The Rivan Codex: Ancient Texts of The Belgariad and The Malloreon

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Overview

Join David and Leigh Eddings on a fascinating behind-the-scenes tour of the extensive background materials they compiled before beginning the masterpiece of epic fantasy unforgettably set down in The Belgariad and The Malloreon and their two companion volumes, Belgarath the Sorcerer and Polgara the Sorceress.

Our tour stretches from the wealthy Empire of Tolnedra to the remote Isle of the Winds, from the mysterious mountains of Ulgoland to the forbidding reaches of darkest ...

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The Rivan Codex: Ancient Texts of THE BELGARIAD and THE MALLOREON

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Overview

Join David and Leigh Eddings on a fascinating behind-the-scenes tour of the extensive background materials they compiled before beginning the masterpiece of epic fantasy unforgettably set down in The Belgariad and The Malloreon and their two companion volumes, Belgarath the Sorcerer and Polgara the Sorceress.

Our tour stretches from the wealthy Empire of Tolnedra to the remote Isle of the Winds, from the mysterious mountains of Ulgoland to the forbidding reaches of darkest Mallorea. Along the way, you will meet old friends and enemies alike. Rare volumes will be opened to your eyes. Sacred holy books in which you may read the secrets of the Gods themselves and of their prophets. Scholarly histories of the rise and fall of empires from the Imperial Library at Tol Honeth. The profound mysteries of the Malloreon Gospels. THE RIVAN CODEX will enrich your understanding of all that has gone before . . . and whet your appetite for more spectacular adventures from this talented team.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"DAZZLING FANTASY THAT WILL CAPTIVATE THOSE UNINITIATED IN ANY OF THE SERIES AND BEGUILE OLD SERIES HANDS WITH ITS STORYTELLING."
--Booklist

"IRRESISTIBLE . . . FULL OF TREASURES."
--Publishers Weekly

KLIATT
This is a marvelous addition to the major works of David Eddings, which include The Belgariad and The Mallorean as well as the companion volumes Belgarath the Sorcerer and Polgara the Sorceress. In this companion volume are the background tales that Eddings wrote to establish his fantasy world and its history before he wrote his 12-volume series. There is the personal history of Belgarath, the history of the Twelve Kingdoms, various holy books (including The Book of Alorn, The Book of Torak, Testament of the Snake People, Hymn to Chaldan, and The Book of Ulgo), and The Mallorean Gospels (including The Book of Ages, The Book of Fates, and The Book of Visions). In addition to the wealth of background information that will be most interesting to those familiar with Eddings' engaging fantasy narratives, Eddings gives helpful advice to those who want to write in the fantasy genre in his introduction. The Rivan Codex is best considered as part of Eddings' series rather than as a stand-alone fantasy collection. KLIATT Codes: JSA—Recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 1998, Ballantine/Del Rey, 468p, 18cm, 99-90778, $6.99. Ages 13 to adult. Reviewer: Hugh M. Flick, Jr.; Silliman College, Yale Univ., New Haven, CT, May 2000 (Vol. 34 No. 3)
VOYA - Vicky Burkholder
Eddings is back again, with Belgarion, Belgarath, Polgara, et al., in tow. This time is different, though. Instead of the expected fantasy, this is a history book-actually, it is the background material that Eddings used to create the world presented in the Belgariad and Mallorean series. The prologue, a good chapter for aspiring writers, outlines the step-by-step process Eddings used to create his popular series. According to him, to write one should "get an education first . . . write a million or so words. Then burn them. Now you're almost ready to start."

The remainder of the book reads like a historian's account of the world Eddings created. It includes the holy books as well as a history of each of the societies peopling his world. Like any writer creating a new world, Eddings includes the mode of dress, class structure, monetary units, as well as customs and mores. This is an excellent study in how to create a believable society from the ground up. If you have the Belgariad or Mallorean (and hopefully both) series, this would be a good behind-the-scenes addition. If you do not have the series, this is not the place to start, but it makes a good how-to book for beginning writers.

VOYA Codes: 4Q 2P J S A/YA (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, For the YA reader with a special interest in the subject, Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9, Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12 and adults).

Kirkus Reviews
Already a smash hit in the UK, this latest addition to the Belgariad and Malloreon cycles (most recently, Polgara the Sorceress, 1997), featuring evil gods, kings, sorcerers, orbs, and whatnots, comprises a wretched jumble of unreconstructed notes together with gnarled, gnomic utterancesþthat is to say, background material accumulated before the authors wrote the stories themselves. It consists of an introduction, a preface, six headed sections, and an afterword ("This collection provides a kind of running description of a process") that's a sort of "how-to" for budding fantasists. The headed sections weigh in, variously, as: "The Holy Books" (of Alom, of Torak, etc.: "And so passed the companions again unto the north and returned they unto the west"); "The Histories" (of The Alorn Kingdoms, of Sendaria, of Ulgoland, and so forthþluckily, "The caves of the Ulgos are naturally heated by geothermal forces"); "The Battle of Vo Mimbre" ("And great was the wrath of the Accursed One, and fire was in his right eye and also in the eye that was not"); "Preliminary Studies to the Malloreon" ("When speaking of this era, some confusion is possible"); "The Malloreon Gospels" ("Sit no more upon the earth in vain and foolish lamentation"); and "A Summary of Current Events." Fanatics only. (Science Fiction Book Club alternate selection)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345435866
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/2/1999
  • Series: Belgariad Prequel Series
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 435,540
  • Product dimensions: 4.13 (w) x 6.87 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

David Eddings published his first novel, High Hunt, in 1973, before turning to the field of fantasy and The Belgariad, soon followed by The Malloreon. Born in Spokane, Washington, in 1931, and raised in the Puget Sound area north of Seattle, he received his bachelor of arts degree from Reed College in Portland, Oregon, in 1954 and a master of arts degree from the University of Washington in 1961. He has served in the United States Army, has worked as a buyer for the Boeing Company, and has been a grocery clerk and a college English teacher.

Leigh Eddings has collaborated with her husband for more than a dozen years.

David and Leigh Eddings live in the Southwest.

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Read an Excerpt


Next comes the practice writing. I started on contemporary novels--High
Hunt and The Losers. (The publication date of The Losers is June 1992, but I wrote it back in the 1970s. It's not strictly speaking a novel, but rather is an allegory, the one-eyed Indian is God, and Jake Flood is the Devil. Notice that I wrote it before we started the Belgariad.) If you're serious about this, you have to write every day, even if it's only for an hour. Scratch the words 'week-end' and 'holiday' out of your vocabulary. (If you've been very good, I might let you take a half-day off at Christmas.) Write a million or so words. Then burn them. Now you're almost ready to start.

