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The Belgariad #5

Enchanters' End Game

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The quest was over. The Orb of Aldur was restored. And once again, with the crowning of Garion, there was a descendant of Riva Iron-grip to rule as Overlord of the West.

But the Prophecy was unfulfilled. In the east, the evil God Torak was about to awaken and seek dominion. Somehow, Garion had to face the God, to kill or be killed. On the outcome of that dread duel rested the destiny of the world. Now, accompanied by his grandfather, the ancient sorcerer Belgarath, Garion headed toward the City of Endless Night, where Torak awaited him.

To the south, his fiancée, the princess Ce'Nedra, led the armies of the West in a desperate effort to divert the forces of Torak's followers from the man she loved.

The Prophecy drove Garion on. But it gave no answer to the question that haunted him: How does a man kill an immortal God?

384 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published December 1, 1984

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About the author

David Eddings

305 books5,195 followers
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 achieved great success. In a recent interview with sffworld.com, he said: "I don't take orders from readers."

On January 26, 2007 it was reported that Eddings accidentally burned about a quarter of his office, next door to his house, along with his Excalibur sports car, and the original manuscripts for most of his novels. He was flushing the fuel tank of the car with water when he lit a piece of paper and threw into the puddle to test if it was still flammable.

On February 28, 2007, David Eddings' wife, Leigh Eddings (born Judith Leigh Schall), died following a series of strokes. She was 69.

David Eddings died on June 2, 2009 at the age of 77.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,135 reviews
Profile Image for Sara.
198 reviews144 followers
July 14, 2021
Not what I expected.this book is to weak, a fight needs to be epic and instead I got this, also hated the ending 😂😬
Profile Image for C.E. Murphy.
Author 86 books1,743 followers
February 23, 2013
Turns out ENCHANTERS' END GAME has all kinds of POVs in it, mostly, in fact, of women. Well, no, not mostly: mostly it's Garion. But every other POV is a female, because Eddings dips in around the West and visits the queens who are holding the thrones while their husbands are off fighting the big war.

Re-reading as an adult, I found that interesting for two reasons: one, it means every POV in the Belgariad that is not Garion's is female, which--from the adult perspective--is fairly awesome. One wonders if that was his wife Leigh's (whose name went on the much later Eddings books) doing, or if--well, honestly, it does simply make the most sense. Ce'Nedra's a fairly obvious viewpoint character, since she's the most important of them whose storyline doesn't follow the same physical path as Garion's, and the kings' activities can be related through her gaze, since she's with them. The queens, however, are entirely out of either Garion or Ce'Nedra's line of sight, and they're doing important things, so bringing them in as viewpoint characters makes sense.

Two, it means that Eddings presented a totally different series of points of view in the final book, which is, like, Not Allowed. Readers have certain expectations, dammit! You can't go around messing with them! ...except apparently you can. So that's kind of cool from a writer's POV, 'cause hey, look, perhaps one can get away with that kind of thing.

I also realized on this re-read that although my youthful perception was that this story was done, upon reflection it's clear Eddings never intended The Belgariad to be the whole story. He always intended The Malloreon to follow it. All the threads are in place, and while I, like many others, might object to the fact that he wrote the same story again (and again, and again; Eddings is an excellent demonstration of Robin McKinley's theory that perhaps at the heart of it we all only have one story to tell), there is the fact that he wrote that same story many times to huge success. His books, and that story, with its faintly different trappings, were and are immensely popular. There may be a lesson there, for those of us who do this for a living.

Lastly, my reaction to the whole series is: my goodness, those are straight-forward books. I'd forgotten how much of them is about Collecting Each Token (a character from each race), Visiting Each King, etc. There's nothing really devious about any of it, though this is not meant as a slight: I spent a little while imagining these books as written today, GRRM-style, and while you could *do* it...

...well, you wouldn't have the Belgariad when you were done, and that would be a shame, because despite their flaws, these are still entertaining, delightful reads that I would not hesitate to recommend to any fantasy reader.
Profile Image for Krell75.
287 reviews16 followers
June 1, 2022
Ultimo romanzo della pentalogia di "Belgariad" di Eddings e ciò che più temevo, purtroppo si è avverato.

