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'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. For me, it was my first introduction to fantasy after Tolkien, and it was very refreshing. It was written in the 1980's when there wasn't much new stuff around. We had Anne McCaffrey and her dragons, and Terry Brooks came along. I guess there was Ursula LeGuin and CS Lewis as well to fall back on, but Eddings really put together a compelling story with memorable dialogue that my wife and I frequently quote from.
I think many of the reviews of the Belgariad are too harsh. This is a book that you can hand to your kids without worrying what strange ideas they might pick up. Somebody reviewed the books as xenophobic. What rubbish! If you create a country like Cthol Murgos where the people have an evil ruler who promotes cruelty, or a country like Nyissa who are constantly in fear of being poisoned and have strange mannerisms that imitate their snake god is that xenophobic? No, it's doing what every author needs to do. They create a world that we can escape into and people that we can relate to. If you have to superimpose our world onto the canvas of the Belgariad you're looking too deeply. Eddings writings are not social commentary or overly symbolic. It's not CS Lewis or George Orwell. It's about having fun! Sorry for the tirade, but I get bugged by reviewers who are so full of themselves that they can't admit a book is a good read because someone might think of them as juvenile or unsophisticated!...more
**spoiler alert** This was a really well-written sequel that answered most of the questions from the last two. I enjoyed seeing Seth grow up a little**spoiler alert** This was a really well-written sequel that answered most of the questions from the last two. I enjoyed seeing Seth grow up a little bit, and Kendra's new relationship should be interesting for the future. I thought that death was treated pretty casually, especially the first one. I had to read back and confirm that the character had really died because it happened so quickly and without much comment. My favorite sequence has to be the Haunted Mesa with all its twists and turns, but is wrapped up quite neatly at the end as well. I had reserved judgement on the Sphynx thinking there might have been some cool excuse for his behavior, but was a little disappointed to find the truth confirmed. I hope we get more of an explanation in the next book as to why he chose the path he did. Is he just a flat "bad guy" or is there some combination of good and bad, or reasons he chose the bad side.
Overall this was a very good read, and enjoyable from start to finish. If I seem to be picking out flaws, it's because I'm actually trying to be a more critical reader. After all, if every book gets five stars, where's the room for improvement? I want goodreads to put in half stars so I can be more precise in my ratings. This was a good solid 4 stars, however, and, in my opinion good for readers at many levels. It might be above the heads of a few beginners, but it should be okay for ages 10 and up, though they might struggle a little with the vocabulary....more
I think this is the best of the series so far. It is very suspenseful and enjoyable to read. A new character, a trader girl enters the scene named SnoI think this is the best of the series so far. It is very suspenseful and enjoyable to read. A new character, a trader girl enters the scene named Snorri. She is a nice addition to the growing list of protagonists, and Nicko takes a liking to her (possibly because of their mutual fascination with boats). Also, a new villian, Queen Etheldredda enters the scene. She drags Septimus and a few others that follow him 500 years into the past and traps them there. Now they need to get back to their time and somehow stop Etheldredda from taking over the kingdom (Queendom?) Dom Daniel is absent, and Simon is only spoken about, so we will have to wait until the next book to hook up with Simon again. I like the family situation as it reminds me of my own, with the kids growing up, they each choose different paths, not all good, but still with strong family ties despite minimal contact and always having faith in each other....more
I read this book and its sequel as a 12-year old and enjoyed it immensely. I quickly went to the library and devoured all the rest of Key's novels whiI read this book and its sequel as a 12-year old and enjoyed it immensely. I quickly went to the library and devoured all the rest of Key's novels which are all too few, and some are hard to find. Key's novels focus on young people who have special abilities and who are from other worlds. The theme is obvious, that people of this world can be cruel to outsiders or anyone who is different, but there are also a few who will help and accept you if you search for them. As a kid who was sometimes bullied, this theme was particularly apt for me in my teenage years. I identified with Tony and Tia in their search for people who would help and accept them for who they were, not fear or hate them for being different.
If you are looking for more like this, the forgotten door is available, and sometimes you can find the magic meadow as well....more
These books are fun and easy to read. Flanagan wrote them for his 12 year old son, who is now in his twenties. A young orphan boy named Will comes ofThese books are fun and easy to read. Flanagan wrote them for his 12 year old son, who is now in his twenties. A young orphan boy named Will comes of age and is apprenticed to a King's ranger, or in medieval times, a scout, tracker, and bowman who helps defend the kingdom from its evil enemy Morgarath. There is excellent adventure, humor, and a touch of romance. ...more
I just saw a book category on someone's shelf named "Books that made me cry". I immediately thought of this book from my childhood and the many timesI just saw a book category on someone's shelf named "Books that made me cry". I immediately thought of this book from my childhood and the many times I enjoyed crying over this short but touching book. Not being an expert on grief, I'm not sure if the author dealt with the topic in a clinically accepted way. To this day, I have never experienced prolonged grief at the loss of a friend or loved one. However, I think that somewhere deep in my psyche this book has become part of the way I deal with loss because I read it at such a young age. I do recommend the book for the younger set. Maybe older people will like it too, but even back when I read it at the tender age of 10, it only took an hour or so to read....more
This fictional account of the Cherokee forced migration which came to be known as the Trail of Tears, is a story of a young Cherokee boy in 1838 who eThis fictional account of the Cherokee forced migration which came to be known as the Trail of Tears, is a story of a young Cherokee boy in 1838 who escapes the migration and journeys back five hundred miles with his family and many people relying on him to find their secret place of refuge from the white man.
I think Key is successful in creating a memorable story and characters that young people can relate to. Much like his well-known Escape to Witch Mountain, Key shows there will always be good and evil people in the world. The young Cherokee boy finds that although the Army captain who is carrying out the forced migration is evil and uncaring, other whites who help him along the way show him that not all the white men are bad.
Key is very successful at creating stories about young people who are resourceful and courageous. ...more
I have loved this book since my childhood, and now I read it to my kids and they love it also. After reading it I packed my bag, but never ran away frI have loved this book since my childhood, and now I read it to my kids and they love it also. After reading it I packed my bag, but never ran away from home. It is fun to read, and gives kids an idea of what it might be like to survive in the wild on their own. It is a very empowering book for young people, letting them know that they have the ability to accomplish bigger things than they had imagined.
I found out that George wrote two sequels, but neither has quite the charm of the original....more
This is an excellent new fantasy series for young or old readers. I like the pace and action of this story. There are some things you might think areThis is an excellent new fantasy series for young or old readers. I like the pace and action of this story. There are some things you might think are like Harry Potter, but enough differences not to sound like a copycat. The second book Flyte was equally enjoyable....more