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Pawn of Prophecy (The Belgariad #1)

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  67,165 Ratings  ·  2,012 Reviews
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
Paperback, 304 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by Del Rey (first published 1982)
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Coffeeteamix As someone who read Pawn of Prophecy for the first time at the age of 30, I certainly felt that I'm a little too old for this. I found the young…moreAs someone who read Pawn of Prophecy for the first time at the age of 30, I certainly felt that I'm a little too old for this. I found the young protagonist difficult to relate to, which is a problem as the book was basically written from his point of view. I also found the other characters infuriatingly patronizing to the protagonist, which in turn felt like they were patronizing me. To be fair though, I've only managed to get through the first book. Maybe I'll change my mind whenever I get around to reading the rest of the series.(less)
Pawn of Prophecy by David EddingsMagician by Raymond E. FeistThe Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer BradleyDragons of Autumn Twilight by Margaret WeisQueen of Sorcery by David Eddings
Best Fantasy of the 80s
1st out of 239 books — 427 voters
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienThe Name of the Wind by Patrick RothfussThe Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienMagician by Raymond E. FeistThe Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
Best Heroic Fantasy
9th out of 539 books — 853 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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John Conrad
Jan 15, 2008 John Conrad rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone of any age who can read
Eddings has really created a beloved series of books that can be recommended to young and old alike. It is not deep or etremely thought provoking, it's just an enjoyable combination of adventure, humor, and fun. Garion, a naive farm boy, finds out that he is not ordinary at all. As he discovers his powers, he grows to adulthood through the ten books that comprise the Belgariad and the Mallorean. Critics might find some elements a bit formulaic, but few can deny that it is a fun series to read. ...more
Aug 19, 2010 Brad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
At Gordon Ramsey's Pétrus restaurant (1 Kinnerton Street / Knightsbridge, London / SW1X case you're interested), I can get a "Roasted beef fillet with braised shin, baked celeriac and Barolo sauce" for the reasonable price of 65.00 pounds.

I haven't tried that dish yet (I probably never will), but it sounds fabulous. What I have tried, though, is my Mom's "Roast beef, mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables." I still make it whenever my kids are in the mood, and it costs me about $15.00
Nov 09, 2014 Bookwraiths rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths Reviews

There is nothing I hate more than trying to review one of my all-time favorite books from my teenage years. We all know the reason: the book just never lives up to your memories of its perfection. A fact - which if we are honest with ourselves - is inevitable, because we personally have changed too much, the world has changed too much, and our tastes have changed too much since the initial reading. This is true to a certain extent with David Edding’s Pa
Aug 19, 2007 W.C. added it
Review here for the entire Belgariad.

I noticed that most of the reviewers give this a nostalgic loved-this-when-I-was-young rating. And they're right to do so. This is the perfect series of books for a young reader: clever enough to hold its own, exciting without being too graphic, and the youth don't notice just how bad the prose is.

I mean, it's hilariously bad. It's not that the Eddings machine can't write for beans; it's that the writing does all the hackneyed nasty cliched things that you're
Mike (the Paladin)
Okay, I see all the glowing reviews and all the 4 and 5 star ratings... sigh. Here I go again.

While I don't actually dislike this book I'm pretty far from liking it either. Mostly I struggled to stay awake and keep my mind on it. It starts out slow meanders around trying to find a plot in the midst of it's standard epic fantasy stereotypes and finishes telling me I should get the next book.

Not for now, thanks.

The book wants very badly to be a standout epic. I mentioned elsewhere that it felt
Apr 03, 2008 Phoebe rated it really liked it
This is a review of The Belgariad, a fantasy series that includes the books: Pawn of Prophecy, Queen of Sorcery, Magician's Gambit, Castle of Wizardry, and Enchanter's End Game.

