Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Pawn of Prophecy Book Review

When reading Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings, I am tempted to make big claims of understanding, such as: “One of the great pioneers in fantasy,” or “The last of his kind,” or something ridiculous like that. The truth is I don’t know that much about fantasy to make those kinds of judgments. I mean, most of the stuff I’ve read has been printed in the last fifteen years, whereas this book was first printed back in 1982, that is over twenty five years ago. So instead I will put it simply, as David Eddings does in Pawn of Prophecy, the first novel of his series The Belgariad.

This book starts out with a young boy, Garion, living on a farm with his Aunt Pol. Often they are visited by a stranger Garion only knows as the storyteller. Events force Garion to leave the farm with his Aunt Pol and the strange storyteller, now named Mr. Wolf. The stories and events arise from there as they are joined by various companions, stalked by unrelenting Murgos, and fail to attain what they sought to find. Aunt Pol goes on to explain little to Garion about his past, even though he is very interested. Unfortunately for Garion, David Eddings does a good job informing the readers, and not Garion of his history. After finishing the book, we have a pretty good idea of the events in store for Garion.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Pawn of Prophecy and I finished it way before I meant to (one day). That isn’t exactly due to the fact that it is such a compelling read; rather there just aren’t that many pages. But, the book is somewhat compelling. The characters are likeable and easy to follow, even if they aren’t all that interesting.

David Eddings sentence structure is pretty safe, and his writing doesn’t really push the envelope. In fact, this book is like classic fantasy stories, and even like C.S. Lewis, in that it does a good job teaching principles. That makes sense when I realize that the woman who recommended me the series, read the entirety of The Belgariad to each of her children.

It was a nice change of pace reading this book. When comparing it to most of the stuff I read now, it’s like comparing movies made fifteen years ago to the Bourne Ultimatum. In my opinion the newer movies are in no way superior to those older movies; because while the newer movies are full of fast-paced action, sex and special fx, the older movies actually have dialogue, which is interesting. They are just different; art.

Pawn of Prophecy has a stripped down, let’s get to the nitty gritty, celebrate fantasy and good-nature the real way feeling. It is a safe read for families, and I recommend it to any fantasy fan.



Robert said...

I read these originally about 10 years ago, and they have maintained a place as one of my favorite series. I hope you enjoy the rest of them (I also read your review of Q of S). If you do enjoy them I recommend picking up the Mallorean, and also the Elenium and Tamuli. I saw Terry Goodkind, Robert Jordan, Kate Elliot, and George RR Martin also mentioned on your site. I also recommend Mitchel Grahams's "The Fifth Ring" and ensuing series. :)

weariedjuggler said...

Thank you for that advice! I will take you up on it. To be truthful, I haven't read any of Kate Elliot's stuff yet either, but I definately plan to. Have you by chance read any Fiona McCintosh? If you haven't, then I definately suggest reading The Quickening series. It's stellar! Thank you for the feedback on my posts as well...I appreciate it!

Robert said...

Actually I haven't read any Fiona McCintosh, but I will definitely look for it. I've been looking for new series to pass the time till the release of Memory of Light (Robert Jordan) Dance of Dragons (George RR Martin) and Princeps Fury (Jim Butcher). I keep re reading the other novels in the series' :)

Robert said...

Oh and Kate Elliot's Series "Crown of Stars" is the one I read. The novels are hefty and can get a little slow at points. It's very political. I liked them, but it's not my favorite type of fantasy.

weariedjuggler said...

I am totally taking your advice on reading on reading Mitchell Graham, right after I finish Ender's Game and The Darkness That Comes Before. Thx for the recommend. I really hope you try her Quickening series, i've never been more addicted. It is pretty much on parallel with Codex Alera on the grab my attention scale. Have any more suggestions for me?

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