The Elder Gods (Dreamers Series #1)

( 77 )


Somewhere beyond the farthest pole of the world, the land of Dhrall lies anchored by the will of four powerful Gods. Able to bend reality to their whims and influence the lives of mortal men, these deities are still bound by the laws of nature and cannot take lives. Yet the Gods are not the only power. For in the center of Dhrall lives a voracious horror known as the Vlagh. A nightmare made flesh, the Vlagh has bred a massive army of hideous monsters to overrun the world. In the coming battles the people of ...

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Somewhere beyond the farthest pole of the world, the land of Dhrall lies anchored by the will of four powerful Gods. Able to bend reality to their whims and influence the lives of mortal men, these deities are still bound by the laws of nature and cannot take lives. Yet the Gods are not the only power. For in the center of Dhrall lives a voracious horror known as the Vlagh. A nightmare made flesh, the Vlagh has bred a massive army of hideous monsters to overrun the world. In the coming battles the people of Dhrall will be aided by a ragtag force of foreign mercenaries and pirates, but the true champions of the war will be four enigmatic children known as the Dreamers. Raised by the Gods themselves, these children can alter the fabric of reality. But, unlike the Elder Gods, the Dreamers do not hesitate to kill...

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
The Elder Gods is the first novel in The Dreamers, a projected four-book fantasy saga that also happens to be David and Leigh Eddings's first new series in a decade.

Four sibling gods -- Dahlaine, Zelana, Aracia, and Veltan -- rule over the realm known as Dhrall, and every 25,000 years the exhausted elders pass their duties on to four younger gods. As time approaches for another "changing of the gods," Dahlaine glimpses the future and sees That-Called-the-Vlagh -- the ruler of the Wasteland in the center of Dhrall's four domains -- conquering the realm with its armies of insect-snake-human hybrids. Dahlaine decides to reawaken the younger gods early in the form of the Dreamers -- four children with the power to change reality through their dreams but who are unaware of their true identity. But even with the Dreamers' help, the elder gods will have to somehow find an army of warriors strong enough to defeat the evil hordes.

Although the legions of longtime fans of the Eddingses' previous bestselling series (The Belgariad, The Malloreon, etc.) will surely put The Elder Gods on the charts as well, fans may be somewhat disappointed with the ending, which is really just a respite between battles. The Eddingses do, however, set the table for some potentially fantastic storytelling in the volumes to come. And because their writing style is so clean, this novel -- and, by extension, the series -- may find a broader audience with much younger readers, as well as hard-core fans. Paul Goat Allen

Publishers Weekly
Only die-hard fans of the bestselling Eddings duo (The Belgariad series) will enjoy this slow-moving, low-tension epic fantasy, the first in a projected four-book series. The Land of Dhrall dwells under the stewardship of four gods, each oriented with one of the four compass directions. Dahlaine and his brother, Veltan, rule the North and South, while their sisters, Zelana and Aracia, rule the West and the East, respectively. Dhrall's center is a wasteland under the control of That-Called-the-Vlagh, a dark, inhuman thing of vast patience, power and ambition. Prophesy speaks of the Dreamers, children whose dreams will defeat the Vlagh by controlling the natural forces of Mother Sea and Father Earth. Dahlaine and his siblings each raise a baby Dreamer; only after the precocious children start to dream does he reveal that they are actually fellow gods in the world's life cycle, reborn with no memory of their previous lives. Dahlaine and his siblings hire human mercenaries, who eventually meet the Vlagh's forces in battle, but the dark armies prove unexpectedly resourceful. Despite a variety of characters (pirates, gods, aboriginals, soldiers, etc.), all speak in the same unlikely, bland manner, and dialogue generally replaces action. The authors will have to pick up the pace in the next volume to keep readers interested. (One-day laydown Oct. 14) Forecast: The inaugural volume of the authors' first new series in a decade, the book will hit bestseller lists initially but may have little staying power. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
In the beginning, the four elder gods ruled the world, controlling the elements and governing the human population. When a powerful entity known only as That-Called-the-Vlagh rises up from the Wasteland at the center of the land of Dhrall, the gods must rely on the four unique children they have raised to be their agents in the world, children with the power to change reality through their dreams. The authors of the popular "Belgariad," "Mallorean," and other best-selling series have once again teamed up to launch a new, multi-volume tale featuring a world where gods walk among their people and common folk join together to fight a terrible foe. The authors' strength lies in their ability to populate their imaginary worlds with believable and engaging characters. Sure to be in high demand, this is a good choice for most libraries. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446613330
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/28/2004
  • Series: Dreamers Series, #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 363,370
  • Product dimensions: 6.74 (w) x 4.10 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Read an Excerpt