Lo ammetto, dopo quattro romanzi a percorrere il mondo in lungo e in largo leggere ancora di fughe, sentieri di montagna, steppe e ponti da attraversare con tappe in ogni locanda lungo la strada è risultato eccessivamente noioso. Fortuna che ad un certo punto c'è un duello magico che suscita un minimo di interesse.

Segue una lunga parte centrale in cui Eddings ci racconta una moltitudine di situazioni legate ad ogni personaggio secondario incontrato finora nella saga, non dimentica nessuno.
Si dilunga nel raccontare gli spostamenti delle truppe attraverso mezzo mondo, il trasporto delle navi sopra un muro alto un chilometro, la gestione della logistica e i problemi relativi a tutti i regni attraversati. Situazioni che arricchiscono ma alla fin fine hanno scarsa importanza nella risoluzione della storia.

La strategia di guerra è azzardata, senza speranza e completamente inutile.
L'unica vera battaglia è appena accennata e lascia anche una sgradevole sensazione il vedere le truppe dei "buoni" provare un malsano piacere nel massacrare e distruggere i nemici in difficoltà. Faccio presente che i nostri decidono senza motivo logico di invadere e attaccare i "cattivi' nei loro territori a motivo di prevenzione...

La principessa Che'Nedra regredisce nuovamente a bambina viziata, tutto il buon lavoro svolto su di lei nel romanzo precedente buttato tristemente alle ortiche.
Sempre divertenti i dialoghi tra i personaggi capaci di mantenere gradevole la lettura ed equilibrare il calo di ritmo di queste prime due parti.

Si giunge poi al gran finale che definirei affrettato e distante dai miei gusti. Quella coerenza da me elogiata finora, qui perduta con scelte discutibili, banali e poco credibili.
Deludente il finale ma:

Nel complesso abbiamo una saga di formazione di facile e piacevole lettura che ha dato il suo meglio nel terzo e nel quarto romanzo, puntando molto su alcuni personaggi, sui numerosi temi trattati e su un variegato world building.
Un Signore degli anelli di più accessibile lettura e una Ruota del Tempo priva delle sue parti inutili.
Profile Image for Wanda Pedersen.
1,864 reviews370 followers
November 24, 2015
For me, this was the most enjoyable book of the whole Belgariad series, and that despite all of the “happily-ever-afters” that occur by book’s end. Those of you who know me, know that I much prefer “Lady or the Tiger?” type endings that leave things more to my imagination.

Garion finally comes into his own during this installment and his elders and the Prophecy actually help him. He and Ce’Nedra start communicating, instead of guessing what the other is thinking or feeling. And even Hettar, the implacable horse-lord, finds a mate and mellows a bit, although it takes an altercation for that to happen (it kind of reminded me of Zane Grey’s The Last Trail, where Lou Wetzel meets his match).

Garion naturally approaches his prophesied mission with trepidation—how does a mere mortal battle a god like Torak? The answer is a bit slick, but believable in the world that Eddings has created. There are still a couple of bad guys left, but that’s for other series. By the end of End Game, one has the feeling that the party is over—the leftover food has been put away, the dishes have been washed, the floor swept and everything has been returned to its place.

Life is short and the number of books I want to read is huge, so I don’t know that I will pursue any more of Eddings’ writing, but I did enjoy this series.

Book 192 of my Science Fiction & Fantasy Reading Project.
Profile Image for Kelly.
878 reviews4,024 followers
May 29, 2007
I will let my review of this book speak for all of the Eddings books that I have read, which include four series of books (Belgariad, Mallorean, the Elenium and the Tamuli). I discovered these books in the seventh grade, and as a testament to how much I loved them: not only I, but all of my friends and I ripped through all four of these series over the course of six months to a year, sharing books and working out arrangements of who would buy the next one. I remember sitting around in a circle after tests waiting for others to be done where someone would finish a book in the series, and simply reach over and take the next one from the girl next to her who had just finished that one and so on down the chain. These were the books that got me into epic fantasy.

