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The Rivan Codex: Ancient Texts of the Belgariad and the Malloreon
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The Rivan Codex: Ancient Texts of the Belgariad and the Malloreon (Belgariad Universe #13)

3.52  ·  Rating Details ·  5,216 Ratings  ·  72 Reviews
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 re
Paperback, 480 pages
Published November 2nd 1999 by Del Rey Books (first published 1998)
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Jul 22, 2008 Judine rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, fantasy
I find it impressive that they wrote this 460+ page book just to prepare for writing 10 others. As a fan of the original Belgariad and Mallorean, as well as both Polgara the Sorceress and Belgarath the Sorcerer, this "how to" process provided more insight than I initially expected. I found much of it fascinating, but think they could have pared down things like currency for the sake of publishing. Otherwise, a good read.
Jason Griffith
Apr 03, 2008 Jason Griffith rated it liked it
Shelves: have-read
Allow me to point out that this book is definitely not one to be read from start to finish. It's not that kind of book.

This is the book that you read when you want to gain a full understanding of everything concerning the world and its history. This is where you turn for religious teachings, for currency names and exchange rates.

If anyone ever decided that they wanted to make a game or a movie based on these books, then this is definitely the place that you want to look to get the specific inf
Feb 16, 2009 Sheila rated it really liked it
Recommended to Sheila by: Shannon Lane
My considered opinion is that David Eddings is a little bit of a dick (and a little bit of a misogynist too, although I think he tries). I've been working with that theory since about Belgarath the Sorceror, and this book proved me right.

That said, he's got some good insights on writing, especially writing fantasy (he worldbuilds first, starts the story second), and seeing the origin of all his stories, with notes about the changes he made, makes me want to go reread both the Belgariad and the M
Jan 07, 2009 Rebecca rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
Almost a guide to writing fantasy. It contains the notes which provided the details from which sprung both the Belgariad and Mallorean series. Interesting for readers of both series, especially to see where he made changes and how to go about writing a fantasy novel. Warning: IT ISNT A NOVEL ITSELF!
Jeremy Preacher
The Rivan Codex is actually quite entertaining, for what it is - a collection of notes and reference materials used in the creation of the Garion books, bookended by Eddings's firmly-stated opinions about how to go about writing a fantasy series. This was pure 'nip to me when I was a teenager - I am fascinated by the process of worldbuilding, and while large chunks of this are fairly dry, they're interesting, at least to me. (And the bits that aren't purely notes are largely written in the more ...more
Ben Babcock
Dec 29, 2008 Ben Babcock rated it it was ok
As a fantasy writer, I was fascinated to learn how one of the fantasy genre's most successful writers planned out his novels. I was well aware that Eddings was a formulaic writer, but it was interesting nonetheless to hear about his past in addition to reading the sheer amount of extra material he compiled in order to write The Belgariad.

While interesting, it is all academic, and obviously out of context to anyone who hasn't read The Belgariad or The Malloreon. For those who have, you'll only li
Aug 17, 2011 Kirstie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: high-fantasy
I remember reading this book over a decade ago and learning for the first time that authors did not always start out glamourously. Not that it deterred me. It did however tell me to write fantasy in a formulaic fashion. I always used to feel terrible that the story ideas I had didn't come out very similar to his formula, which I now understand as a good thing.
Jan 23, 2014 Vilde rated it liked it
The most startling thing about this was actually how much the voice changed from Eddings writing his forewords/afterwords to the actual content og the ancient texts. Otherwise, it was an informative read about the world of the Belgariad and the Malloreon; a lot of background information that was somewhat interesting.
Jan 07, 2010 Nathan rated it liked it
This is actually a compilation of the hundreds and hundreds of pages of pre-novel work that Eddings put into his world and it's people. It reads kinda like an encyclopedia. Fun, but not necessary to the story.
Adrienne Kern McClintock
Jun 10, 2011 Adrienne Kern McClintock rated it it was amazing
I love any book that includes the original ideas, short stories, and how the characters went from their beginnings to their current form. I love when the writer talks about their deals, contracts, and research.
Dale Noble
Jan 30, 2017 Dale Noble rated it liked it
For an avid reader of expanded lore, this book provides nice coverage into the world of he Belgariad and the Malloreon. The book itself consists of literary and religious texts from this world to provide a well-rounded summary of the history, geography and peoples of the world. I particularly enjoyed the format in which this book is written as a number of varying accounts from the world itself illustrate how the world functions whilst simultaneously allowing the reader to explore the mindset of ...more
Nov 29, 2010 Rob rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
I have been a fan of David Eddings ever since I read Pawn of Prophecy 20 years ago. I know that his books are derivative, repetitive, and obvious, but even with all this they are enjoyable and fun to read, rather easy and light.