This is what I was talking about earlier when I suggested that most
aspiring fantasists will lose heart fairly early on. I was in my mid-teens when I discovered that I was a writer. Notice that I didn't say 'wanted to be a writer'. 'Want' has almost nothing to do with it. It's either there or it isn't. If you happen to be one, you're stuck with it. You'll write whether you get paid for it or not. You won't be able to help yourself. When it's going well, it's like reaching up into heaven and pulling down fire. It's better than any dope you can buy. When it's not going well, it's much like giving birth to a baby elephant. You'll probably notice the time lapse. I was forty before I wrote a publishable book. A twenty-five year long apprenticeship doesn't appeal to very many people.

The first thing a fantasist needs to do is to invent a world and draw a
map. Do the map first. If you don't, you'll get lost, and picky readers
with nothing better to do will gleefully point out your blunders.

Thendo your preliminary studies and character sketches in great detail.
Give yourself at least a year for this. Two would be better. Your 'Quest', your 'Hero', your form of magic, and your 'races' will probably grow out of these studies at some point. If you're worried about how much this will interfere with a normal life, take up something else. If you decide to be a writer, your life involves sitting at your desk. This is what you do to the exclusion of all else, and there aren't any guarantees. You can work on this religiously for fifty years and never get into print, so don't quit your day-job.

It was about the time that we finished Book III of the Belgariad that we
met Lester and Judy-Lynn del Rey in person. We all had dinner together,
and I told Lester that I thought there was more story than we could cram
into five books, so we might want to think about a second set. Lester
expressed some interest. Judy-Lynn wanted to write a contract on a napkin. How's that for acceptance?

We finished up the Belgariad, and then went back into 'preliminaries'
mode. Our major problem with the Malloreon lay in the fact that we'd
killed off the Devil at the end of the Belgariad. No villain; no story.
The bad guys do have their uses, I suppose. Zandramas, in a rather obscure way, was a counter to Polgara. Pol, though central to the story as our mother figure, had been fairly subordinate in the Belgariad, and we wanted to move her to center stage. There are quite a few more significant female characters in the Malloreon than in the Belgariad. Zandramas (my wife's brilliant name) is Torak's heir as 'Child of Dark'. She yearns for elevation, but I don't think becoming a galaxy to replace the one that blew up was quite what she had in mind. The abduction of Prince Geran set off the obligatory quest, and abductions were commonplace in medieval romance (and in the real world of the Dark Ages as well), so we were still locked in our genre.

We had most of our main characters--good guys and bad guys--already in
place, and I knew that Mallorea was somewhere off to the east, so I went
back to the map-table and manufactured another continent and the bottom
half of the one we already had. We got a lot of mileage out of Kal Zakath. That boy carried most of the Malloreon on his back. Then by way of thanks, we fed him to Cyradis, and she had him for lunch.

I'll confess that I got carried away with The Mallorean Gospels. I wanted the Dals to be mystical, so I pulled out all the stops and wrote something verging on Biblical, but without the inconveniences of Judaism, Christianity, or Mohammedanism. What it all boiled down to was that the Dals could see the future, but so could Belgarath, if he paid attention to the Mrin Codex. The whole story reeks of prophecy--but nobody can be really sure what it means.

My now publicly exposed co-conspiratress and I have recently finished the second prequel to this story, and now if you want to push it, we've got a classic twelve-book epic. If twelve books were good enough for Homer, Virgil, and Milton, twelve is surely good enough for us. We are not going to tack on our version of The Odyssey to our already completed Iliad. The story's complete as it stands. There aren't going to be any more Garion stories. Period. End of discussion.

All right, that should be enough for students, and it's probably enough to send those who'd like to try it for themselves screaming off into the
woods in stark terror. I doubt that it'll satisfy those who are interested in an in-depth biography of their favorite author, but you can't win them all, I guess.

Are you up for some honesty here? Genre fiction is writing that's done for money. Great art doesn't do all that well in a commercial society. Nothing that Franz Kafka wrote ever appeared in print while he was alive. Miss Lonelyhearts sank without a ripple. Great literary art is difficult to read because you have to think when you read it, and most people would
rather not.

Epic fantasy can be set in this world. You don't have to create a new
universe just to write one. My original 'doodle', however, put us
off-world immediately. It's probably that 'off-world' business in Tolkien that causes us to be lumped together with science fiction, and we have no business on the same rack with SF. SF writers are technology freaks who blithely ignore that footnote in Einstein's theory of relativity which clearly states that when an object approaches the speed of light, its mass becomes infinite. (So much for warp-drive.) If old Buck Rogers hits the gas-pedal a little too hard, he'll suddenly become the universe. Fantasists are magic and shining armor freaks who posit equally absurd notions with incantations, 'the Will and the Word', or other mumbo-jumbo. They want to build a better screwdriver, and we want to come up with a better incantation. They want to go into the future, and we want to go into the past. We write better stories than they do, though. They get all bogged down in telling you how the watch works; we just tell you what time it is and go on with the story. SF and fantasy shouldn't even speak to each other, bu
t try explaining that to a book-store manager. Try explaining it to a publisher. Forget it.

One last gloomy note. If something doesn't work, dump it--even if it means that you have to rip up several hundred pages and a half-year's work. More stories are ruined by the writer's stubborn attachment to his own overwrought prose than by almost anything else. Let your stuff cool off for a month and then read it critically. Forget that you wrote it, and read it as if you didn't really like the guy who put it down in the first place. Then take a meat-axe to it. Let it cool down some more, and then read it again. If it still doesn't work, get rid of it. Revision is the soul of good writing. It's the story that counts, not your fondness for your own gushy prose. Accept your losses and move on.

All right, I'll let you go for right now. We'll talk some more later, but why don't we let Belgarath take over for a while?