These are simplistic stories, and many of the characters are quite similiar. I had my disillusionment with the author when he started to create a whole new series with characters whose names were simply changed and plots that weren't even /trying/ to be disguised as different from these best sellers. It is very good vs. evil, with only a few shades of grey in between, and the characters are at most two dimensional. It's quick and fun and enjoyable, and has no pretenses to being anything but a good story.

But. It is also witty and bright, and for a book series geared towards adolescents, does not simplify its writing style for them either in word choice or in some of the subjects that it deals with. For at least these four series, Eddings seems endlessly inventive and comes up with good jokes to last out nearly twenty books. Even the old ones that come back are usually funny as sort of an in-joke for people who have read the rest of them.

It is what it is, and it obviously doesn't hold up as well as it used to when I was 12 and very impressed with myself for understanding it all. But I'd still recommend it for some fun.

Note: The rating given is for the series over all. However, The Elenium and Tamuli are a little more mature, and the characters are better, and those are both four star worthy series.
Profile Image for Valyssia Leigh.
106 reviews49 followers
August 13, 2016
David Eddings constant harping on traditional gender roles finally ruined my enjoyment of this story. Few of his female characters appear as more than amusing idiot children, a point belabored by piles of pejorative terms, pointless tantrums, fickle mood swings, manipulative girlish smiles, and so on... The few bold moves of significance made by these women were marginalized under the heading: 'she can get away with it because she's too ignorant to know any better.'

One living women is powerful enough in magic to be exempt from these antiquated attitudes: Lady Polgara.
Profile Image for Lore Kapo.
92 reviews
September 2, 2021
He finalizado las Crónicas de Belgarath y ha sido una lectura amena y una vuelta a la fantasía clásica, luego de pasar por una serie de sagas y libros bastante más densos.

Aquí concluye la larga travesía de nuestros compañeros y compañeras de viaje, algunos manteniendo el protagonismo intacto y otros/as algo abandonados/as por el autor.

La llegada a Mallorea de tres de nuestros protagonistas para el momento culminante de la saga no ocurre sino luego de varios enfrentamientos y mutaciones, el más interesante de los primeros es el encuentro con los morinds, seres extrañamente perturbadores a los que me hubiese gustado conocer en profundidad.

Me ha sorprendido que los personajes femeninos tengan medio libro a sus espaldas y una relevancia que no suele encontrarse en otros textos. La vida de Polgara aquí da un enorme giro y se suceden una serie de acontecimientos sorpresivos y crueles que la dejan al límite de su cordura.

No quisiera dejar de señalar que hay cierto humor detrás de la prosa de Eddings que he disfrutado muchísimo, toques de sarcasmo e ironía entre las y los personajes que nos arrancan sonrisas bastante a menudo.

También me ha resultado original el cariz que toma la relación con el villano y la forma que adquiere la resolución de ese conflicto. No esperaba de ningún modo que los vínculos entre el rey de Riva y el dios Torak terminaran como lo hicieron y tampoco creía que mi visión acerca de este último se modificara. Cosa que ocurrió después de chocarme con el clímax de la obra.

Creo que los matices que Eddings le da a sus personajes son un plus muy interesante que aleja al autor de la construcción de esos heroísmos puros o de las maldades absolutas que vemos en otros libros de fantasía clásica. Y esos aspectos son los que más he valorado en esta lectura.

Si tienen ganas de volver a las fuentes, a una crónica de viajes, magia y luchas entre el bien y el mal, esta es una saga para ello.
Profile Image for YouKneeK.
645 reviews79 followers
November 7, 2021
This was the fifth and final book in the Belgariad, a classic epic fantasy style series by David Eddings.

