreshing is that it is so clean. The bad guys are Bad, the good guys are Good (if troubled), and, as I said in my review of the previous book, all the good guys are just so earnest about helping each other and being loyal to one another that you can't help but like them. And everybody's character traits are simple and essentially unchanging. Eddings is very careful about adding new traits, and when he does he makes sure to stick to those traits. Predictable, yes, but also very comfortable.
Look, this series has neither the fascinating world of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time nor the wonderful politicking and intricate characterizations of George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, but it's a fun, funny, and comforting read. I'm still afraid that I'll get tired of the series's lack of innovation, but I'm more afraid that I'll get to the end and discover that I miss these characters.
P.S. As I predicted in the last review, Garion's "dry voice" is, indeed, a plot point. I can't believe that this series is holding my interest without being in the least surprising.
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