The Elder Gods

By David Eddings Leigh Eddings

Warner Vision

Copyright © 2003 David and Leigh Eddings
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-446-61333-9

Chapter One

Zelana of the West had grown weary of the brutish man-creatures of her Domain. She found them repulsive, and their endless complaints and demands irritated her beyond measure. They seemed to believe that she lived only to serve them, and that offended her.

And so it was that she turned her back on them and sojourned for several eons on the Isle of Thurn, which lies off the coast of her Domain. And there she communed with Mother Sea and entertained herself by composing music and creating poetry.

Now, the waters around the Isle of Thurn are the home of a rare breed of pink dolphins, and Zelana found them to be playful and intelligent, and in time she came to look upon them not as pets but rather as dear companions. She soon learned to understand-and to speak-their language, and they gave her much information about Mother Sea and the many creatures that lived in Mother's depths and along her shores. Then by way of recompense, she played music for them on her flute or sang for them. The dolphins came to enjoy Zelana's impromptu concerts, and they invited her to swim with them.

They were much perplexed by a few of Zelana's peculiarities after she joined them. So far as they could determine, she never slept, and she could remain under the surface of Mother Sea almost indefinitely. It also seemed odd to them that she showed no interest in the schools of fish which swam in the waters around the Isle. Zelana tried to explain to her friends that sleep and air and food were not necessary for her. Her periods of sleep and wakefulness were much longer than theirs, and she could extract the essential element of air from the water itself, and she fed on light rather than fish or grass, but the dolphins could not quite grasp her explanation.

Zelana decided that it might be best to just let it lie. The man-creatures of the Land of Dhrall knew full well just who-and what-Zelana was. She held dominion over the West, but there were others in her family as well. Her elder brother Dahlaine held sway over the North, and he was grim and bleak. Her younger and sometimes frivolous brother Veltan controlled the South-when he was not exploring the moon or contemplating the color blue-and her prim and proper elder sister Aracia ruled the East as both queen and goddess.

The ages continued their stately march, but Zelana paid them no heed, for time meant nothing to her. Then on a clear day her dearest friend, a matronly pink dolphin named Meeleamee, surfaced near the place where Zelana sat cross-legged on the face of Mother Sea playing her newest musical composition on her flute. "I've found something you might want to see, Beloved," Meeleamee announced in her piping voice.

"Oh?" Zelana said, setting her flute aside in the emptiness just over her shoulder where she kept all her possessions. "It's really very pretty, Beloved," Meeleamee piped, "and it's exactly the right color."

"Why don't we go have a look then, dear one?" Zelana replied.

And so together they swam toward the stark cliffs on the southern margin of the Isle, and as they neared the coast, Meeleamee sounded, swimming down and down into the depths of Mother Sea. Zelana arched over and followed, and soon they came to the narrow mouth of an underwater cavern, and Meeleamee swam on into that cavern with Zelana close behind. Now, reason and experience told Zelana that this cave should grow darker as the two of them went deeper and deeper into its twisting passage, but it grew lighter instead, and the water ahead glowed pink and warm and friendly, and Meeleamee rose toward the light with Zelana close behind.

