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The Belgariad

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I just finished re-reading the Belgariad for the first time in about 20 years. While I don't hold it in nearly the esteem I did when I first read the series as a teenager, overall I enjoyed re-reading it.

 

Eddings' writing obviously has some flaws- notably one-dimensional women (which gets even worse in the Mallorean) and the penchant for certain characters to repeat the same phrases ("You're impossible" "Isn't it though?", etc.). Despite those shortcomings, I still think the character of Silk still holds up. In Castle of Wizardry, we are shown a poignant side of Silk as he faces his disfigured mother, along with his unrequited love of Porenn. This poignancy is in sharp contrast to the self-effacing demeanor Silk usually shows throughout the series. For this reason alone I feel that Silk is Eddings' best character he created and he steals the show from Garion for sure.

 

Obviously, the Belgariad is nowhere near the level of the Wheel, or other fully developed fantasy series. However, I feel that the Belgariad was an important series in the 80's for it offered an option from D&D-inspired fantasy. It definitely helped spark my interest in fantasy, bridging my own fantasy reading from Tolkien to Tad Williams and beyond. Those are the legacies that the Belgariad has with me.

 

I'm curious to hear what others lasting thoughts are on the Belgariad, good or bad. Have you always enjoyed the series? Did you hate it from the get-go? Has your opinion changed drastically when re-reading the series?

 

Thanks for taking the time to read this topic, and look forward to reading the responses!

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The Eddings books were one of the first fantsy series i read.

Silk is still my favorite character.A nasty little man.

Both series have some great action adveture.

All of them were good reads.

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The Belgariad was vastly superior to the Mallorean (mainly because the Mallorean was almost a shot-for-shot remake).

 

I remember me and reyler having this conversation on the old boards, and I hope she pops by as I remember she made some really good points.

 

I definitely still enjoy the Belgariad and even though Eddings isn't a great writer (as evidenced by his Dreamers series), the books are definitely entertaining.

 

Of course, I'm going to agree on the Silk comment. One of my favorite fantasy characters.

 

C'Nedra always got on my last nerve (although I always pictured her as smoking hot)

 

But yeah, good series and one of the first fantasy series I ever read.

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The Belgariad was vastly superior to the Mallorean (mainly because the Mallorean was almost a shot-for-shot remake).

 

I remember me and reyler having this conversation on the old boards, and I hope she pops by as I remember she made some really good points.

 

I definitely still enjoy the Belgariad and even though Eddings isn't a great writer (as evidenced by his Dreamers series), the books are definitely entertaining.

 

Of course, I'm going to agree on the Silk comment. One of my favorite fantasy characters.

 

C'Nedra always got on my last nerve (although I always pictured her as smoking hot)

 

But yeah, good series and one of the first fantasy series I ever read.

 

 

I misses reyler toos!!! :(

 

 

- Fish

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I just finished rereading both The Belgariad and The Mallorean like last week. I love both of the series. They may not be the most well written series I have ever read, but it's still probably top ten for me because I just love it.

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Many years ago, I read The Belgariad and also The Mallorean, as well as Polgara the Sorceress. Although I have never re-read those books, I do remember enjoying them very much. Obviously, they are not anywhere near as good as RJ's WOT, but I enjoyed the books because they were a light, and entertaining read.

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I read the first three volumes of the Belgariad, and it's pretty good.

I remember when I was doing my first re-read of WoT, my roomate at the time asked me about it, and when I explained he said it reminded him of the Belgariad, and that I should give it a read.

 

I find it a bit too straightforward, but still a decent series especially given its age.

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I love the Belgariad and always have. I re-read it pretty frequently. As many have frequently pointed out to me, there's not much depth to it. But I love a good adventure story and the characters are quite funny.

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I don't feel like repeating points I've made probably a hundred times before, so here is the last one I made them in. That's Fish's thread; I don't see Krak in there anywhere, so I guess that was an earlier thread that I can't recall. I have so many admirers. I brush them out of my hair.

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hey the french mastiff "Dog De Bourdeaux" rocks!!! their great dogs *grins*

 

 

well i'm always looking for new series to pick up; so i'll have to earmark this series for a future read. by much depth, are you guys talking world building wise, or character developement wise?? lack of in depth world building i fine for me; but lack of character depth, or even too many carbon copied characters i can't do.

 

 

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Worldbuilding-wise, Eddings is an unapologetic devotee of the Planet of Hats trope. Character-wise, well, that depends on if you equate character traits with character depth.

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hmmm lets see.

 

character wise. um i'd consider Twilight to have a lack of defined characters. also the Artimis Fowl Series & for some part the Percy Jackson Series. where you can't really get a good divid between characters because their traits, actions & reactions as well as character voice tends to run together.

 

 

where as if you look at a series liek ASoF&I, WoT or even HP; each character is clearly defined and their own person.

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My default description of the Belgariad and subsequent works is that it's the fantasy novel version of a summer popcorn movie. To that end, the characters have traits that occasionally delineate them, at least in the Belgariad (they very much run together into a personality omelette in the Malloreon), but not what I would consider actual depth. The characters are really more like sketches of people.

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I have to say I really enjoyed it. I appreciate the sense of humor in his works. Sometimes I want a serious fantasy romp, but sometimes, ya know, you just want to read the fantasy equivalent of a buddy cop movie.

