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Castle of Wizardry by David Eddings
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's review
Jul 14, 10

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bookshelves: scifi-fantasy
Read in July, 2010

** spoiler alert ** Book 4 of the Belgariad, I must admit, is a slog. We start off with a bit of action as Garion & friends escape from Cthul Murgos and back to the west. About halfway through the book comes the moment we've all been waiting for since the prologue of book 1: Garion is crowned the Rivan King. After that, unfortunately, the book slows way down as Garion has to deal with Politics (tm) and come to terms with life as a king.

About two-thirds of the way through, Garion secretly escapes from Riva with his "grandfather" Belgarath and everybody's favourite spy Silk (probably the most entertaining character in the series). They're off to Mallorea so that Garion can face the god Torak in one-on-one battle and decide the fate of the world. They travel for a bit, but nowhere more interesting than the swamps of Drasnia. (I can just hear Eddings now: "Look, it's another country I invented! Isn't it neat? Don't you like the little animals I created? Aren't they clever?")

With our main point-of-view character gone, the last 75 pages of the book are told from the perspective of Princess Ce'Nedra, Garion's betrothed. At first, those slog too, as Ce'Nedra must also deal with Politics (tm). There's a bit of a bright point at the end as Ce'Nedra -- helped by the usual cast of characters, who don't have anything better to do now that Garion's gone -- musters an army. She's off to fight a hopeless battle against the evil Asharaks to give Garion time to kill Torak.

If Book 1 felt like an extended prologue, book 4 feels like a capstone to the first three books and a setup to book 5. It doesn't really have much of a story in-and-of itself. Here's hoping that book 5 will give us a decent climax, because otherwise book 4 will have been mostly wasted.
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Scott Marley well said

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