Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Belgariad by David Eddings

Today, I'm going to talk about my favorite book series of all time, and its subsequent sequels, prequels, and companion text. This was, of course, none other than the epic fantasy series "The Belgariad" by David Eddings. Though Brandon Sanderson is my favorite author, the Belgariad is undoubtedly my favorite series, mainly because of the nostalgia attached to it.

I grew up with these books. Right now, I'm on my sixth reread of the entire collection of books set in that world, about two-thirds of the way through it. I've read and reread these books over a period of ten or so years, and have loved them more and more with each return to their beautiful story.

The first line of the first chapter (barring the prologue, which is sort of like a history article that explains the creation mythos) is: "The first thing the boy Garion remembered was the kitchen at Faldor's farm." That line, for the past ten years, has been my entrance into a familiar world filled with characters, places, and scenes that I love dearly, almost as if I had experienced them myself.

Our main character is a farm boy named Garion, and we see the expanding world of each novel through his inexperienced yet determined-to-understand eyes. Yes, it's a cliche--a farm boy (oh, and did I mention he's an orphan too?), but this was back in the 1980's, when this was what fantasy was--the classic quest story with the orphaned boy destined for greatness. And this is still the best version of that classic story I have ever read and probably will ever read.

David Eddings is a master of dialogue. These books are so unbelievably's not even funny. No, I lie, it is. His dialogue is hilarious. He does banter better than almost anyone I've ever seen in fantasy, and I am consistently amazed at how well he can characterize people who are (to an extent), sort of cliches.

For a long time, I've tried to see if I could get some of my friends to read this series. At first, one of them was willing to try, though it is a long series (five books, and then a sequel series of five more, the Malloreon), and they seemed to be liking it. But it turned out that it just wasn't their thing, and I was discouraged. I kept wondering if these books weren't as good as my nostalgia was making them out to be, and the only reason I liked them so much was because I had grown up reading them. But then I remembered the Facebook group I'm a part of: "Got Belgariad?". There are hundreds of people in that group that love this series as much as I do, and that was good enough for me.

But then my brother started reading the books. And he loved them.

And then one of my best friends started reading them, and loved them too.

One of the greatest feelings in the world is sharing art that you love with someone close to you and them loving it as much as you do. I've so enjoyed talking to my brother and my best friend Miranda about this series and these characters. I also sort of envy them--they get to visit it for a first time, and I can only read it again. But it's okay, I can live vicariously through their experience.

So, in close, this series, the Belgariad by David Eddings, is incredible, and is filled with lovable characters, witty dialogue, beautiful use of language, amazing world-building, and a gripping story with an epic scope. Do yourself a favor and try them out.

And remember...never forget the cabbages!

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