Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Magician's Gambit (The Belgariad, #3)” as Want to Read:
Magician's Gambit (The Belgariad, #3)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Magician's Gambit (The Belgariad #3)

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  72,487 Ratings  ·  649 Reviews
Ce'Nedra, Imperial Princess of Tolnedra, is confused. Everyone knows the tales of the Orb protecting the West from the evil god Torak are just silly legends. But here she is, forced to join a dangerous quest to recover that stolen Orb. No one believes in sorcery, but Garion's aunt and grandfather seem to be the fabled sorcerers Polgara and Belgarath, who would have to be t ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 305 pages
Published February 12th 1986 by Del Rey Books (first published June 1983)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Magician's Gambit, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Jessica You will be missing a lot of character growth and story progression. Each book picks up right after the last page of the previous one, so I'd caution…moreYou will be missing a lot of character growth and story progression. Each book picks up right after the last page of the previous one, so I'd caution against starting with #3. (less)
Vern Wilder yes, book #3 of the Belgariad 3 of five in the series
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Oct 03, 2007 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: a comfort read: predictable, but entertaining
Shelves: fantasy, fiction
Somewhere in the middle of book three is when I start to wonder: does anyone out there actually read a standard heroic journey myth with most of their attention on the main character? After all, one knows exactly what's in store for Garion. It's hardly a spoiler if I tell you he's going to tromp in and out of every kingdom on the continent before heading off to fight the final battle.

No, it's not the hero who's the key player in the heroic journey. The real action's off on the sidelines, where y
I would rate this installment of the Belgariad at 3.5 stars.

The pace has picked up from the first two books and things are moving along quite well. Belgarath and Polgara have actually started to give Garion some information (which would have been more useful to him earlier, truth be told). But, better late than never, and his sorcerer training has finally begun.

One writing tic that Eddings displays—Belgarath scratches his beard about every second page! The poor old sorcerer either has anxiety is
Dec 19, 2007 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I flew through this & enjoyed every minute. A few more characters are added, a couple are subtracted. They really needed to be & I enjoyed those moments immensely. Eddings might not write horses as well as some authors, but he occasionally pays attention to them, which is nice. They're not just cars with hooves, although I certainly wish we could clear up our lameness issues as fast as he can!

On to the next!
Jane Jago
Feb 15, 2017 Jane Jago rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review will come after book five
C.E. Murphy
Feb 17, 2013 C.E. Murphy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I had forgotten there were scenes and sections in MAGICIAN'S GAMBIT that were entirely from Ce'Nedra's point of view. I knew there were in CASTLE OF WIZARDRY, but I had no recollection of it in MG.

This endears the book(s) to me as an adult even more than as a teen. I was not one of those female readers who as a child felt left out because all the stories were about boys and I wasn't a boy so therefore couldn't relate. Yes, well, there wasn't a magical passageway in my closet that led to Narnia,
Dec 17, 2011 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, epic-fantasy
The Belgariad has been beloved by me since I was a kid, but having read many more books of as many genres and authors since then, I've realized that Mr. Eddings authorship leaves much to be desired. I still love the story, characters, mythology, and magic, but there are a number of glaring problems. Mr. Eddings omits tactical and practical details. If it really takes Garion and friends weeks and months to travel around, then why don't Polgara and Belgarath use the time to teach Garion about sorc ...more
1. Too many allusions to facts unknown to the reader. I understand that it should all come together in the finally book, but I will forget most of these details by the time I get there.
2. The skill of magic comes to Garion way too easy. Belgarath and Aunt Pol constantly walk around with their mouths agape at how amazing this guys is.
3. The ending was too much of Deus ex machina for my liking.
4. Not bad, but not great. I still have hope that in the end I will have an Aha! moment
3.5 stars. Another good installment in the Belgariad. The plot continues to move forward at a nice clip without much slowing.

One final note: I listened to the audiobook narrated by Cameron Beierle and he did an excellent job with the series.
Nicolo Yu
Oct 10, 2011 Nicolo Yu rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
If there is one thing that I like about David Eddings’ fantasy work, its his ability to add humor to the mix. It is almost his signature, and none of his characters personify that more than the quick wit and dry humor of the weasel faced Drasnian spy and thief, and occasional businessman Silk. He is probably the most important non-lead character and has the most interactions with the three leads of the Belgariad so far. He gets the best lines and his sarcastic wit gets under the skin of Belgarat ...more
Katarina Vujicic
Sve manje mi se sviđa ovaj serijal. Stalno očekujem nešto da se desi, neki preokret, ali ništa. Nastavlja kao i dve prethodne knjige, niti se poboljšava niti pogoršava. Družina putuje iz zemlje u zemlju, sve im polazi za rukom, svaki plan koji smisle se ostvari. Vrlo retko mi se desi da mi je potpuno svejedno šta će se desiti likovima, kao što je slučaj sa ovom knjigom. Samo jedan lik mi s vremena na vreme izvuče situaciju. I taman kad se desi nešto uzbudljivo (doduše u ovoj knjizi se desilo jed ...more
Jun 14, 2009 Hannah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites, fantasy
If possible, even better than the first two books in the series. Things are speeding up, now that Garion's gotten past the initial shock and denial, and it's fascinating as the party of travellers grow to include some more crucial (and extremely fun) new characters. The only downside is Ce'Nedra, who is an absolute pain, but even she can be charming when she wishes to be. It's exciting to watch as Garion begins to realize his talent and potential.
3.5 stars. Another good installment in the Belgariad. The plot continues to move forward at a nice clip without much slowing.