Overall, I enjoyed reading the whole series although I've read other epic fantasy I've enjoyed more. This one is light and straight forward. There aren’t any real shades of gray; one knows exactly who the good guys and bad guys are. Most things are clearly foreshadowed in advance. It’s one of those series where everything that happens is driven by prophecy, so there’s also a sense of events being inevitable and not really under anybody’s control. I don’t care for that kind of more heavy-handed prophecy approach, so that’s one aspect of the series I didn’t care for. I also prefer more twists and turns and much less spoon feeding, but it was an undemanding read and that can be nice sometimes.

I liked the characters, although I had some complaints, and the banter between them was probably my favorite part. It’s not a lot of non-stop witty banter, so if somebody goes into the series expecting a lot of that they might be disappointed, but there was enough of it for me to enjoy. I smiled several times, and laughed out loud a few times. I especially enjoyed Silk and Belgarath. I was not, on the other hand, very fond of the female characters. The two main female characters at least were not dishrags, and they did play significant roles in the events, but I didn’t like their personalities. They were both temperamental and bossy and often behaved in ways I considered irrational. Ce’Nedra, while only a teenager, still came across as more immature than I thought her age and circumstances justified. Every once in a while she’d do something mature, but she never seemed to learn any lessons of a permanent nature. And I was not amused at the way Polgara .

This final book wrapped everything up well, with a nice, long epilogue that briefly revisits most of the characters to give readers an idea of what was next for them in their lives. The book was a little slow for me, though. There were parts I enjoyed a lot, but I felt like things were dragged out more than necessary. Maybe I was just getting ready to move on. I know there are more books set in this world, but my intent was to just read this five-book series by itself. I’ve heard the next series is very similar to this one and I think that would get tedious. I’d rather stop here, mostly satisfied. I’m giving this last book 3.5 stars due to the draggy parts, but rounding up to 4 for Goodreads due to my overall enjoyment of the series and the satisfactory wrap-up.
Profile Image for Patrick.
1,027 reviews24 followers
September 6, 2012
Meh. I like many of the characters, but they do the same things in the same way for 5 books and it just wore on me. Many things were resolved too easily, and some were not resolved at all except in a sentence. e.g. Barak's been freaking out about his bear possession for 5 books and it's resolved in one sentence in a flashback saying now he's dealt with it.

Ce'Nedra was apparently supposed to show maturity and growth, but I think she showed very little progression. It's hard to root for this obnoxious girl to end up with the humble, likable Garion.

One of the superfriends finally died...but of course he gets brought back to life.

I like some of the climax with Torak. I like it when there's a creative ending to a big bad beyond just physical confrontation, but I can't decide if how Garion vanquished him was satisfying or not. So-so I guess. I didn't understand Errand's role in this book at all, or what he or Ce'Nedra had to do with the prophecy and why they had to be at the climax.

I actively dislike the "trapped by prophecy" theme forcing characters into roles with no choices. The long denouement after beating Torak was mostly boring, and the last vignette with the stone was unnecessary and boring. I commented more in depth in the last book how I dislike that race completely determines personality and intelligence. All of race x are stupid, no exceptions. All of race y are violent brawlers, no exceptions. By comparison, Lord of the Rings shows individuals with unique characteristics while still having generalizations that are true about most of a race.

I just read that this is supposed to be YA, and it's basically clean enough. But despite Garion and Ce'Nedra, I think the themes and characterization seem geared toward adults, as well as the length and boringness.

I think Lord of the Rings mostly holds up still today. I think this suffers along with series like the Prydain Chronicles and would not be published as a new series today.
Profile Image for Narilka.
584 reviews40 followers
May 10, 2020
Reread 2020: I have come to the end of my reread. It was highly satisfying and just what I needed during these stressful times. I am going to miss Garion and friends. Maybe I should pick up the Malloreon again soon. Review from 2013 below.