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Table of Contents

Introduction 3
Preface: The Personal History of Belgarath the Sorcerer 19
Pt. I The Holy Books
The Book of Alorn 51
The Book of Torak 68
Testament of the Snake People 74
Hymn to Chaldan 78
The Lament of Mara 80
The Proverbs of Nedra 82
The Sermon of Aldur 84
The Book of Ulgo 87
Pt. II The Histories
General Background and Geography 102
The Empire of Tolnedra 104
Appendix on Maragor 142
The Alorn Kingdoms
The Isle of the Winds 147
Cherek 156
Drasnia 164
Algaria (Including an appendix on the Vale of Aldur) 171
Sendaria 183
Arendia 192
Ulgoland 205
Nyissa 215
The Angarak Kingdoms
Gar og Nadrak 228
Mishrak ac Thull 230
Cthol Murgos 231
Pt. III The Battle of Vo Mimbre
Book Seven: The Battle Before Vo Mimbre 255
Afterword by Master Jeebers 277
Intermission 281
Pt. IV Preliminary Studies to the Malloreon
A Cursory History of the Angarak Kingdoms 287
Pt. V The Mallorean Gospels
The Book of Ages 319
The Book of Fates 331
The Book of Tasks 339
The Book of Generations 347
The Book of Visions 354
Pt. VI A Summary of Current Events
From the Journal of Anheg of Cherek 367
Afterword 391
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First Chapter

My decision to publish this volume was made in part because of a goodly number of flattering letters I've received over the past several years. Some of these letters have come from students at various levels, and to make matters worse, I've also received letters from teachers who inform me that they're actually encouraging this sort of thing. Aren't they aware that they're supposed to wait until I'm safely in the ground before they do this?

The students, naturally, ask questions. The teachers hint around the edges of an invitation to stop by and address the class. I'm very flattered, as I mentioned, but I don't write -- or grade -- term papers any more, and I don't travel. To put it idiomatically, 'I ain't going no place; I been where I'm going.'

Then there are those other letters, the ones which rather bashfully confide an intention to 'try writing fantasy myself'. I don't worry too much about those correspondents. They'll get over that notion rather quickly once they discover what's involved. I'm sure that most of them will eventually decide to take up something simpler -- brain surgery or rocket science, perhaps.

I'd more or less decided to just file those letters and keep my mouth shut. A prolonged silence might be the best way to encourage a passing fancy to do just that -- pass.

Then I recalled a conversation I had with Lester del Rey on one occasion. When I'd first submitted my proposal for the Belgariad, I'd expected the usual leisurely reaction-time, but Lester responded with what I felt to be unseemly haste. He wanted to see this thing -- now, but I wasn't ready to let him see it -- now. I was in revision of what I thought would be Book I, and since I was still doing honest work in those days, my time was somewhat curtailed. I wanted to keep him interested, however, so I sent him my 'Preliminary Studies' instead -- 'So that you'll have the necessary background material.' Lester later told me that while he was reading those studies, he kept telling himself, 'There's no way we can publish this stuff,' but then he admitted, 'but I kept reading.' We were fairly far along in the Belgariad when he made this confession, and he went on to say, 'Maybe when we've got the whole story finished, we might want to think about releasing those studies.'

Eventually, the two ideas clicked together. I had people out there asking questions, and I had the answers readily at hand since nobody in his right mind takes on a multi-book project without some fairly extensive preparation. My Preliminary Studies were right there taking up space, I'd just finished a five-book contract, and I had nothing else currently on the fire. All this thing needed was a brief introduction and some footnotes, and we were off to press. (Just in passing I should advise you that my definition of 'brief' and yours might differ just a bit. It takes me a hundred pages just to clear my throat. Had you noticed that? I thought you might have.)

Please bear in mind the fact that these studies are almost twenty years old, and there are going to be gaps. There are places where some great leaps occurred, frequently flowing out of the point of my pen during that actual writing, and I wasn't keeping a diary to report these bursts of inspired creativity. I'll candidly admit that probably no more than half of these 'strokes of genius' actually worked. Some of them would have been disastrous. Fortunately, my collaborator was there to catch those blunders. Trial and error enters into any form of invention, I suppose. This book may help others to avoid some of the missteps we made along the way, and it may give the student of our genre some insights into the creative process -- something on the order of 'connect wire A to wire B. Warning! Do not connect wire A to wire C, because that will cause the whole thing to blow up in your face.'

Now that I've explained what I'm up to here, let's get the lecture out of the way. (Did you really think I'd let you get away without one?)

After I graduated from the US Army in 1956, one of my veteran's benefits was the now famous GI Bill. My government had decided to pay me to go to graduate school. I worked for a year to save up enough for some incidentals (food, clothing, and shelter) and then enrolled in the graduate school of the University of Washington in Seattle. (A good day in Seattle is a day when it isn't raining up.) My area of concentration was supposed to be modern American fiction (Hemingway, Faulkner, and Steinbeck), but I had those Ph.D exams lurking out in the future, so I knew that I'd better spend some time with Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Milton as well. Once I'd mastered Middle English, I fell in love with Chaucer and somewhat by extension with Sir Thomas Malory.

Since what is called 'Epic Fantasy' in the contemporary world descends in an almost direct line from medieval romance, my studies of Chaucer and Malory gave me a running head start in the field. 'Medieval Romance' had a long and honorable history, stretching from about the eleventh century to the sixteenth, when DON QUIXOTE finally put it to sleep. It was a genre that spoke of the dark ages in glowing terms, elevating a number of truly barbaric people to near sainthood. The group that is of most interest to the English-speaking world, of course, is King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table. There may or may not have been a real King Arthur, but that's beside the point. We should never permit historical reality to get in the way of a good story, should we?

Since the issue's come up, though, let's take a look at someone who was historically verifiable and who had a great deal of impact on the fledgling genre in its earliest of days. The lady in question was the infamous Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Eleanor was related to five (count 'em) different kings (or pseudo-kings) during the twelfth century. Her father was the Duke of Aquitaine (now known as Gascony) and, since he controlled more land than the King of France, he routinely signed official documents as 'the King of Aquitaine'. In 1137, Louis of France arranged a marriage between his son, Prince Louis and 'princess' Eleanor. Eleanor wasn't a good wife, since she had what's politely known as a 'roving eye'. Evidently, it was more than her eye that roved. Her husband, who soon became Louis VII of France, was a pious man, and his wandering wife not only failed to produce an heir to his throne, but also became notorious as an adulteress. He finally managed to have their marriage annulled in 1152, and two months later Eleanor married Henry Plantagenet, Duke of Normandy, who incidentally also happened to be King Henry II of England. Eleanor, as it turned out, was not barren, and she bore Henry several sons. Aside from that, Henry and Eleanor didn't really get along together, so he took the easy way out and locked her up to keep her out of his hair. After he died, Eleanor stirred up trouble between her sons, Richard the Lionhearted and John the Incompetent, both of whom became kings of England. They also locked Mother away to keep her out of mischief.