And when they surfaced in the shallow pool at the end of the passage, Zelana beheld a wonder, for Meeleamee had led her into a grotto unlike any other Zelana had ever seen. There was a rational explanation, of course, but mundane rationality could not tarnish the pure beauty of the hidden grotto. A broad vein of rose-colored quartz crossed the ceiling of the grotto, filling that hidden cave with a glowing pink light, and almost in spite of herself, Zelana feasted on that light and found it delicious beyond the taste of any other light she had savored in the past ten eons. And she shuddered and glowed with pure delight as she feasted.

Beyond that shallow pool at the entrance was a floor covered with fine white sand touched with the luminous pink of the prevailing light, and there was also a musically tinkling trickle of fresh water in a little niche at the rear, and all manner of interesting nooks and crannies along the curved walls.

"Well?" Meeleamee squeaked. "What do you think, Beloved?"

"It's lovely, lovely," Zelana replied. "It's the most beautiful place on all the Isle."

"I'm glad you like it," Meeleamee said modestly. "I thought you might like to visit here now and then."

"No, dear one," Zelana replied. "I won't need to visit. I'm going to live here. It's perfect, and I deserve a little perfection now and then."

"You won't stay here all the time, will you, Beloved?" Meeleamee squeaked in consternation.

"Of course not, dear one," Zelana replied. "I'll still come out to play with you and my other friends, but this beautiful place will be my home."

"What is 'home'?" Meeleamee asked curiously. It was on a day much like any other when Dahlaine of the North came up out of the passageway that led to Zelana's pink grotto to advise his sister that there was trouble in the wind in the Land of Dhrall.

"I don't really see how that's any concern of mine, dear brother," Zelana told him. "The mountains protect the lands of the West on one side, and Mother Sea protects them on the other. How can the creatures of the Wasteland ever reach me?" "The Land of Dhrall is all one piece, dear sister," Dahlaine reminded her, "and no natural barrier is completely insurmountable.

The creatures of your lands of the West stand in as great a danger as all the others. I think it's about time for you to come out of your little hideaway here and start paying attention to the world around you. How long has it been since you last surveyed your Domain?"

Zelana shrugged. "A few eons is all-certainly no more than a dozen. Have I missed anything significant?" "The man-creatures have made a bit of progress. They're making tools now, and they've learned how to build fires. You really ought to look in on them once in a while."

"What in the world for? They're stupid and vicious, and they stink. My dolphins are cleaner and wiser, and their hearts are large and filled with love. If the creatures of the Wasteland are hungry, let them eat the man-creatures. I won't really miss them."

"The people of the West are your responsibility, Zelana," Dahlaine reminded her.

"So are the flies and ants and roaches, and they seem to be getting along well enough."

"You can't just ignore the world, Zelana," Dahlaine told her. "There are changes taking place all around you. The creatures of the Wasteland are growing restless, and it won't be too long before the Dreamers arrive. We need to be ready."

"It's not nearly the age of the Dreamers yet, is it, Dahlaine?" Zelana asked incredulously.

"The signs are all there, Zelana," Dahlaine said. "The servants of the Vlagh have begun to intrude into our Domains, which is a fair indication that the Vlagh is about to make its move, and we're not ready to face it yet. In a peculiar sort of way, this confrontation is the work of Mother Sea and Father Earth. Evidently, they know more than we do, and they're unleashing the Vlagh now-quite probably to force it to come against us before it's really ready. If we give it more time to modify its offspring, they'll swarm us under."

"We should have destroyed that hideous creature as soon as we realized just exactly where its instincts would send it." "We can talk about all this some other time, dear sister," Dahlaine smoothly changed the subject. "What I really came here for was to give you something I thought you might like." "A gift-for me?" Zelana's irritated humor seemed to vanish. "What is it?" she demanded eagerly.

Dahlaine smiled. Somehow the magic word "gift" always seemed to bring his brother and his sisters around to his way of thinking. Zelana in particular always responded in exactly the way he wanted her to. A gift wasn't really a form of coercion, but it served the same purpose, and it was a nicer approach.

