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

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

4.2 34
by David Eddings, Leigh Eddings

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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


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.

From the Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

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).

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)
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)

From the Publisher

--Publishers Weekly

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Random House Publishing Group
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Belgariad & The Malloreon
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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?

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.

From the Paperback edition.

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Rivan Codex 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I luv both series (belgariad and mallorean) BUT they arent there! They neeeeed to be there!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Book so good i wept when i finished the mallorean cant believe i finished them
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have to give eddings his 12th consec. 5 star win... excellent m/m eddings
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
tmr210 More than 1 year ago
If you have read the Belgariad and the Mallorean then you will love this book. It really details the information one would to create fantasy worlds. Loved it!
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