Thus, Eleanor spent a lot of her time locked up. Embroidery didn't thrill her too much, so she read books. Books were very expensive in the twelfth century because they had to be copied by hand, but Eleanor didn't care. She had money, if not freedom, so she could afford to pay assorted indigents with literary pretensions to write the kind of books she liked. Given Eleanor's background it's understandable that she liked books about kings, knights in shining armor, pretty young fellows who played the lute and sang of love with throbbing emotion, and fair damsels cruelly imprisoned in towers. Her literary tastes gave rise to troubadour poetry, the courtly love tradition, and whole libraries of interminable French romances that concentrated heavily on 'The Matter of Britain' (King Arthur et al) and 'The Matter of France' (Charlemagne and Co.).

Now we jump forward three hundred years to the Wars of the Roses. There was a certain knight named Sir Thomas Malory (probably from Warwickshire) who sided with the Lancastrians. When the Yorkist faction gained the ascendancy, Sir Thomas was clapped into prison. He was not, strictly speaking, a political prisoner, however. He was in prison because he belonged there, since it appears that he was a career criminal more than a political partisan. There may have been some politics involved in the various charges leveled against him, of course, but the preponderance of evidence suggests that he was a sort of medieval Jesse James, leading a gang of outlaws on a rampage through southern England. He was imprisoned for sedition, murder, the attempted murder of the Duke of Buckingham, cattle-rustling, horse theft, the looting of monasteries, jail-breaking and not infrequently of rape. Sir Thomas seems to have been a very bad boy.

He was still a nobleman, however, and a sometime member of parliament, so he was able to persuade his jailors to let him visit a nearby library (under guard, of course). Sir Thomas was quite proud of his facility in the French language, and he whiled away the hours of his incarceration translating the endless French romances dealing with (what else?) King Arthur. The end result was the work we now know as LE MORTE D'ARTHUR.

A technological break-through along about then ensured a wide distribution of Malory's work. William Caxton had a printing press, and he evidently grew tired of grinding out religious pamphlets, so, sensing a potential market, he took Malory's manuscript and edited it in preparation for a printing run. I think we underestimate Caxton's contribution to LE MORTE D'ARTHUR. If we can believe most scholars, Malory's original manuscript was pretty much a hodgepodge of disconnected tales, and Caxton organized them into a coherent whole, giving us a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end.

Now we jump forward another four hundred years. Queen Victoria ascended the British throne at the age of seventeen. Queen Victoria had opinions. Queen Victoria didn't approve of 'naughty stuff'. Queen Victoria had a resident poet, Alfred Lord Tennyson, and he cleaned up Malory for his queen to produce a work he called Idylls of the King. Idylls of the King is a fairly typical Victorian bowdlerization that accepted the prevailing attitude of the time that LE MORTE D'ARTHUR was little more than 'bold bawdry and open manslaughter'. It glossed over such picky little details as the fact that Guinevere was an adulteress, that King Arthur did have an incestuous affair with his half-sister, Morgan le Fay, and other improprieties.

Another hundred years slip by and we come to Papa Tolkien, who was probably even prissier than Queen Victoria. Have you ever noticed that there aren't any girl Hobbits? There are matronly lady Hobbits and female Hobbit puppies, but no girls. The Victorians maintained the public fiction that females don't exist below the neck.

Contemporary fantasists all bow politely to Lord Tennyson and Papa Tolkien, then step around them to go back to the original texts for inspiration -- and there are a lot of those texts. We have King Arthur and his gang in English; we've got Siegfried and Brunhild in German; Charlemagne and Roland in French; El Cid in Spanish; Sigurd the Volsung in Icelandic; and assorted 'myghtiest Knights on lyfe' in a half-dozen other cultures. Without shame, we pillage medieval romance for all we're worth.

Operating by trial and error mostly, we've evolved a tacitly agreed upon list of the elements that make for a good fantasy. The first decision the aspiring fantasist must make is theological. King Arthur and Charlemagne were Christians. Siegfried and Sigurd the Volsung were pagans. My personal view is that pagans write better stories. When a writer is having fun, it shows, and pagans have more fun than Christians. Let's scrape Horace's Dulche et utile off the plate before we even start the banquet. We're writing for fun, not to provide moral instruction. I had much more fun with the Belgariad/Malloreon than you did, because I know where all the jokes are.

All right, then, for item number one, I chose paganism. (Note that Papa Tolkien, a devout Anglo-Catholic, took the same route.)

Item number two on our interim list is 'The Quest'. If you don't have a quest, you don't have a story. The quest gives you an excuse to dash around and meet new people. Otherwise, you stay home and grow turnips or something.

Item number three is 'The Magic Thingamajig' -- The Holy Grail, the Ring of Power, the Magic Sword, the Sacred Book, or (surprise, surprise) THE JEWEL. Everybody knows where I came down on that one. The Magic Thingamajig is usually, though not always, the object of the quest.

Item four is 'Our Hero' -- Sir Galahad, Sir Gawaine, Sir Launcelot, or Sir Perceval. Galahad is saintly; Gawaine is loyal; Launcelot is the heavyweight champion of the world; and Perceval is dumb -- at least right at first. I went with Perceval, because he's more fun. A dumb hero is the perfect hero, because he hasn't the faintest idea of what's going on, and in explaining things to him, the writer explains them to his reader. Don't get excited. I'm not putting Garion down. He's innocent more than stupid, in the same way Perceval was. Actually, he's fairly clever, but he's a country boy, so he hasn't been exposed to very much of the world. His Aunt Pol wanted him to be that way, and Polgara has ways to get what she wants.

Item number five is the resident 'Wizard' -- Merlin, usually, or Gandalf -- mighty, powerful, and mysterious. I scratched that one right away and went with Belgarath instead, and I think it was the right choice. I've got a seedy old tramp with bad habits -- who just incidentally can rip the tops off mountains if he wants to. I chose to counter him with his daughter, Polgara, who doesn't really approve of him. That sorcerer/sorceress (and father/daughter) pairing broke some new ground, I think.

Item six is our heroine -- usually a wispy blonde girl who spends most of her time mooning around in a tower. I chose not to go that route, obviously. Ce'Nedra is a spoiled brat, there's no question about that, but she is a little tiger when the chips are down. She turned out even better than I expected.

Item seven is a villain with diabolical connections. I invented Torak, and he served our purpose rather well. I even managed to give him a fairly believable motivation. Milton helped on that one. Torak isn't exactly Lucifer, but he comes close. As usual, he has a number of evil underlings to do his dirty-work for him.