Enchanters' End Game is the final book of The Belgariad. It's a satisfying ending to the series. The book is fast paced and was a page turner for me. All loose ends are tied up nicely. The character banter in this book is in high form. The conversations were so much fun to read. Eddings let almost every character have fun with this, even some of the minor ones.
Profile Image for Andreas.
207 reviews
June 11, 2020
This entire series has been the literary equivalent of sitting curled up in a cozy armchair, at Christmas, with a cup of hot chocolate in your hand. I can see myself returning to this series over and over as the years go by.
Profile Image for Xabi1990.
1,972 reviews850 followers
November 8, 2020
Leído en 2011.
Recomendaron a este autor/saga en el tema sobre “Ciencia ficción y fantasía” y aunque empecé con él con bastante reticencia es cierto que se deja leer. Le he comentado un poco en ese tema, por si alguien tiene interés.

EDITO : para no alargarlo voy actualizando este mensaje con los distintos libros. Creo que caerán los 5. El 2º muy bien, mantengo el 4 alto.

VUELVO A EDITAR : Ya han caído los 5 libros de esta saga. Mantengo la nota general del "4", pero solo para aficionados a la Fantasía. Muy entretenida la saga pero no creo que se lleve ningún premio Nobel de literatura.

(Copio/pego en los 5 libros)
Profile Image for LaCitty.
761 reviews130 followers
November 4, 2021
È l'ultimo romanzo della saga dei Belgariad. Rispetto ai precedenti volumi, la storia è più corale e meno centrata sulle vicende di Garion, questo consente ad Eddings di dedicare un piccolo spazio a ciascuno dei personaggi che abbiamo imparato ad amare nel corso della saga. In questo senso ho apprezzato molto l'alternanza dei punti di vista soprattutto durante la grande battaglia che vede gli Alorn opposti agli Angarak.

Mi permetto una riflessione più globale sulla saga. Fermo restando che è una lettura assolutamente godibile e molto piacevole, a rifletterci, il mondo raccontato da Eddings dominato da due profezie che segneranno il destino dell'umanità, non è un universo che mi piaccia da un punto di vista filosofico. Dov'è il libero arbitrio? Dove la possibilità per l'uomo di cambiare il suo futuro, di forgiare il proprio destino? I personaggi della storia sono tutti destinati a fare qualcosa, dominati da una necessità imprescindibile e più grande di loro. Sì, certo, Eddings lascia trapelare che al momento dello scontro finale qualcuno potrà fare una scelta (nella fattispecie Polgara), ma tutto il resto è puro determinismo. Nasco per fare una certa cosa, la faccio e ho realizzato il mio piccolo tassello nel quadro globale, un applauso, un inchino e lascio la scena per il prossimo atto necessario.
Beh, ma anche no, grazie 😝
Profile Image for Amber.
79 reviews15 followers
February 18, 2013
I hadn't intended on giving this 5 stars, but seriously, the ending was pretty cool. It was so Harry Potter-esque that I couldn't help but think Rowling must have read the series before she wrote hers. I just didn't see the battle between Torak and Garion going the way it did, and it impressed me. Plus, I was glad it tied up all the loose ends. Looking forward to reading The Mallorean series, which is an extension off this I guess. This series played it safe a bit, but nice wrap up.
Profile Image for Olivia.
709 reviews120 followers
February 28, 2020
I, of course, didn’t like everything about this book, like the fact that women are not equal to men (except for perhaps Pol...) and the fact that there’s quite a bit of deus ex machina at the end.

But I did find the entire series very entertaining, the tone uplifting, and the characters likeable.

I had a good time reading these books and they feel a bit like a hot chocolate on a cold winter’s day: comforting.

Recommended to all fantasy fans who want to read some of the Classics.

Profile Image for Jane Jago.
Author 83 books168 followers
February 20, 2017
All five reviewed.

This is a grand story that rattles along at a good pace.

I liked: Garion and most of his chums. The story. The writing.

I didn't like: Polgara. How sweet tempered Garion is.

But all in all I'd say read this quintet it's worth your time.
Profile Image for Susan Kennedy.
271 reviews9 followers
March 14, 2019
The fifth and final book in the Belgariad series is outstanding. This book is full of adventure as Belgarath, Belgarion and Silk continue their journey to the final fateful meeting of prophecy. Belgarion's princess has raised an army and that army draws attention away from what the others are doing. It is full of adventure and danger and battles. This is a great final book to this series. It takes you to a good ending, while leaving you wanting more. And the Mallorean series is just waiting in the wings so you can continue the epic journeys of this magnificent group of characters.