"Oh," he said in an offhand manner, "it's not really very much, sister dear. It's just a little something I thought you might enjoy. How would you like a new pet? It occurred to me that you might be getting a little tired of your dolphins after all these eons, since they can't really come out of the water to play with you here in your lovely grotto, so I brought you a pet that should be able to share your home."

"A puppy, maybe?" Zelana asked eagerly. "I've never owned a puppy, but I've heard that they're very affectionate." "Not exactly a puppy, no."

"Oh ..." Zelana sounded disappointed. "A kitten, then?" she said, her eyes brightening once more. "I've heard that the purring sound kittens make is very relaxing." "Well, not quite a kitten either."

"What is it, Dahlaine?" Zelana demanded impatiently. "Show me."

"Of course," Dahlaine replied, concealing his sly smile. He reached both hands into the unseen emptiness he always carried along behind him and took a fur-wrapped bundle out of the air. "With my compliments, my beloved sister," he said extravagantly, handing her the bundle.

Zelana eagerly took the bundle and turned back the edge of the fur robe to see what her brother had given her. She gaped in obvious disbelief at the newborn pet drowsing in the warm fur robe. "What am I supposed to do with this thing?" she demanded in a shrill voice.

He shrugged. "Take care of it, Zelana. It shouldn't be much more difficult to care for than a young dolphin." "But it's one of those man-creatures!" she protested. "Why, so it is," Dahlaine replied in mock astonishment.

"How strange that I didn't notice that myself. You're very perceptive, Zelana." He paused. "It's not an ordinary man-creature, dear sister," he added gravely. "It's very special. There are only a few of them, but they'll change the world. Care for it and protect it, Zelana. I think you'll have to feed it, because I don't think it can live on light alone as we do. You might have to experiment a bit to find something it can digest, but I'm sure that you're clever enough to solve that problem. You'll need to keep it clean as well. Infant man-creatures tend to be messy.

Then, after a few years, you might want to teach it to talk. There are things it's going to need to tell us, and if it can't talk, it won't be able to pass them on to us."

"What could one of these creatures tell us that we don't already know?"

"Dreams, Zelana, dreams. We don't sleep, so we don't dream. That baby in your arms is a Dreamer. That's why I brought her to you."

"It's a girl, then?" Zelana's voice softened. "Naturally. I didn't think you'd get along very well with a boy. Care for her, Zelana, and I'll come by in a few years to see how she's coming along." The baby in Zelana's arms made a cooing sound and reached out one tiny hand to touch Zelana's face. "Oh," Zelana said in a trembling, almost stricken voice, clasping the infant more closely to her.

Dahlaine smiled. It had turned out rather well, he congratulated himself. All it had taken to totally enslave his brother and both of his sisters had been a few peeps and coos and one soft touch from an infant hand. He might have gloated a bit more, but his own baby Dreamer was home alone, and it was almost feeding time, so he really should get on back.

He swam out of Zelana's grotto and remounted his well-trained lightning bolt. Lightning bolts are noisy steeds-there's no question about that-but they can cover vast distances in the blink of an eye.

Zelana's first problem with her newfound charge was finding something to feed it. She rather hoped that Dahlaine had been mistaken. If the infant could live on light alone, as Zelana herself did, feeding it would be no problem. The vein of pink quartz in the ceiling of the grotto concentrated the sunlight into a glowing pink pool, which was presently centered on the bed of moss where Zelana occasionally rested. Hopefully she laid the fur-robed bundle on that moss bed and turned the robe back to allow the sunlight to touch the child.

The infant began to fuss a bit. Maybe the little creature didn't like the color. Zelana had discovered that a steady diet of pink light took a bit of getting used to. Pink, it appeared, was an acquired taste.

Zelana snapped her fingers, and the quartz obediently turned blue. The baby didn't stop fussing, though, and her discontent was growing louder.

Zelana tried green, but that didn't work either. Then she tried plain white. It was a little bland, but perhaps the baby wasn't ready for advanced colors yet.

