A great novel for the younger fantasy reader.
Magic old and new awaits the world when Riva’s Orb is stolen from its Guardian. Sleeping Gods that should be left to lie begin to awaken with consequences for all. Prophecies ruin and dominions eye will fall upon the men of the West if Ancient Belgarath, Polgara and Garion can’t return the Orb to its rightful place.
Let’s begin with a simple question, have you heard of David Eddings? No, shame on you and you call yourself a fantasy nerd! Quickly Google away and come back to me. Still no, well maybe just maybe you have come to the wrong site, perchance where you looking for The Prawn of Prophecy, the world’s best prawn recipe. While this site can’t help you with that but maybe I can: first you need garlic, chilli, peanut oil… hold on I think I am getting side-tracked…
Pawn of Prophecy is a fantasy novel in its truest form; we have Kings in waiting, mad Gods, magic swords (slight spoiler) and Ancient sorcerers. At the core of Pawn of Prophecy is the quest to retrieve a precious (intentional) object of power before Evil rises once more and destroys the world. You know, nerd candy.
We follow Garion from being a babe on Faldor’s farm, then as he emerges into manhood and joins the quest to retrieve Riva’s Orb. The Orb is an object of immense power and alongside his grandfather Belgarath and is aunt Polgara they must track and retrieve it before it can be used to wake the mad God Torak. Along the way Garion, Belgarath and Polgara are joined by a fellowship (I think you know where I am going with this) of diverse individuals: Silk the spy and Barak the protector. Eddings has written these two wonderfully: Silk is sly, smart and accomplished and Barak is big, strong and a magnificent brutal. Their interactions are quick and funny, exposing an able and close friendship. Traveling far and wide the group cross a world of beauty, featuring with a wide variety of peoples and cultures just daring to be explored in more detail (but we have to wait for the later books to satisfy this craving).
While this is a tried and true fantasy format you never feel like its redundant or that you have read its kind countless time previously. From the outset you feel a connection with Garion’s character and share in his doubt, frustration and his struggle to be the man he wants to be in a time when major events are shaping the world around him. The first time I read Pawn of Prophecy was when I was a teenager and I think we can all relate to this need and desire to be confident, strong and dependable, making your voice heard to the world and the ones you respect. To a degree this will always stay with me when I read this novel and I know I will enjoy the book every time because of it.
Eddings has also injected an edge of doubt and fear into Garion’s character in the guise of Asharak the Murgo. It’s a subtle play and the right level of threat for this book and Garion; Asharak has been watching Garion from the day of his birth but a compulsion keeps him from ever being able to let anyone know about him. With the passing of years comes normalcy, complacency and Garion forgets the danger is even there, right up to the moment you least expect. As you progress through these books this relationship does build to a satisfying climax.
The one negative I found, well two, was firstly the book is finished too quickly, so I suggest you have the second one handy as you will be moving on quickly to Queen of Sorcery. Secondly, I found Garion’s luck and ability to be in the right place at the right time to discover a vital piece of information or thwart a reprobate to be bothersome and redundant. However, the positions Garion becomes involved in are drafted well and the character isn’t just handed the win but is provided the opportunity to get himself out of the moment.
This book and subsequent will feed your fantasy appetite greatly, unfortunately you may have to take a second bite to get that “filling at the corners feeling”, if you don’t mind me paraphrasing a very famous hobbit.
Fergus McCartan, 9/10
The Pawn of Prophecy is the first book in the David Eddings' fantasy series entitles The Belgariad. The story is of Garion, a young orphan who lives and works with his Aunt Pol on Faldor's farm in Sendaria.
As Garion grows and matures on Faldor's farm, an old storyteller called Mr Wolf comes to visit and regales Garion with legends of the evil God Torak and the Orb of Aldur. Garion also learns of a king who will one day fight Torak, reclaim the Orb of Aldur and restore peace to a troubled world.
Slowly Garion realised that neither he nor Aunt Pol and Mr Wolf are who he always thought and believed they were. The day comes when they have to leave the farm and Garion is left wondering why nothing that he held as true can be believed any more. In time he realised that his Aunt and Mr Wolf are in fact the legendary Belgarath the Sorcerer and his daughter Polgara the Sorceress. Garion also learns that his destiny is intricately intertwined with that of the evil God Torak.
The first thing the boy Garion remembered was the kitchen at Faldor's farm. For all the rest of his life he had a special warm feeling for kitchens and those peculiar sounds and smells that seemed somehow to combine into a bustling seriousness that had to do with love and food and comfort and security and, above all, home. No matter how high Garion rose in life, he never forgot that all his memories began in that kitchen.
Pawn of Prophecy: Chapter One
As the adventure begins they are joined by many other colourful characters who aid them in their cause to reclaim the Orb of Aldur and bring peace and good back to a troubled time.
This is thoroughly enjoyable fare if not the most original. The reader will immediately find themselves involved in the story and the characters are all well drawn if perhaps lacking in depth. It may be unkind to say that this is formulaic fantasy but it does indeed follow a very linear path where surprises are not in plentiful supply. However, a newcomer to the fantasy genre will find this series a great place to start and younger readers will absolutely love it.
A great novel for the younger epic fantasy reader.
6 positive reader review(s) for Pawn of Prophecy
Chris from United States
I started this series when I was a teenager with the original printing of the first book. My librarian had just gotten it in and suggested it to me. I have now read all of the books in the series, including the three companion novels so many times that my wife can go to a page at random and read a sentence and I can recite the page. I have passed it on to my son and will to the three boys I have on the way. It is far more enjoyable than LOTR and is my go to relaxation time read.
Daniel from Australia
My dad recommended this book to me and I love it. It's great, original and you wonder what's happening. Amazing book.
Dale Weatherford from US
I have read all 10 of these books... Loved them... they are like putting on your favorite slippers.(Couldn't agree more Dale, comfort reading at its very best - Lee, Fantasy Book Review)
Votapardo from Canada
THis book is much easier to read than Tolkien and it lacks the truculence of GRRM, so yes, it's a good read for young readers. Adult readers can also be entertained during a couple of days (that would be my case), despite the characters being clichéd and some parts needing some revision (some action scenes are a bit confusing). I will give it a 6.5 out of 10.
Nick from UK
This is a wonderful book and the Belgariad is a majestic saga. Tony calls it a poorly re-worked Tolkien but I found it to be far more enjoyable than LOTR. Some books you can't put down and others you force yourself to, hoping they will never end. This is the latter.
Adriana from Malaysia
The Belgariad series is one of the most treasured fantasy series in my library. The world David Eddings created is one of such mystery and enchantment, it brought me to a whole different world while reading it. I love it and have reread the whole series (including the Mallorean) more than 3 times. :D Definitely worth a read.
Julie from Australia
This may be the best book series ever. It is like coming home when nothing else is going right. I first read this as a teenager and I will forever return to Garion and his family. They are there for me when I need something that opens my imagination. It's never complicated and has so much to offer every read. Thanks Mr Eddings!!!
9.2/10 from 8 reviews