One final note: I listened to the audiobook narrated by Cameron Beierle and he did an excellent job with the series.
David Sarkies
Jun 29, 2012 David Sarkies rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy freaks
Recommended to David by: My Auntie
Shelves: fantasy
The tour continues
29 Jun 2012

This is the third book in the series and in this one Garion and his companions continue with their tour of the continent, visiting each of the kingdoms and learning about them and their god. In this book we are also introduced to the woman that will become Garion's lover: the imperial princess Ce'Nedra.

It is interesting some of the comments that are made of this book because in a way it seems to be the book where things begin to come to a head, with Silk and his ne
Aug 28, 2012 Patrick rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-not-ya
Ho hum. They travel lots of places, have adventures, meet lots of people. Some are more interesting than others, but all individuals and races have one strong, defining characteristic that will be repeated every time they are mentioned: rat-faced, fanatic, bear like, etc. The worst is the girl they meet whose "lush" beauty is seriously mentioned over a dozen times. That word just seems an annoying euphemism for sexy.

Anyway, the ending was dumb too. The bad magician guy got so scared that he did
Jul 05, 2009 James rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People struggling to get through The Belgariad
This was the weakest of the Belgariad books so far. Most of the book seemed like a rambling Dungeons and Dragons game filled with random encounters and new, made-up monsters described on the spot and forgotten about just as quickly. There was a smattering of character development, the introduction of a few new party members, and a short but satisfying showdown.

I'm not really sure why the book was titled Magician's Gambit. There wasn't much of a gambit at all. Perhaps David Eddings should have n
Oct 04, 2009 Jak rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Endings was my first foray into High Fantasy which would probably explain why none of the clichés riled me. I’ve now read plenty of stories about nameless orphans etc who turn out to be the missing bloodline to the throne who then go on to battle unimaginable (except that of many a fantasy writer) evil to save the world.

Personally I absolutely loved the Belgariad series of books and found them to be enthralling and exciting. In particular I loved the characters and thought them to be some of th
Mar 01, 2009 H rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Once more I feel the need to ask, "Is Garion an idiot? How can he possibly have no clue about who he is and what his mission will be?" I mean, for goodness' sake. That's my only real complaint, though. Also, since Eddings doesn't really do emotions at all, I got kind of irritated with Ce'Nedra and her random outbursts of crying or whatever, because I was like, why the heck are you crying? But they're fun, fun books to read, and I really like the characters. I feel like Eddings did a good job in ...more
Nov 27, 2015 Tyson rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Garion finally starts to learn more about his powers and destiny (which should have happened in book one, not halfway through the series). Events do start to pick up a bit in this entry (for any reader who hasn't already completely lost interest), although there's still a glaring lack of meaningful character development going on.
Jan 14, 2013 Christopher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alan Warenski
So bored. I don't know if I have it in me to finish the series.
Martin Belcher
Apr 09, 2017 Martin Belcher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Belgariad fantasy series just gets better and better. Book three Magician's Gambit sees our band of unlikely heroes escape the danger in Nyissa to face an even more dangerous realm of Maragor - home of the dead.
Escaping with their lives and minds intact they push on forwards to the Vale of Aldur and then to the strange land of Ulgo, where they find a city beneath the ground. Now accompanied and aided by a clever sorcerer Relig our band makes it to Cthol Murgos to face evil and a showdown wit
Bradley Prior
Oct 30, 2016 Bradley Prior rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 01, 2015 Izzy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Haven't gotten around to writing a review yet so I'll do it now, looking back on the last three books in general.
It's a great series all in all, the first book got me hooked immediately. I loved following Garion's story, so much that I'd finished the first book without really noticing. I was literally staring at my Kindle screen as it said "You've finished the first book" and I was like, no way!
The second one was good as well, although it had more flaws than the first one. I disliked both Belga
Susan Murdoch
Apr 23, 2017 Susan Murdoch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
I do enjoy this series of books more than just about anything except maybe Anne McCaffery. I've read them through multiple times but spaced out just enough to truly enjoy the humor with a fresh eye.