The sounds the infant was making grew louder and more insistent.

Zelana quickly gathered the squalling infant in her arms and hurried down to the edge of the shallow pool at the mouth of the grotto. "Meeleamee!" she called in the piping language of the dolphins, "I need your help! Right now! Please!" Now, Meeleamee had mothered many, many young, so she had great wisdom and much experience in such matters.

"Milk," she advised. "What is milk?" Zelana asked, "and where can I find some?" Meeleamee explained in some detail, and for the very first time in her endless life, Zelana blushed. "What a strange sort of thing," she said, blushing even harder. She looked down at herself. "Do you think I might be able to. . ." She left it hanging. "Probably not," Meeleamee replied. "There are some things involved that are just a little complicated. Can the young one swim?"

"I don't really know," Zelana admitted. "Unwrap her and put her down in the shallow water here. I should be able to nurse her without too much trouble." It was a bit awkward at first, but they found that if Meeleamee laid on her side and Zelana held the infant, things went quite well. Zelana felt a real sense of accomplishment-which lasted for nearly four hours.

Then they had to feed the child again. It seemed that there was a great deal of inconvenience involved in caring for infants. The seasons turned, as seasons always do, and summer drifted on into autumn, and winter followed shortly after. Zelana had never really paid much attention to the seasons. Heat or cold had little meaning for her, and she could create light whenever she grew hungry.

The female dolphins were taking turns feeding the infant, and Zelana noticed that the child seemed to be very affectionate. The dolphins were a bit startled by kisses at first, but after a while they even enjoyed being kissed by the grateful child, and sometimes there were even arguments about whose turn it was to nurse. The arguments broke off abruptly when the child sprouted teeth and began chewing on whatever was handy, though.


Excerpted from The Elder Gods by David Eddings Leigh Eddings Copyright © 2003 by David and Leigh Eddings. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

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( 77 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 78 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    What were they thinking?

    I love all of David Eddings other books and series and have read and reread them many times, but this book was horrible. I read this one and part of the second but could not go on. Horrible characters, horrible story line which was hard to follow and even harder to get into. Please write something approaching the level of the Belgariad or Mallorean those series were awesome. David eddings is one of my favorite authors, but if I had found this series first I would never have read the others. If you haven't read his other series, you really should. Don't give up on the author just because of this horrible series.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2012

    Pretty good

    I enjoyed this one the best out of the series is not as good as the Belgariad or the Mallorean

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 19, 2011

    Belgariad much better.

    Not happy with this book. I love David and Leigh's other books, but this is just bad. The Belgariad should be on the list of their books.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2004

    Agree and Disagree

    I've also read all of David Eddings book, well exept the sci-fi ones. I'm a fantasy lover to the core and read very few I didn't like. I'll admit I only picked this one up because of who wrote it, but I enjoyed it all the same. I myself have to disagree with anyone who says it's not original. I found it refreshing both for fantasy and Eddings. I will agree that it lacked detail, but I've always been one to take things simple before complication. After all I only made it to book 5 of the Wheel of Time before both the romantic plot and the detail started to give me a foul taste in my mouth. And from what I've heard and read, it only got worse on both counts. I think anyone who is a true fantasy lover understands that all fantasy simply brakes down to the battle of good and evil. And the road an author takes you on can't always be original, but can be interesting nun the less. Eddings takes us into a world seen throw the eyes of gods. I believe that alone is a huge start to originality. And while the gods aren't all powerfull, as one would expect gods to be, and there need for human help to defeat a common enemy is typical Eddings, it didn't make the book any less enjoyable for me. I look foward to reading the next three books and any other fantasy series Eddings comes out with.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 9, 2013