(Stay with me. We're almost done.) Item eight is the obligatory group of 'companions', that supporting cast of assorted muscular types from various cultures who handle most of the killing and mayhem until the hero grows up to the point where he can do his own violence on the bad guys.

Item nine is the group of ladies who are attached to the bully-boys in item eight. Each of these ladies also needs to be well-defined, with idiosyncrasies and passions of her own.

And finally we come to item ten. Those are the kings, queens, emperors, courtiers, bureaucrats, et al who are the governments of the kingdoms of the world.

OK. End of list. If you've got those ten items, you're on your way toward a contemporary fantasy. (You're also on your way to a cast of thousands.)

All right then, now for a test: 'Write an epic fantasy in no less than three and no more than twelve volumes. Then sell it to a publisher. You have twenty years.' (Don't send it to me. I don't have a printing press, and I do not read in the field. It's a way to avoid contamination.)

STOP!! Do not uncover your typewriter, uncap your pen, or plug in your computer just yet. A certain amount of preparation might help. It's a good idea to learn how to drive an automobile before you hop into the family car and take off for Los Angeles, and it's probably an equally good idea to browse through a couple of medical texts before you saw off the top of Uncle Charlie's head in preparation for brain surgery.

Let me stress one thing at the outset. This is the way we did it. This is not the only way to do it. Our way worked out fairly well, but others, done differently, have worked just as well. If you don't like our way, we won't be offended.

Now, of necessity, we get into a bit of biography. This introduction is designed to provide enough biographical detail to answer students' questions and to provide a description of our preparations. I hope it satisfies you, because it's all you're going to get. My private life is just that -- private -- and it's going to stay that way. You don't really need to know what I had for breakfast.

I was born in Washington (the state, not the city) in 1931. (Go ahead. Start counting. Depressing, huh?) I graduated from high school in 1949, worked for a year, and then enrolled in a junior college, majoring in speech, drama, and English. I tore that junior college up. I won a state-wide oratorical contest and played the male lead in most of the drama presentations. Then I applied for and received a scholarship at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, and Reed turned out to be quite a bit more difficult. The college required a thesis for graduation, so I wrote a novel (what else?). Then I was drafted. The army sent me to Germany instead of Korea -- where people were still shooting at each other. I'd studied German, so I got along fairly well, and when I wasn't playing soldier with my jeep and my submachine gun, I made the obligatory pilgrimages to Paris, London, Vienna, Naples, Rome, Florence, and Berlin (before the wall). It was all very educational, and I even got paid for being in Europe.

Then I came back to the States and was discharged. I had that GI Bill, so I went to the University of Washington for four years of graduate study. I've already told you about that, so I won't dwell on it. During my college years I worked part-time in grocery stores, a perfect job for a student, since the hours can be adjusted to fit in with the class schedule. Then I went to work for Boeing, building rocket ships. (I was a buyer, not an engineer.) I helped, in a small way, to put a man on the moon. I married a young lady whose history was even more interesting than mine. I was a little miffed when I discovered that her security clearance was higher than mine. I thought 'Top Secret' was the top of the line, but I was wrong. She'd also been to places I hadn't even heard of, since she'd been in the Air Force, while I'd been a ground-pounder. I soon discovered that she was a world-class cook, a highly skilled fisherwoman, and -- after an argument about whether or not that was really a deer lying behind that log a hundred yards away late one snowy afternoon -- she demonstrated that she was a dead shot with a deer rifle by shooting poor old Bambi right between the eyes.

I taught college for several years, and then one year the administrators all got a pay raise and the teaching faculty didn't. I told them what they could do with their job, and my wife and I moved to Denver, where I (we) wrote HIGH HUNT in our spare time while I worked in a grocery store and my wife worked as a motel maid. We sold HIGH HUNT to Putnam, and I was now a published author. We moved to Spokane, and I turned to grocery stores again to keep us eating regularly.

I was convinced that I was a 'serious novelist', and I labored long and hard over several unpublished (and unpublishable) novels that moped around the edges of mawkish contemporary tragedy. In the mid 1970s I was grinding out HUNSECKER'S ASCENT, a story about mountain-climbing which was a piece of tripe so bad that it even bored me. (No, you can't see it. I burned it.) Then one morning before I went off to my day-job, I was so bored that I started doodling. My doodles produced a map of a place that never was (and is probably a geological impossibility). Then, feeling the call of duty, I put it away and went back to the tripe table.

Some years later I was in a bookstore going in the general direction of the 'serious fiction'. I passed the science-fiction rack and spotted one of the volumes of The Lord of the Rings. I muttered, 'Is this old turkey still floating around?' Then I picked it up and noticed that it was in its seventy-eighth printing!!! That got my immediate attention, and I went back home and dug out the aforementioned doodle. It seemed to have some possibilities. Then, methodical as always, I ticked off the above-listed necessities for a good medieval romance. I'd taken those courses in Middle English authors in graduate school, so I had a fair grip on the genre.

I realized that since I'd created this world, I was going to have to populate it, and that meant that I'd have to create the assorted 'ologies' as well before I could even begin to put together an outline. THE RIVAN CODEX was the result. I reasoned that each culture had to have a different class-structure, a different mythology, a different theology, different costumes, different forms of address, different national character, and even different coinage and slightly different weights and measures. I might never come right out and use them in the books, but they had to be there. 'The Belgariad Preliminaries' took me most of 1978 and part of 1979. (I was still doing honest work in those days, so my time was limited.)

One of the major problems when you're dealing with wizards is the 'Superman Syndrome'. You've got this fellow who's faster than a speeding bullet and all that stuff. He can uproot mountains and stop the sun. Bullets bounce off him, and he can read your mind. Who's going to climb into the ring with this terror? I suppose I could have gone with incantations and spells, but to make that sort of thing believable you've got to invent at least part of the incantation, and sooner or later some nut is going to take you seriously, and, absolutely convinced that he can fly if he says the magic words, he'll jump off a building somewhere. Or, if he believes that the sacrifice of a virgin will make him Lord of the Universe, and some Girl-Scout knocks on his door -- ??? I think it was a sense of social responsibility that steered me away from the 'hocus-pocus' routine.