Are the cares of life getting you down? Sky rocketing gas prices, financial and housing markets in ruins, high unemployment, an unending war sucking dry the country's coffers and recession looming on the horizon. Rather than resort to drink or despair, get away with some escapist fantasy! I read The Belgariad series when
I enjoyed the Belgariad books when I read them in high school, but looking at them now, there's a lot I can pick apart that I wouldn't have as a younger reader. And there was never a time, even as a younger reader, when I didn't want the character of Ce'Nedra to die a horrible death (edited to add: which is NOT a spoiler...before chewing me out in the comments, please read a bit more carefully. Wanting a character to be killed off is not the same as revealing whether they actually do die)
Jul 14, 2016 Jim rated it really liked it
My old review from 2008 still holds. This is the beginning of a fun, 5 book series. There is another 5 book series, the Mallorean, that comes after plus several additional books, "Polgara", 'Belgarath' & the 'Mrin Codex'. If you stick with the first 5 & maybe the second 5, you'll be happy. Unless this world totally captivates you, reading the 3 additional books is kind of a waste. While there are some tidbits you can pick up, mostly they're a rehash from different POV's of the other 10 ...more
Sep 27, 2009 Nathan rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Nobody
Recommended to Nathan by: Friends, Authors
Shelves: high-fantasy
When we're all looking for a good book to read, we usually look to our favourite authors and our best friends and trust their recommnendations as to what we should try next. Such as it was for me.
The Belgariad was suggested to me by just about everyone I knew who enjoyed fantasy, and a number of my favourite authors. Imagine my surprise when I start reading and keep waiting for the story's plot to begin, and it begins to dawn on me that no such relief will be arriving.
The problems I have with th
Crystal Starr Light
Bullet Review:

Give the girl a medal! She finished it!

What a fun ride - but gorrammit did Eddings HAVE to end it THAT WAY? We got some answers (thank Bilbo for that!) but dayum, it took awhile! And now, in order to get more answers and closure, I gotta find book 2!

Slightly Updated Bullet Review (More Coffee, Less Snoozes):

I had a LOT of fun reading this. It's pretty much your classic Hero's Journey story - a young boy with a MYSTERIOUS past sees all these crazy things going on. He joins his aunt-
Anthony Ryan
Dec 16, 2014 Anthony Ryan rated it it was amazing
The first volume in the five book Belgariad series, which I'll lhappily admit to reading and then rereading throughout my mid-teens. Farm boy Garion enjoys a peaceful childhood in the care of his loving and occasionally stern Aunt Pol until the arrival of assassins sees them both on the run and Garion increasingly aware that he's much more important than he could have imagined. This is where the classic 'chosen one' fantasy template gets going in earnest and it's rarely been done better. The ...more
Aug 24, 2007 Patricia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Harry Potter Fans
Shelves: adventure, fantasy
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SOME THINGS YOU MAY CONSIDER AS SPOILERS, though, I think they are just nuances because I'm not telling huge chunks of the story.

I like this book because I like Harry Potter, and they are very similar, but I’ll get to that later.

This is the first book in a series of five called The Belgariad, which chronicles the quest of a boy who learns he is a sorcerer. His parents were killed when he was a baby, and he lives with his aunt. Sound familiar? This book was published in 1982.
Nicolo Yu
Sep 22, 2011 Nicolo Yu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
This is the first of a series of books by David Eddings that comprises his epic Belgariad, the story of a young boy thrust into the eternal contest between two competing prophesies.

This is an important book if you follow Eddings’ work as he introduces themes here in this volume and the rest of the series that he continues and repeats in his other works. Eddings pens tales of Gods meddling in mortal lives and how the gods themselves are pawns in the greater scheme of the universe.

I found the book
Damian Dubois
Oct 16, 2013 Damian Dubois rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Pawn of Prophecy and the remaining four books that make up The Belgariad series are for me pure comfort reading, something that always manages to put a smile on my face and entertains me throughout.

Like many others I cut my fantasy teeth on David Eddings' Belgariad and Mallorean series, once in my early teens and then again in my early twenties. And it was during last week and in between books that I heard the siren song of Eddings once more and knew that I had to heed the call.