I just can't emphasize enough how much I love these characters. David Eddings has a way of really exploring these characters and making you feel like you really know them. Each character has a personality. Each one is different and you can't help but love them all for their differences. Character development is so important to me and these books definitely deliver.

The story is itself is intriguing and full of adventure. It is an epic adventure for sure and I love it. This was one of my favorite series over 20 years ago when I first read it and it is still an amazing story and easily one of my favorites.
Profile Image for Jim.
Author 7 books2,030 followers
July 20, 2016
I devoured this & the previous book in a day. I'm trying to baby a bad back & this was a perfect excuse to do so. It was a good ending to a fun series - sort of. There are some loose ends & it is clearly stated that the prophecy doesn't end here, but I can easily & will. The Mallorean, another 5 book series, picks up where this leaves off & isn't quite as good. It's more of the same - too much so - so it's a let down. The flaws in this series & Eddings' writing become more apparent. Where this one sweeps me along, it drags me too often since it's fairly obvious what has to happen. Eddings repeats this when he writes the Elenium trilogy & then follows it with the Tamuli. The first is great fun, the second more of the same, not done quite as well.

Anyway, this was a fun little series to revisit.
Profile Image for Stephen.
1,516 reviews11k followers
December 4, 2010
3.5 stars. Fairly satisfying ending the Belgariad. Overall, this was an above average epic fantasy series geared more towards the YA audience but still enjoyable for adults.

One final note: I listened to the audiobook narrated by Cameron Beierle and he did an excellent job with the series.
Profile Image for Deadly Knitshade .
Author 4 books16 followers
December 28, 2020
I'd write a review but I'm so grateful to have finished this book and never have to read anything in the series again that I'm just going to run away. I'M FREE! FREE I TELL YOU!
Profile Image for Shaitarn.
497 reviews35 followers
May 21, 2019
The classic feels a bit old and tired now. While recommended for readers new to the fantasy genre, those who have read more widely in the genre may find it rather clichéd and trope-heavy.
Profile Image for S James Bysouth.
86 reviews11 followers
January 17, 2019
A Solid End to a Great standalone Novel in Five Parts

Enchanter’s End Game delivered a strong finish to the Belgariad. Not strong enough to prompt orgasmic reflexes, but strong enough to earn a respectable nod and healthy snap and sigh as I close the book on the last page.

Honourable mention to resident evil guy, Torak. Torak is a great character, one of the strongest in Edding’s arsenal, and I was sad my time with him was only brief. His delicious appearance only last a few pages and then it was over much like a wet dream. To be fair to David and Leigh, you really need to read Belgarath the Sorcerer and Polgara the Sorceress to really get the full picture of this absolute god. I really felt, just a little bit, that Polgara should marry the guy, just cause he’s evil in all the right ways.

Unlike the previous two books in the series, this one felt like it was more on point and got shit done. Much less repetitive repeditiveness and covering the same thing again and again in similar ways to how it had been said before and repeated in previous plot events.

The biggest accolades must go to our male and female heroes, Garion and C’Nedra, who have undergone immense growth physically and mentally since the opening pages of Pawn of Prophecy, and when looking back to where they started, their journey has been profound.

Enchanter’s End Game earns a respectable 3.5 stars.

Summary and final verdict on the Belgariad series:

Pawn of Prophecy 4 Stars Excellent, even while unmagical
Queen of Sorcery 4 Stars Pretty great and promising
Magician’s Gambit 3 Stars Felt unfinished and disappointing
Castle of Wizardry 3 Stars Also unfinished with terrible pacing
Enchanter’s End Game 3.5 Stars Solid end to a great series

There is no other series I have encountered where I have had a more relaxing read. The prose is so gentle and invisible I breeze through these books.

Lesser known fact: Leigh Eddings co-authored this book! The reason she did not appear on the cover, or even get a mention, was that the publisher, Lester Del Rey, believed back in 1982 that “multi-authorships were a problem and that it would be better if David Edding's name alone appeared on the books.” Sure, Lester, whatever.