Anyway, this was about the time when the ESP fakers were announcing that they could bend keys (or crowbars, for all I know) with the power of their minds. Bingo! The Will and the Word was born. And it also eliminated the Superman problem. The notion that doing things with your mind exhausts you as much as doing them with your back was my easiest way out. You might be able to pick up a mountain with your mind, but you won't be able to walk after you do it, I can guarantee that. It worked out quite well, and it made some interesting contributions to the story. We added the prohibition against 'unmaking things' later, and we had a workable form of magic with some nasty consequences attached if you broke the rules.

Now we had a story. Next came the question of how to tell it. My selection of Sir Perceval (Sir Dumb, if you prefer) sort of ruled out 'High Style'. I can write in 'High Style' if necessary (see Mandorallen with his 'thee's, thou's and foreasmuches), but Garion would have probably swallowed his tongue if he'd tried it. Moreover, magic, while not a commonplace, is present in our imaginary world, so I wanted to avoid all that 'Gee whiz! Would you look at that!' sort of reaction. I wanted language that was fairly colloquial (with a few cultural variations) to make the whole thing accessible to contemporary readers, but with just enough antique usages to give it a medieval flavor.

Among the literary theories I'd encountered in graduate school was Jung's notion of archetypal myth. The application of this theory usually involves a scholar laboring mightily to find correspondences between current (and not so current) fiction and drama to link them to Greek mythology. (Did Hamlet really lust after his mother the way Oedipus did?) It occurred to me that archetypal myth might not be very useful in the evaluation of a story, but might it not work in its creation? I tried it, and it works. I planted more mythic fishhooks in the first couple of books of the Belgariad than you'll find in any sporting goods store. I've said (too many times, probably) that if you read the first hundred pages of the Belgariad, I gotcha!! You won't be able to put it down. The use of archetypal myth in the creation of Fiction is the literary equivalent of peddling dope.

The preliminaries to the Belgariad are actually out of sequence here. The Personal History of Belgarath the Sorcerer was written after the rest of the studies while I was trying to get a better grip on the old boy. You might want to compare that very early character sketch with the opening chapters of the more recent BELGARATH THE SORCERER. Did you notice the similarities? I thought I noticed you noticing.

When I first tackled these studies, I began with The Holy Books, and the most important of these is The Book of Alorn. When you get right down to it, that one contains the germ of the whole story. After that, I added The Book of Torak. Fair is fair, after all, and 'equal time' sounds sort of fair, I guess. The Testament of the Snake People was an exercise in showing off. (A poem in the shape of a snake? Gee!) The Hymn to Chaldan was supposed to help explain the Arends. A war god isn't all that unusual.

The Marags are extinct, but that 'equal time' regulation was still in place, so I took a swing at the grief-stricken God Mara. I had fun with The Proverbs of Nedra -- a sort of theological justification for pure greed. Maybe I'll make a deal with the New York Stock Exchange, and they can engrave those proverbs on the wall.

The Sermon of Aldur was a false start, since it speaks glowingly of 'Unmaking Things', which UL prohibited in the next section. That section, The Book of Ulgo, was rather obviously based on The Book of Job. Note that I'll even steal from the Bible. Gorim came off rather well, I thought. Incidentally, 'UL' was a typographical error the first time it appeared. I liked the way it looked on paper, so I kept it. (Would you prefer to have me claim 'Divine Inspiration?')

I'm going to disillusion some enthusiasts here, I'm afraid. Notice that the Mrin Codex and the Darine Codex aren't included here. They don't appear because they don't exist. They're a literary device and nothing more. (I once jokingly told Lester that I'd be willing to write the Mrin Codex if he'd agree to publish it on a scroll, but he declined.) I used the 'Mrin' as a form of exposition. Those periodic breakthroughs when Belkira and Beltira -- or whoever else is handy -- finally crack the code are the things that set off a new course of action. I catch hints of a religious yearning when people start pleading for copies of the 'Mrin'. Sorry gang, I'm not in the business of creating new religions. This is 'story', not 'revelation'. I'm a storyteller, not a Prophet of God. OK?

Once The Holy Books were out of the way, I was ready to tackle The Histories, and that's where all the 'ologies' started showing up -- along with a chronology. When you've got a story that lasts for seven thousand years, you'd better have a chronology and pay close attention to it, or you're going to get lost somewhere in the 39th century. The histories of the Alorn Kingdoms are fairly central to the story, but it was the history of the Tolnedran Empire that filled in all the cracks. You'll probably notice how tedious the Tolnedran History is. If you think reading it was tedious, try writing it. It was absolutely essential, however, since much of the background material grew out of it.

Most of the similarities between the people of this world and our imaginary one should be fairly obvious. The Sendars correspond to rural Englishmen, the Arends to Norman French, the Tolnedrans to Romans, the Chereks to Vikings, the Algars to Cossacks, the Ulgos to Jews, and the Angaraks to Hunnish-Mongolian-Muslim-Visigoths out to convert the world by the sword. I didn't really have correspondences in mind for the Drasnians, Rivans, Marags, or Nyissans. They're story elements and don't need to derive from this world.

By the time we got to the histories of the Angarak Kingdoms, we were ready to dig into the story itself, so the Angaraks got fairly short shrift. I wanted to get on with it.

There were footnotes in the original of these studies, but they were included (with identifying single-spacing) in the body of the text. These are the mistaken perceptions of the scholars at the University of Tol Honeth. The footnotes I'm adding now are in their proper location (at the foot of the page, naturally). These later notes usually point out inconsistencies. Some of this material just didn't work when we got into the actual narrative, and I'm not one to mess up a good story just for the sake of sticking to an out-dated game-plan.

The addition of The Battle of Vo Mimbre was a sort of afterthought. I knew that epic fantasy derived from medieval romance, so just to re-enforce that point of origin, I wrote one. It has most of the elements of a good, rousing mediev al romance -- and all of its flaws. I'm still fairly sure that it would have made Eleanor of Aquitaine light up like a Christmas tree.

I wanted to use it in its original form as the Prologue for Queen of Sorcery, but Lester del Rey said, 'NO!' A twenty-seven page prologue didn't thrill him. That's when I learned one of the rules. A prologue does not exceed eight pages. Lester finally settled the argument by announcing that if I wrote an overly long prologue, he'd cut it down with a dull axe.

Oh, there was another argument a bit earlier. Lester didn't like 'Aloria'. He wanted to call it 'Alornia'!!! I almost exploded, but my wife calmly took the telephone away from me and sweetly said, 'Lester, dear, "Alornia" sounds sort of like a cookie to me.' (Alornia Doone?) Lester thought about that for a moment. 'It does, sort of, doesn't it? OK, Aloria it is then.' Our side won that one big-time.