How I wish these could be movies yet maybe they're too complex.
***Dave Hill
Feb 17, 2014 ***Dave Hill rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: text
Our Travelogue of Eddingsworld Continues ...

Yes, when each part of the book requires a new map that's centered on a new country that feels like a patch in a patchwork quilt, there's something a little wrong with the worldbuilding.

That said, the story proceeds apace, with the annoying addition of regular PoV's from annoying Princess Ce'Nedra. Garion's still callow and sincere and troubled and dense as a doorpost in so many ways. The various iconic heroes (literally iconic, as they all hold tarot-
Suzanne (Under the Covers Book blog)
Colour me lazy but I decided not to do a review for Queen of Sorcery ahisnd thought I would combine the two in this revihw, I think the main reason is, is that this series more then most feels like one big book that has been split up in to five managable segments, I find after a while I am hazy over one book ends and another begins, so I figured that the midway point would be a good place to stop and reflect.

The adventure mounts as you continue on the series and as Garion learns more about quest
Kirsty (Amethyst Bookwyrm)
This and my other reviews can be found at

With the Orb now in Cthol Murgos, the group go to the Vale of Aldur so that Garion can learn more about sorcery from Belgarath and Pol and to talk to Aldur. However, the group has to still retrieve the Orb which will mean travelling into enemy territory. With people both leaving and joining the travellers, they may not all survive and if they do they will not be the same. With the prophecies starting to come true wi
When I first started the series, I found myself wondering why I was reading it. I'm so glad I decided to continue reading the series. I think the books are a great length for fantasy as they aren't nearly as daunting in size as some *cough* The Eye of the World *cough* A Game of Thrones *cough* While those books and series are all wonderful, they're long and I know that's off-putting to a lot of people who want to read but don't really want to read long things (if that makes sense).

The series i
Gabriel C.
Jun 07, 2012 Gabriel C. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy, 2012
Have I talked at all about what they are about? It's a tedious, obvious prophecy slowly winding its way toward completion. An intolerable boy, who, surprise, surprise, doesn't understand girls, or humans, or anything, a bunch of princes and stuff, lots of noblesse oblige, good and evil, pomp and circumstance, all of the wise characters are total assholes, all the good guys are obsessed with murder and stealing but it's okay because it's only bad guys that they do it to, human concern lasts only ...more
May 01, 2009 Kerry marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, audiobooks
I’ve nothing bad to say about this book; I just didn’t feel like continuing. The narrator has been annoying me ever since I started listening to Pawn of Prophecy and once Ce’Nedra stayed at Prolgu and I had to listen to Relg ranting at Garion, rather than Ce’Nedra and Garion squabbling, I found I’d simply had enough. It was all travel, the occasional fight and more travel, and it was getting rather boring. I know the story picks up, and if I continued I’m sure I would have started enjoying it ag ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Marriage *spoilers* 14 82 Jan 25, 2015 01:47AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Magician's Gambit 3 20 Jan 23, 2015 05:37PM  
The Nerd Herd: Magician's Gambit 1 5 Feb 22, 2014 01:46PM  
  • The Dragon Revenant (Deverry, #4)
  • Rise of a Merchant Prince (The Serpentwar Saga, #2)
  • Saint Camber (The Legends of Camber of Culdi, #2)
  • The Hand of Chaos (The Death Gate Cycle, #5)
  • To Green Angel Tower (Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, #3)
  • Skybowl (Dragon Star, #3)
  • A Man Rides Through (Mordant's Need, #2)
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)
  • Pawn of Prophecy (The Belgariad, #1)
  • Queen of Sorcery (The Belgariad, #2)
  • Castle of Wizardry (The Belgariad, #4)
  • Enchanters' End Game (The Belgariad, #5)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“What was that?" Belgarath asked, coming back around the corner.
"Brill," Silk replied blandly, pulling his Murgo robe back on.
"Again?" Belgarath demanded with exasperation. "What was he doing this time?"
"Trying to fly, last time I saw him." Silk smirked.
The old man looked puzzled.
"He wasn't doing it very well," Silk added.
Belgarath shrugged. "Maybe it'll come to him in time."
"He doesn't really have all that much time." Silk glanced out over the edge.
"From far below - terribly far below - there came a faint, muffled crash; then, after several seconds, another. "Does bouncing count?" Silk asked.
Belgarath made a wry face. "Not really."
"Then I'd say he didn't learn in time." Silk said blithely.”
“As soon as a friendship passed a certain point - some obscure and secret boundary - a woman quite automatically became overwhelmed by a raging compulsion to complicate things.” 18 likes
More quotes…