Leigh Edding’s appreciation: One of the things I love about these books is the treatment of women. There’s nothing like a strong character of any gender, but herein are many female characters who shine and I love them. This we can attribute to Leigh. As David often highlighted, she was master of any female character and would pay special attention to any dialogue or prose attributed to a female character and would rewrite anything she felt wasn’t right. If this is true, then I thank her, because many times, especially with Polgara and C’Nedra, I was amazed by these women.

Reasons to read:
• Epic, far-reaching story
• Profound character growth
• Rich worldbuilding
• Gentle, relaxing prose

I wrote in my review of book four:

There’s not really 5 books here. There’s no real divisions between any of them. Really, it’s a standalone book in 5 parts. We might more accurately call the Belgariad and Mallorean a Duology published in 10 volumes. The divisions in the narrative seem to have been purposely placed around the 400 page mark, and we can see evidence of manufactured subplots that assist getting to that 400 page quota. That’s not a material problem, however, as the content is reasonably interesting and entertaining, even when it has been padded. Structurally, though, this leads to a material problem with pacing.

Therefore, Pacing and verbosity are the only real damning faults in this series. It could have been cut down by 20-30% and it would have done wonders.

Other things that bothered me, but I can accept:

• Suffers from characters, and sometimes entire demographics, being completely good or completely evil. There is a lack of morally grey characters and therefore realism. Two characters, Barak and Mandorellan, are in reality terrible people. Truly terrible in so many ways. Yet, they’re treated like the ultimate heroes.
• There seems to have been an excuse to travel every last corner of the fantasy map and at times it was far too obvious (at least on my 3rd read now) what parts were blatant filler.
• In one incredibly convenient and unbelievable moment in the series, a bad guy forgets literally the one things it would make no sense for him to forget, and thus, dies. Conveniently.
• It’s aimed at a little too young audience for my tastes – which is probably why it is best read when you’re younger and less soured by experience.

On the Mallorean: I don’t know if or when I will read the Mallorean again, but what I can say at this point is that I remember enjoying the Mallorean even more that the Belgariad, so I hope to read on some day.

Belgariad (as a whole) earns a solid, and positive 4 stars from me. In a single sentence, a great series with incredible characters stretched and spread thin over too many books with too much focus on the YA audience.
Profile Image for M.J..
156 reviews10 followers
June 25, 2019
The fifth and final book in Edding's Belgariad series has a distinctly "Return of the King" flavour, but it is dogged by many of the same problems found in the earlier books. While the bulk of the fellowship is leading the armies of the west into battle with the assembled army of the forces of evil, a smaller part of the fellowship ventures into the dark city where the sleeping god waits to be be reawoken as an object of great and terrible power that he desires is brought ever closer. The two competing prophecies finally come to their point of divergence as the kingdoms of the west battle the assembled forces of the evil god Torak, while the young wizard Garion will determine the very existence of the world as he ventures further east. It is a satisfying enough story, but it is hard to shake how derivative the whole thing feels.

As with past outings in the series, End Game is written in a competent fashion that keeps the action moving forward and makes the book a fairly swift read. The potential for introspection and deeper prose is largely forgotten in this book, as the focus is placed firmly on events rather than people. As before, Eddings’ story is plagued with too many points of view, as each of a dozen characters that happened to take part in the main quest story are given his/her time to shine in a book that is less than 400 pages. It is no surprise then that these cutaway moments to other parts of the battlefield are too short to convey much to the reader. In fact, these events do not generally provide greater depth to the characters, but are merely action scenes to give one of his beloved tropes 'something cool to do' during the pivotal sequence of events.

The story is also marred by a few obvious plot contrivances scattered throughout for the sake of the prophecy that has been running through the series. The largest involves a number of main characters being whisked away to bear witness to the oft-promised final battle.