 

I agree with some of the above posters that say he isn't the best of writers. While I enjoyed the Belgariad books and the ones with Greyhawk was it? I forget the names? Some of his other stuff I have not been able to finish after starting. That being said, if you haven't read 'Belgarath the Sorcerer' you really have done yourself a disservice to the series. It is incredibly well written, especially compared to his other works. It is almost random in how much better it is then the works surrounding it. I liked its sequel in 'Polgara' as well, but out of all the books, while I enjoyed them more then perhaps some, Belgarath is the only book I have reread. And I've actually reread it several times over the years.

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The Belgariad and the Mallorean were my entry into SF and an enjoyable (if fairly light) read. Still got to thank Eddings though as this is the first full series i bought leading me on to other works like Thomas Covenant and ultimately the WOT

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Belgariad is definitely like an action film with lots of buttered popcorn to eat. Not too much depth but enough to make it worth it. I read the other thread you linked Reyler and it's pretty accurate as far as I'm concerned.

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Great responses on this this thread so far, thanks to everyone that responded (and Reyler, thanks for the link to the other discussion, interesting points).

 

Even though I know the Mallorean is inferior to the Belgariad and has one of the worst endings of all time, I'm still tempted to re-read that series since it's been so long and I always enjoyed reading Silk regardless if it was in the Belgariad or Mallorean. To resist or give into the temptation of reading Silk's Adventures Part Deux...hmmmm...

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I think The Belgariad was the first real fantasy series I ever read, just getting 'hooked out' of the Redwall etc time - and it got me forever hooked into the genre!

 

At the time, I thought it was very well written (in the humble opinion of a 12-yr-old), but compared to tWoT, Memory Sorrow&Thorn or LotR it seems just a bit plain.

However, it is a great story that kind of makes me think of a legend/saga told to people. It's not as developed and detailed as tWoT, so I find when I re-read it today I can't get 'into' the story as much as I do in the Wheel, but it's not a timeline. It's a good, maybe even easy read (can't judge that for people who don't read much, I'm a major bookworm).

I think a reason why it isn't that detailed, is because it spans a uite a long time frame. Alot of stuff happens, and they are only 5 small books!

I read the Mallorean, and I enjoyed it because it had all the characters in it and I liked reading what they got up to, but I agree it isn't as well written as the others.

 

Btw, I LOVED Polgara The Sorceress and Belgarath The Sorcerer. Been ages since I read them, but what I recall is especially the humor. Epic!

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I read these books 20 years ago, it was my second encounter with fantasy (first was LotR). I loved them, especially the first five. (The next five was just a copy of the first.) I tried to read some other Edding books but they weren´t that good. Some years ago I did a re-read and though I got the nice feeling from the first reading I was a bit dissapointed. There is absolutely no depth what so ever. There are no suprices, you know what will happen and how the caracter´s going to react. I enjoyd the books about Belgarath and Polgara though.

 

This said, I would recomend these books to younger readers who wants to get into the fantasy genre. They are fun and easy to read and can be a step to more "complicated" books.

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I liked the Mallorean better to be honest. I know it was more or less a rewrite-one of the characters even picked up on it-but it felt more evened out the second time. Torak was cool, sure; he walked like he was a thousand feet tall, and if anyone is described like that, they are cool. But Zandramas felt more like a Child of the Dark, felt more like Garions opposite, and she had Cthrag Sardius to balance out Garions Cthrag Yaska.

 

I did like Belgariad though. I have to agree the witty comments werent that witty at all, one of the things that ground the most was the way they casually talk about the guys they just maimed and killed.

 

Silk, definitely one of my favorite characters. Barak the guardian protector, that was cool but I wished it had been played on a bit more. Hettar was cool as well, the sabre guy that could talk to horses.

 

And the horse Garion resurrected! Cant forget about that one.

 

My favorite, though, was DEFINITELY Mandorallen. The guys opening scene was just badass, the whole quintessential knight thing I thought was awesome, but then he goes and says this:

 

"My Lord," the great knight said distantly, "I find thy face apelike and thy form misshapen. Thy beard, moreover, is an offense against decency, resembling more closely the scabrous fur which doth decorate the hinder portion of a mongrel dog than a proper adornment for a human face. Is it possible that thy mother, seized by some wild lechery, did dally at some time past with a randy goat?"

 

Whaddaguy

Edited by Drekka Mort

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The Belgariad was my introduction to fantasy, when I was about 15 years old. I LOVED it. I got both of my sisters hooked as well...

 

I have re-read the series, and the Mallorean, and of course The Elenium and The Tamuli so many times its not funny! Not because I think they are superior books, but because its like visiting old friends again. Its nice to take a light hearted romp in the fantasy world occasionally!

 

If I read Eddings for the first time at my age (38 in just another week!!!), after reading WOT, there is no way I would appreciate it or enjoy it any the way I do currently...

 

WOT is something to really sink your teeth into and The Belgariad, etc. are an enjoyable, simple, warm homecoming... For me, anyway!

 

So where does Feist fit into this - story wise? Not quite as complex as WOT - actually, no where near as complex! But far more depth than Eddings...

 

My complaint with Feist is that you can't really fall too much in love with the characters, each trilogy covering a new generation, new characters to get to know all over again... Unless you love Pug (and Thomas, I guess!!). Then you'll be fine...

 

:-)

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I've read and re-read these books a lot. I still adore them, simply because I find that Eddings' writing feels so natural if not exemplary.

 

I prefer the Malloreon to the Belgariad. The characters are better written, Garion's a lot more awesome and there's some pretty cool moments throughout (Torak's letter to Garion, for example). I also like the character of.... the emperor. His name escapes me, but I liked him and his friendship with Garion.

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