Sally's Reviews > The Belgariad, Vol. 1: Pawn of Prophecy / Queen of Sorcery / Magician's Gambit

The Belgariad, Vol. 1 by David Eddings
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's review
Apr 11, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: audiobooks, re-reads
Read in April, 2011

Concerning the whole Belgariad series of 5 books (and the following, related 5-book Mallorean series) I have a few general comments. In the early 1980's I read aloud all of the Belgariad books to my daughters. We all enjoyed them then, and one daughter has recently started reading them again as an adult. Because she is enjoying the re-read, I have been curious about hearing the story again myself.

Although I do read books that I hold in my hand as hard copies, I include books on my Goodreads list that I listen to as unabridged audiobooks. This allows me to enjoy many more books by "hearing" stories in times when I can not sit down with book in hand, such as when driving, shoveling snow, or doing yard work. Although I do have an Audible account and many, many Audible books that I have purchased, I recently discovered that many libraries have electronic media books that you can check out via computer using your library card. Those come in varying formats that you can download as PDF books, other digital text, or audiobooks that will play on iPod, iPad, iTunes or other mp3 players. I am LISTENING to the Belgariad.

Since this is a 5-book series, I should alert readers that you'll want to plan to get all 5 books to complete the story. They will bring you many hours of pleasure and are well worth it, in my opinion. Each one has a lot of action, and some new characters, but all of them bring us a core group of characters and center around the young man, Garion, and the sorcerers Belgarath and Belgarath's sorceress daughter, Polgara. It is the story of the world as created by a group of gods, the races of people that each god favors, and of course, typically, the one god who has selfish and evil intentions. It is Garion's destiny to recover a magical orb that will return the world to it's original course of history while discovering his own powers as a sorcerer. The theft of the orb for the use of the evil god has split destiny into two possibly courses, and failure to recover the orb could result in the end of the world altogether.

I have listened to Pawn of Prophecy, Queen of Sorcery, and I am about a third of the way through Magician's Gambit. As is typical for me when re-reading a book I read many years ago, I find that I remember parts of the story and discover parts that I did not remember. I am enjoying them all again, so far. With audiobooks, there is another element beyond the skill of the author, and that is the presentation by the narrator (and certainly the quality of the recording). I am a bit disturbed by the reading by Cameron Beierle, in that he is not consistent in his pronunciation of names (for example, one character Barak is sometimes "BEAR ack" and other time "bah-RACK"); he does pronounce some words incorrectly, such as the word dais; and the accents he has chosen for some of the characters seem a bit odd and sometimes not consistent. Even so, those do not terribly interrupt the listening pleasure.

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