Bookshelf spotlight: The Belgariad

Given I’m trying to do Fantasy Friday in the order in which I read them, it should come as no surprise that the next post after The Elenium (and The Tamuli) is The Balgariad. As with The Elenium, I’m going to cheat, and add the follow on series and books.

After discovering The Elenium, a friend at school recommended I also read The Belgariad. This series is a lot lighter than The Elenium, but was a lot of fun. I borrowed these all from my school friend, but about 15-20 years ago, I decided to buy my own copies and reread them. Unfortunately, I leant book 1 to another friend (can’t remember who) and never got it back.

During my very poor post-doc days I found some of the follow-up series, The Mallorean, in my local used bookshop. I meant to get the rest, but honestly I completely forgot. Plus I wanted to find these old versions so I have a matching set, which meant a lot of hunting.

But I do still have the books focusing on Polgara (my favourite character) and Belgarath. I got these long before I started to buy the two series. Also, I was very happy to see Leigh finally getting credit on the books.

And even The Rivan Codex – though I can’t recall if I ever actually finished this one.

The Belgariad (and The Mallorean) isn’t as good as The Elenium. I think it might have been aimed more at a younger audience, but I found it a lot of fun and enjoyed the journey. Yes there are other series out there that are better, but that doesn’t take away from my enjoyment of this one or the fact that I will read it again. Sometimes you just want a fun and easy read. Sometimes you want an old-fashioned quest.

Since I don’t have book 1 of The Belgariad, I’ve taken the blurb for it from Goodreads.

A magnificent epic set against a history of seven thousand years of the struggles of Gods and Kings and men – of strange lands and events – of fate and a prophecy that must be fulfilled!

Long ago, so the Storyteller claimed, the evil God Torak sought dominion and drove men and Gods to war. But Belgarath the Sorcerer led men to reclaim the Orb that protected men of the West. So long as it lay at Riva, the prophecy went, men would be safe.

But that was only a story, and Garion did not believe in magic dooms, even though the dark man without a shadow had haunted him for years. Brought up on a quiet farm by his Aunt Pol, how could he know that the Apostate planned to wake dread Torak, or that he would be led on a quest of unparalleled magic and danger by those he loved – but did not know? For a while his dreams of innocence were safe, untroubled by knowledge of his strange heritage. For a little while… THUS BEGINS BOOK ONE OF THE BELGARIAD

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