I have over the years added all the books from the Belgariad and Malloreon to my bookshelves at home. When I recently came across "The Rivan Codex" I wondered why I had never added this book, or even read it. I did recall seeing it in the book store when it was first publ
Jasmine Woods
Oct 30, 2012 Jasmine Woods rated it liked it
There are two reasons you'd think of read the Rivan Codex. The first is if you're a fan of the Belgariad (well, or the Malloreon, but they're much of a muchness) If this is the case you'll find plenty to love here. The rich detail Eddings put into creating how his world is admirable whilst the greatest enjoyment comes from seeing how his characters sprang up from his preliminary research. Despite this, even the most hard core fan might get bogged down somewhere between the Battle of Vo Mimbre an ...more
Feb 12, 2012 'chrys rated it liked it
Recommends it for: "the collector/completionist"
I both loved, and hated this book.

I hated it because it wasn't actually a new 'story' and it wasn't really what the title suggested it would be to a fan of the two series. It wasn't bad though. It was interesting but it definitely was not a page turner. I read it slowly, over the course of several weeks where I typically devoured new Eddings novels in a single sitting. I reread the entire Belgariad and Malloreon while reading it and cross referenced between the novels and the 'text book' as I t
Jul 28, 2012 Darth rated it it was ok
Maybe I wasnt a big enough fan of the Belgariad and Mallorean to get as much out of this as I could have, but this was only of middling enjoyability to read.

It could be that almost everything in it, I had read before. Much of it repeatedly. It could be that the changing point of view or voice made much of it hard to swallow - for example - one ninute the voice of the book is telling us about creating the large sweeping back story, and the next minute the voice of the book is decrying the events
Jun 05, 2012 Tanys rated it it was ok
I bought this book as it was the last of the books pertaining to the Belgariad and the Mallorean that I had not read yet. I must say that even though I knew that it was going to be a collection of the ancient texts that were refered to time and time again in the novels, I was a bit dissapointed. I found the book on a whole hard to read, and found myself scanning the pages rather than reading them in order to get it finished.
The best part of it was at the beginning where the author is talking a
Nov 01, 2009 Steve rated it did not like it
don't buy this...a repackaging of the previous works. Pisses me off since I wasted $6 of my cash back when I earned about a $100 a month..

As a follow up...I read this "book" around 1999. I woke up twice this week (2012) dreaming about how much this slop pissed me off. So...that should tell you something. One, that I need to get over it; Two, That I really, really, really hate repackaging just to garner idiots (fans?) like me into more sales. Its deceitful and dishonest. Authors should take a nic
Jan 30, 2009 Keith rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
This is clearly targeted to those who totally geek-out on Eddings. It is mostly a compilation of the background material compiled to give his world some depth, and in this way it is similar to much of what Christopher Tolkien has published out of his father's source materials.