I'm not passing along these gossipy little tales for the fun of it, people. There's a point buried in most of them. The point to this one is the importance of the sound of names in High Fantasy. Would Launcelot impress you very much if his name were 'Charlie' or 'Wilbur'? The bride of my youth spends hours concocting names.

It was -- and still is -- her specialty. (She's also very good at deleting junk and coming up with great endings.) I can manufacture names if I have to, but hers are better. Incidentally, that 'Gar' at the center of 'Belgarath', 'Polgara', and 'Garion' derives from proto-Indo European. Linguists have been amusing themselves for years backtracking their way to the original language spoken by the barbarians who came wandering off the steppes of Central Asia twelve thousand or so years ago. 'Gar' meant 'Spear' back in those days. Isn't that interesting?

When the preliminary studies were finished, my collaborator and I hammered together an outline, reviewed our character sketches, and we got started. When we had a first draft of what we thought was going to be Book I completed, I sent a proposal, complete with the overall outline, to Ballantine Books, and, naturally, the Post Office Department lost it. After six months, I sent a snippy note to Ballantine. 'At least you could have had the decency to say no.' They replied, 'Gee, we never got your proposal.' I had almost dumped the whole idea of the series because of the gross negligence of my government. I sent the proposal off again. Lester liked it, and we signed a contract. Now we were getting paid for this, so we started to concentrate.

Incidentally, my original proposal envisioned a trilogy -- three books tentatively titled Garion, Ce'Nedra, and Kal Torak. That notion tumbled down around my ears when Lester explained the realities of the American publishing business to me. B. Dalton and Waldenbooks had limits on genre fiction, and those two chains ruled the world. At that time, they wanted genre fiction to be paperbacks priced at under three dollars, and thus no more than 300 pages.

'This is what we're going to do,' Lester told me. (Notice that 'we'. He didn't really mean 'we'; he meant me.) 'We're going to break it up into five books instead of three.' My original game plan went out the window. I choked and went on. The chess-piece titles, incidentally, were Lester's idea. I didn't like that one very much either. I wanted to call Book V In the Tomb of the One Eyed God. I thought that had a nice ring to it but Lester patiently explained that a title that long wouldn't leave any room for a cover illustration. I was losing a lot of arguments here.

Lester favored the bulldozer approach to his writers, though, so he ran over me fairly often.

I did win one, though -- I think. Lester had told me that 'Fantasy fiction is the prissiest of all art-forms.' I knew that he was wrong on that one. I've read the works from which contemporary fantasy has descended, and 'prissy' is a wildly inappropriate description (derived, no doubt, from Tennyson and Tolkien). I set out to delicately suggest that girls did, in fact, exist below the neck. I'll admit that I lost a few rounds, but I think I managed to present a story that suggested that there are some differences between boys and girls, and that most people find that sort of interesting.

All right, 'Time Out'. For those of you who intend to follow my path, here's what you should do. Get an education first. You're not qualified to write epic fantasy until you've been exposed to medieval romance. As I said earlier, there are all kinds of medieval literature. Look at the Norse stuff. Try the German stories. (If you don't want to read them, go see them on stage in Wagnerian operas.) Look at Finland, Russia, Ireland, Iceland, Arabia -- even China or India. The urge to write and read High Fantasy seems to be fairly universal.

Next comes the practice writing. I started on contemporary novels -- HIGH HUNT and THE LOSERS. (The publication date of THE LOSERS is June 1992, but I wrote it back in the 1970s. It's not strictly speaking a novel, but rather is an allegory, the one-eyed Indian is God, and Jake Flood is the Devil. Notice that I wrote it before we started the Belgariad.) If you're serious about this, you have to write every day, even if it's only for an hour. Scratch the words 'week-end' and 'holiday' out of your vocabulary. (If you've been very good, I might let you take a half-day off at Christmas.) Write a million or so words. Then burn them. Now you're almost ready to start.

This is what I was talking about earlier when I suggested that most aspiring fantasists will lose heart fairly early on. I was in my mid-teens when I discovered that I was a writer. Notice that I didn't say 'wanted to be a writer'. 'Want' has almost nothing to do with it. It's either there or it isn't. If you happen to be one, you're stuck with it. You'll write whether you get paid for it or not. You won't be able to help yourself. When it's going well, it's like reaching up into heaven and pulling down fire. It's better than any dope you can buy. When it's not going well, it's much like giving birth to a baby elephant. You'll probably notice the time lapse. I was forty before I wrote a publishable book. A twenty-five year long apprenticeship doesn't appeal to very many people.

The first thing a fantasist needs to do is to invent a world and draw a map. Do the map first. If you don't, you'll get lost, and picky readers with nothing better to do will gleefully point out your blunders.

Then do your preliminary studies and character sketches in great detail. Give yourself at least a year for this. Two would be better. Your 'Quest', your 'Hero', your form of magic, and your 'races' will probably grow out of these studies at some point. If you're worried about how much this will interfere with a normal life, take up something else. If you decide to be a writer, your life involves sitting at your desk. This is what you do to the exclusion of all else, and there aren't any guarantees. You can work on this religiously for fifty years and never get into print, so don't quit your day-job.

It was about the time that we finished Book III of the Belgariad that we met Lester and Judy-Lynn del Rey in person. We all had dinner together, and I told Lester that I thought there was more story than we could cram into five books, so we might want to think about a second set. Lester expressed some interest. Judy-Lynn wanted to write a contract on a napkin. How's that for acceptance?

We finished up the Belgariad, and then went back into 'preliminaries' mode. Our major problem with the Malloreon lay in the fact that we'd killed off the Devil at the end of the Belgariad. No villain; no story. The bad guys do have their uses, I suppose. Zandramas, in a rather obscure way, was a counter to Polgara. Pol, though central to the story as our mother figure, had been fairly subordinate in the Belgariad, and we wanted to move her to center stage. There are quite a few more significant female characters in the Malloreon than in the Belgariad. Zandramas (my wife's brilliant name) is Torak's heir as 'Child of Dark'. She yearns for elevation, but I don't think becoming a galaxy to replace the one that blew up was quite what she had in mind. The abduction of Prince Geran set off the obligatory quest, and abductions were commonplace in medieval romance (and in the real world of the Dark Ages as well), so we were still locked in our genre.

We had most of our main characters -- good guys and bad guys -- already in place, and I knew that Mallorea was somewhere off to the east, so I went back to the map-table and manufactured another continent and the bottom half of the one we already had. We got a lot of mileage out of Kal Zakath. That boy carried most of the Malloreon on his back. Then by way of thanks, we fed him to Cyradis, and she had him for lunch.