I have read other
May 23, 2007 Eric rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone, especially fantasy fans
Recommended to Eric by: Bob Egan
Shelves: fantasy, audiobooks
This is my favorite fantasy series of all time. I have read the Belgariad so many times, the characters Eddings created in it feel like old friends. And reading it never gets old.

To me, it is the pinnacle of contemporary epic fantasy. It is not only interesting characters and exciting adventure that made this so great, it was the believable interaction between the characters and the moments of humor sprinkled throughout the story.
I actually quite like stories of farmboys who turn out to be kings. I'd prefer farmgirls who turn out to be queens, but...I don't think I've ever read one. Anyway, I'm not bothered by cliches. Pawn of Prophecy was quite early in treading this ground anyway.

The plot itself isn't all that impressive: Someone steals a thing that can wake the Bad God. Two ancient sorcerors team up with a couple of competent people to hunt the thing down, and they bring the ward of one of the sorcerors along on the h
PoP is truly a lovely amalgam of Tolkien and T.H. White. When I read about the Orb of Aldur, I couldn’t help but think about Tolkien and the Silmarils of Fëanor, stolen by Melkor, and burning his hands. It parallels Torak’s theft of the Orb and it’s destruction of the left side of his body.

Reputedly, Eddings was inspired to write fantasy when he saw a copy of LOTR on sale and learned that it was on its 78th printing—he went home and started to renovate a previously drawn doodle of a map into a f
Jul 30, 2016 seak rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I realized I still hadn't reviewed this book since I rated it in 2008 (when I joined Goodreads) and read it some time before then.

The Belgariad is great starter-fantasy. it will always have a special place in my heart and thus the admittedly inflated rating. Does it break new ground? Not at all. Is it fun and filled with great characters? Yes and no. It's definitely great fun, but the characters are pretty much cardboard cutouts. If the author made them surly (I'm looking at you Belgarath) then
Aug 16, 2016 Suzan rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
The writing style is amazing, David Eddings is a master storyteller.
Lydia Presley
May 23, 2012 Lydia Presley rated it it was amazing
I love a good fantasy romp.

My brother-in-law has been after me to experience David Eddings' works and presented me with the first three books in The Belgariad series for Christmas last year. I was thrilled and apprehensive because, you see, I have this problem when it comes to fantasy - I get completely and totally sucked in.

That's not a bad thing, it's just fantasy has this ability to make me forget to eat, sleep, drink ... basically forget everything but reading. I walk around the house with
Leon Aldrich
While this series doesn't quite measure up to Magician: Apprentice, The Riddlemaster of Hed, or Lord Foul's Bane, still it should be one series on everyone's list to complete.

This will be my third go around with the Belgariad. I wanted a fresh perspective. And even though this series doesn't quite reach 4 stars, this author has a happy place in my heart.
Feb 10, 2012 Shelly rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
This was fun if a bit on the lighter side from what I was expecting. It had a bit of a young adult feel to me. That fine, I just was expecting more of a epic fantasy in the traditional sense. I still thought it had a good story and I really enjoyed all of the characters, though Garion, the main character, grated from time to time. However, I'll read on in the series as I enjoyed myself.
4.0 stars. Good beginning to solid Epic Fantasy series. The Belgariad is standard reading for fantasy buffs and it is certainly well done and enjoyable. My favorite aspect of the book are some of the supporting cast (Silk being my favorite of the bunch).
3.75 stars. This author gets lots of rave reviews and has a wealth of supporting info on the Web, so I thought I'd try this series. It's dubbed epic fantasy, similar to The Fellowship of the Ring, with a small mixed-race motley band — Belgarath (aka Mr. Wolf) and his daughter Aunt Pol (both are sorcerers), Garion the boy, Silk the spy, Barak the giant bear-man, and Durnik the blacksmith. They form ties of loyalty and trust as they travel all over creation, led by a gray-bearded old sorcerer, att ...more
Oct 07, 2015 MrsJoseph rated it liked it