    It's a travesty that this schlock is the only available David Ed

    It's a travesty that this schlock is the only available David Eddings series for the Nook. By the time he got around to writing this, he or Leigh were clearly just regurgitating clichéd lines from the superior earlier works. If I had to read the line "He's such I nice boy!" one more freaking time, I was going to projectile vomit.
    I stopped reading this series after the second book, so I don't know how it ends. What's more, I don't really care. The first two books were awful enough without having to subject my brain to more tired, trite and clichéd junk penned by author's who were clearly on auto-pilot. B&N, PLEASE put the Belgariad and the Mallorean, the Elenium and the Tamuli out in Nook format so we readers can have the books that made Eddings deservedly famous.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2014


    This book is just awful. I hate to leave a negative review, but in this case I can't express just how poorly written this book is. Shame on you D. Eddings, shame.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2008

    No depth

    Not an intelligent series. Horrible dialog--inane jokes and banter. I could not 'immerse' myself in the story at all, way too shallow, and by the end of the series, you realize that it was all pointless. I'm a book lover and addict, so I didn't put the books down when I should have, which is around the first chapter. Sorry to be so harsh. Perhaps their other works are better.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2007

    Poorly written, lacks dimension

    Poorly written work. Written in a very simplistic style. Characters are unidimensional and seem 'dummed-down'. Plot is limited. There is not as much character development or plot intrigue, nor even as much descriptive detail as other popular epic fantasy writers such as Terry Goodkind, Robert Jordan, or Anne McCaffrey, all of whom are much more satisfying reads. I regret that I paid money for this book and that I wasted time reading it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2005

    Blast you, Eddings! :(

    This was a good thriller although there are slight familiarities from Eddings' other books. Not a lot and it didn't ruin the book... - If you like Eddings' books you will enjoy this. I say 'Blast you, Eddings!' because I was jumpin around enjoyin my book and then he just.. STOPPED IT!!! IT was an okay place to stop but it bugged me. :(

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2005


    This is yet another Eddings' classic, wide in scope and it accomplishes all of it. i consider Eddings better than Tolkein, and they never leave me wondering why.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2005

    been there, done that

    It seems as though we have met many of these characters before. Their interaction, way of speaking, and humor was much more entertaining the first time around. I found both books to be somewhat slow moving. They tend to backtrack in order to show how each character felt or reacted to what was going on at the time. I will read the rest of the story, but not until it is released in paperback.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2004


    This book by Eddings is one of his better books, if you have read the Mallorean or Belgariad series. You will most def. see similarities between those series and this new one. If you haven't read the Mallorean or Belgariad, this is still a great book. I await the next book eagerly.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2004

    Disappointed in FLA

    I have read and loved all of DE's books ...but I had to force myself to finish this one. A big disappointment after such a long wait. I intend to read the next in the series with hope that Eddings comes through in style.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2004

    High Expectations. Great Disappointment

    As a die-hard fan I was so VERY disappointed with the writing and character development. I felt like I was reading a book for a 4th grader with repeating dialogue and very few clever exchanges. Way too chatty. Almost as if they didn't have this first of four fully thought out and were only using it to introduce character. I fault the editors as well as the writers. Save your money.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2004

    A good read

    Will not Disappoint any fan of David Eddings, can't wait to read the rest of the series

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2004

    Not up to par

    I really like Eddings but this book was not at all up to the level of the Belgariad or the Mallorean. I wanted to like it but just couldn't.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2004

    It's great!!!!!!!!!!

    It's great!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2004


    I was very disappointed in this book. I loved the Belgariad, but The Elder Gods reads like a primer. I finally had to put it down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2004

    Derivative of his own work, but could be worse

    If you're reading Edding's stuff for the first time, it's a good read. However, if you've read his other works, like the Belgariad and Tamuli series, then you notice that he applies the same formula in regards to plot, characters, and the story in general. In other words, the structure of the story is highly predictable -- it's just the names and particulars that change. I'm not saying that it's bad. It might be good to someone who read his stuff for the first time. I'm just saying that it's more of the same.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2004

    An excellent book that fantasy fans will enjoy.

    David and Leigh Eddings take you on a wonderful adventure though the Land of Dhrall in 'The Elder Gods'. The characters are very easy to relate to and the plot is original. I strongly recommend this book for all fantasy readers.

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