I'll confess that I got carried away with THE MALLOREAN GOSPELS. I wanted the Dals to be mystical, so I pulled out all the stops and wrote something verging on Biblical, but without the inconveniences of Judaism, Christianity, or Mohammedanism. What it all boiled down to was that the Dals could see the future, but so could Belgarath, if he paid attention to the Mrin Codex. The whole story reeks of prophecy -- but nobody can be really sure what it means.

My now publicly exposed co-conspiratress and I have recently finished the second prequel to this story, and now if you want to push it, we've got a classic twelve-book epic. If twelve books were good enough for Homer, Virgil, and Milton, twelve is surely good enough for us. We are not going to tack on our version of THE ODYSSEY to our already completed ILIAD. The story's complete as it stands. There aren't going to be any more Garion stories. Period. End of discussion.

All right, that should be enough for students, and it's probably enough to send those who'd like to try it for themselves screaming off into the woods in stark terror. I doubt that it'll satisfy those who are interested in an in-depth biography of their favorite author, but you can't win them all, I guess.

Are you up for some honesty here? Genre fiction is writing that's done for money. Great art doesn't do all that well in a commercial society. Nothing that Franz Kafka wrote ever appeared in print while he was alive. Miss Lonelyhearts sank without a ripple. Great literary art is difficult to read because you have to think when you read it, and most people would rather not.

Epic fantasy can be set in this world. You don't have to create a new universe just to write one. My original 'doodle', however, put us off-world immediately. It's probably that 'off-world' business in Tolkien that causes us to be lumped together with science fiction, and we have no business on the same rack with SF. SF writers are technology freaks who blithely ignore that footnote in Einstein's theory of relativity which clearly states that when an object approaches the speed of light, its mass becomes infinite. (So much for warp-drive.) If old Buck Rogers hits the gas-pedal a little too hard, he'll suddenly become the universe. Fantasists are magic and shining armor freaks who posit equally absurd notions with incantations, 'the Will and the Word', or other mumbo-jumbo. They want to build a better screwdriver, and we want to come up with a better incantation. They want to go into the future, and we want to go into the past. We write better stories than they do, though. They get all bogged down in telling you how the watch works; we just tell you what time it is and go on with the story. SF and fantasy shouldn't even speak to each other, but try explaining that to a book-store manager. Try explaining it to a publisher. Forget it.

One last gloomy note. If something doesn't work, dump it -- even if it means that you have to rip up several hundred pages and a half-year's work. More stories are ruined by the writer's stubborn attachment to his own overwrought prose than by almost anything else. Let your stuff cool off for a month and then read it critically. Forget that you wrote it, and read it as if you didn't really like the guy who put it down in the first place. Then take a meat-axe to it. Let it cool down some more, and then read it again. If it still doesn't work, get rid of it. Revision is the soul of good writing. It's the story that counts, not your fondness for your own gushy prose. Accept your losses and move on.

All right, I'll let you go for right now. We'll talk some more later, but why don't we let Belgarath take over for a while?

Copyright © 1998 by David and Leigh Eddings.

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Customer Reviews

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2001

    a reviewer

    Im only 13 but one day I was in a desperate search for something to read. As I was going through my mom's old books i found David Edding's 'The Belgariad' series. My mom said they were good so i began the first book. After the first book i got so into it i read the rest in a little more than a month. I then found the first 2 books of Edding's 'The Mallorean'. i read them and then searced stores to buy the others. Ive recently finished the 'malloreon' and i also read 'Polgara the Sorceress'. im now finishing 'Belgarath the Sorcerer' and it is awesome. when im done ill start the 'Rivan Codex' and i cant wait. these are the best books ive ever read and i hope David and Leigh Eddings keep up the good work!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2012

    Hey!!

    I luv both series (belgariad and mallorean) BUT they arent there! They neeeeed to be there!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2012

    Awesome

    Book so good i wept when i finished the mallorean cant believe i finished them

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2001

    Great Book!! Must Read!!!

    A well written book, this is a true masterpiece. Not only does David Eddings let the readers see how he came up with the Belgariad and Mallorean, but gives his reasons why. A good read for anyone interested in fantasy.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2000

    David Eddings Rocks

    If you like fantasy, or if you have read any of the edding's books before, or you want to be a writer, this book is for you. You get all the backround on all the books, including all the holy books for all the races of the world.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2003

    I'm just a 15 yr. old guy who gets life outta books.=)

    I haven't yet read this book but I have read the Belgariad and Polgara, and from what I've seen there can only be better stuff ahead.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2002

    these books rock from a teenager reading them

    these books were really facinating and guess what i am only 14 yrs. old and i love and understand these books please read!!!!!!!!:)

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2001

    All of these are must-buys

    I have read every book by David and/or Leigh Eddings, and I have thoroughly enjoyed each and every one. The balance between fantasy and ugly reality is maintained beautifully by one of the world's best authors. READ THESE BOOKS! You will NOT be disappointed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2001

    Wonderful

    This book can get a bit technical, so I didn't read it straight through. The Belgariad and Mallorean are written so wonderfully, that you feel like you know every single character. I read all 10 books in 2 months, and am currently trying to buy them all so I don't have to go through the library system to get them to read again.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2001

    These books rock

    Definetely 5 star. im only 13 and ive read every book he has written except The Rivan Codex. Very cool books.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2000

    Eddings the Destiny of good is set higher than the weather, clouds and sky.

    I have to give eddings his 12th consec. 5 star win... excellent m/m eddings

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2000

    Why only 5 for him? Because it wont let me put more!

    As of now the only books I havent read of his are The Losers and this one. This author easily beats any other I have read. From the start to finish you will love each and every book he has made, I can't stop reading his books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2000

    5 STARS IS NOT ENOUGH!!

    I have read the Belgariad and am in the proccess of finishing the Mallorean and wow! Talk about a good writer. I mean, my dad told me to read these when I was 12 and at first i really was not intrested. Then through about the 3rd book i was hooked. Im only 13 and love to read fantasies. My family and teachers say i have a gift for writing so im gonna be a writer and this stuff REALLY gets me thinking. Its a great tool as well. I had to do a project on the first book and I wrote 50 pages of a journal about Garion and got a 100.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2013

    Whats the book about?

    O_0

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2011

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    Posted May 6, 2011

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    Posted September 5, 2011

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    Posted August 5, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2012

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