I love this series something awful. I can't honestly tell you if you'd like it... I like it and Jeff has read this one, too. I think he liked a different series by this same author more than this particular one BUT he did like it and read the first..3 books in this series. Ask him what he thought, too.
Daniel Ionson
Sep 02, 2015 Daniel Ionson rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
Not great, sorry to say. The characters felt a bit cardboard-cutout-ish to me, and the "good guys" all felt overpowered and bullet-proof. The writing was not bad, but the story did nothing to grab my attention.
Will Collins
May 12, 2016 Will Collins rated it it was amazing
A fantastic book I read when I was very young, but still enjoyable today. I think this an excellent first fantasy book for young readers, or readers new to the fantasy genre. The book's name is great too.
Ariana Fae
Jun 29, 2016 Ariana Fae rated it it was amazing
This is a re-read, actually this time I listened to it on audio, of Pawn of Prophecy. I remember reading it when I was in my early 20’s and loving it. It was a fantasy world filled with legends, gods, heroes, sorcerers and something not seen often in main stream fantasy at the time—a sorceress. As I began the story of Garion, I wondered if it would still be as wonderful as I remembered it. It absolutely was! It was like coming back to your childhood home and reliving the good memories of family ...more
Aug 21, 2007 Naeem rated it really liked it
My 11 year old is a avid reader and rates books by David Eddings as his favorite. I wanted to see what he was reading. I thought one novel would do the trick. But I ended up reading the full 5 (the five are really one book).

Fantastic stuff. Different and similar to Pullman's Dark Matter series, Tolkien, and the Harry Potter stuff. Like Pullman, you get the sense that the author is working out something important. Like the Tolkien you are transported into a different world.

Maps are important.

Ivana Split
Jul 11, 2016 Ivana Split rated it liked it
Pawn of Prophecy is the first fantasy novel in The Belgariad ( i.e a fantasy epic consisting of five books) written by David Eddings. According to some sources, his wife had a significant part in writing it and could even be called a co-author. I didn’t know about that when I was reading the book, nor did I notice that there could be any co-authorship involved but having found about it, I do find that piece of information to be a pretty interesting one and that’s why I’m sharing it. If you ...more
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David Eddings was an American author who wrote several best-selling series of epic fantasy novels. David Eddings' wife, Leigh Eddings, was an uncredited co-author on many of his early books, but he had later acknowledged that she contributed to them all.

David Eddings' first books (which were general fiction) sold moderately well. He later switched to writing epic fantasy, a field in which he achie
More about David Eddings...

Other Books in the Series

The Belgariad (5 books)
  • Queen of Sorcery (The Belgariad, #2)
  • Magician's Gambit (The Belgariad, #3)
  • Castle of Wizardry (The Belgariad, #4)
  • Enchanters' End Game (The Belgariad, #5)

Share This Book

“We're living in momentous times, Garion. The events of a thousand years and more have all focused on these very days. The world, I'm told, is like that. Centuries pass when nothing happens, and then in a few short years events of such tremendous importance take place that the world is never the same again."
I think that if I had my choice, I'd prefer one of those quiet centuries," Garion said glumly.
Oh, no," Silk said, his lips drawing back in a ferretlike grin. "Now's the time to be alive - to see it all happen, to be a part of it. That makes the blood race, and each breath is an adventure.”
“Could you penetrate this palace, Prince Kheldar?" King Anheg challenged.
"I already have, your Majesty," Silk said modestly, "a dozen times or more."
Anheg looked at Rhodar with one raised eyebrow.
Rhodar coughed slightly. "It was some time ago, Anheg. Nothing serious. I was just curious about something, that's all."
"All you had to do was ask," Anheg said in a slightly injured tone.
"I didn't want to bother you," Rhodar said with a shrug. "Besides, it's more fun to do it the other way.”
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