So, if you are an obsessive completist (hello), or like reading early drafts and tedious background detail, or are considering the colossal mistake of creating your own fantasy world, then this book might be for you. And if
Huw Evans
Aug 22, 2011 Huw Evans rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy, recycle
If I was a truly cynical man I would be tempted to think that this is the literary equivalent of milking the cow to death. Have given us the magical Belgariad, Elenium,(the Mallorean and Tamuli too) and the tepid backfillers of Polgara's and Belgarath's stories (the first admission of Leigh as co-writer and, possibly, the first retrograde step), this was backfilling to the point of absurdity and beyond the point of my tolerance. It removed any sense of the power of my imagination about the world ...more
David and Leighs "How to write formula and make money" book. Basically their justification for re-using the same tired old plots and characthers that while quite entertaining the first 10 times around are now just irritating. A few helpfull writing tips but over all I found it to be simple self-promoting and not a very enjoyable read. From an author who is starting to make a habit of endings that invalidate all the writing that he has done so far to get there. Leaving you wondering why you even ...more
Louis Carvalho
Feb 26, 2013 Louis Carvalho rated it it was amazing
This book gave a phenomenal look into the creative process behind the saga. Mr. Eddings goes into great detail on his world-building. Countries, rulers, caste systems, economics, clothing styles, imports and exports... You really see how he made the world of the Belgariad and the Mallorean come alive. It was easy because he gave life to the setting before he told a story within it. Brilliant and extremely useful for world-builders.
Jamie Maltman
Mar 25, 2014 Jamie Maltman rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I found this book on a cruise ship more than a decade after reading four series by Eddings. I found his process fascinating, and reading about it rekindled the world-building part of my mind, starting me on the path to finally publish my own fantasy books.

So thank you late David Eddings for the enjoyment of your books as a teen, and thank you for the inspiration as an adult.

Was the book that necessary for a fan of his world? More for the behind the scenes than for learning anything new.
Aug 15, 2010 Lori rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, series, fiction
While openly written as a formulaic fantasy, the author(s) [David later credited his wife, Leigh, as being a co-writer for the series] still manage to make a compelling tale filled with vivacious characters who are interesting to follow wherever they will take you. This novel pulls together the Eddings' notes into a cohesive whole, showing where their famous series came from, both from the development of the different religions to the different races and areas.
Nov 24, 2013 Blysse rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Revisiting some old dear friends with a re-read of this.

Understanding Edding's process for worldbuilding and dipping into the texts referenced in the main series is a nice addition to the series.

My favorite were the diary entries of Anheg of Cherek. He really is a delightfully gossipy old so-and-so.
Dec 25, 2010 Tracy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you have read "The Belgarion" and "The Mallorean" series of fantasy books, you will enjoy this book. If not, don't bother. This is a collection of the background pieces that David Eddings wrote in preparation for writing his epic adventures. Very pleasant trip through the Holy Books of the gods, the Tolnedran histories and the Mallorean Gospels.
Ann Thomas
Aug 01, 2012 Ann Thomas rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Supposed to be vital documents covering the same period as the books in the Belgariad set and the Mallorean set. But very bitty and boring. Probably only suitable for die-hard fans. Didn't get very far and gave up.
Jefferson Coombs
Mar 29, 2016 Jefferson Coombs rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I really enjoyed the beginning of this book where he explains how he came up with ideas and his strategy of writing the Belgariad. The actual writings that are in here are really not stories but a collection of information that he relied on to make the series work.
Nov 11, 2008 Ziburan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-fantasy
Ik vond dit boek niet echt bijster interessant om te lezen.
Het is een soort making-of en Eddings klinkt nogal alwetend en arrogant.
Je kunt het als wannabe schrijver beter opgeven om een boek te schrijven, en meer van dat soort geneuzel.
Boulder Boulderson
I'm not sure what the point of this book is really, other than being a cash-in. Anyone who is interested enough to read it, has already read the final versions of most of the material in the book, which makes the whole thing rather pointless.
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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

Belgariad Universe (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Belgarath the Sorcerer
  • Polgara the Sorceress (Malloreon)
  • Pawn of Prophecy (The Belgariad, #1)
  • Queen of Sorcery (The Belgariad, #2)
  • Magician's Gambit (The Belgariad, #3)
  • Castle of Wizardry (The Belgariad, #4)
  • Enchanters' End Game (The Belgariad, #5)
  • Guardians of the West (The Malloreon, #1)
  • King of the Murgos (The Malloreon, #2)
  • Demon Lord of Karanda (The Malloreon, #3)

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“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.)”
“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.” 11 likes
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