This brings me to the underlying flaw of the whole series: an over-reliance on pre-destination. If all the main events are pre-ordained, as they are in The Belgariad, then there is no sense of tension or uncertainty in the narrative. That there is a prophecy and it has already been largely (and accurately) figured out by the wizard Belgarath effectively deflates all the action in the book. The thought of two competing prophecies with mutually exclusive ends is interesting and might have been an excellent subplot if it had been well executed, but even that would have required some sense of mystery. In Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy, Gandalf provides much of the exposition on the secret knowledge of the world, but the future and fate of the world are uncertain (I doubt he foresaw the failure of his ring-bearer, for example). Not so with Belgarath, Edding's more relaxed Gandalf counterpart, who is so confident in the prophecy that the challenges along the way always seem to be more inconveniences than actual threats.

The experience might have been much more satisfying if the reader had even the smallest sense of doubt or if the way in which the inevitability was conveyed was somehow unusual and took some risks, but—as I've noted before—Eddings' writing is safe and accessible, not what is needed to offset the straight line of the plot. With the plot effectively on track from early on, the book becomes a travelogue. As I noted in an earlier review, I can't escape the sense that the author wrote a story to fit a world he built, rather than created a world to fit a story he had in mind. However, this world lacks the otherworldly quality of Tolkien's imagination to make the journey itself magical, as it involves traipsing through a fantasy world of kingdoms populated with people that are effectively described as "X is from Y, so his dominant characteristic is Z".

I sound harsh, but I don't really intend to be. The Belgariad is a middle-of-the-road fantasy series. It has an ending that will satisfy the reader and the writer possesses enough technical gifts that it can be an enjoyable read. It's a good gateway series for the less initiated, but it shouldn’t necessarily be in the canon of absolute fantasy must-reads.
Profile Image for Nicole.
Author 39 books185 followers
February 2, 2010
I think the Belgariad series is one of the best fantasy stories about a boy's coming of age. It predates this crazy onslaught of market-driven writers who hope to make a quick name, a huge splash, and a lot of money all in the name of the written word. In fact, if you compare the quality of Eddings' writing with that of many of the big names in young adult fantasy today (though I believe it's not intended for a young adult audience specifically), you'll see that the scales will tip quite heavily in David Eddings' favor. It's almost unfair to compare any current writer of fantasy to his works, particularly the Belgariad.

Anyway, the point is that I enjoyed it, again. The first time I read it I was in high school or junior high. Garion is a very well-drawn character, as are all the characters in this series. David Eddings' was very good at managing a group of characters and all their interactions, their banter, their roles, and illustrating them with realistic attributes. I will miss them, though, luckily, in a few years I will have forgotten enough of it that I'll be able to read it again and enjoy Garion's journey from naive farm-boy to well-traveled sorcerer with great responsibilities. Unlike other fantasy heroes, like, for example, Rand al'Thor (who I also love), Garion is a bit more easy for me to respect because he's less whiny about what he was born to do.

One thing I really love about the series overall is that Garion learns through trial and error. I remember a particular lesson he's taught by Belgarath, in which Garion gets a little puffed up in his power and needlessly disciplines the little colt that loves him. It was this telling moment where you can see Garion's potential to become evil -- to be merciless and cruel -- but he has his mentors around to guide him. Every person has those possibilities -- to be kind and merciful, patient and long-suffering, or quick to anger, cruel, and drunk on power over the weak -- but we all, like Garion, have to remember ourselves. So anyway, it's good to see that heroes have internal battles: they can falter, but they can also recover, repent, and do better.

Another thing I appreciate is that Garion, while being the main focal point of the series, often takes a backseat to the action. He's always there watching his friends work and manage affairs, while he simply observes, thinks, and grows. It's not all about him, even though it is. That's an accomplishment of David Eddings, I think.

So, to sum up, it's a great series. I'm glad I read it again after all these years. I really love all the characters. Maybe I'll try out the Mallorean again. I never got through it the first time though I don't remember why. I also plan on re-reading the Wheel of Time series. Ha ha. That should only take me three years.
Profile Image for Büşra  .
193 reviews67 followers
April 24, 2022
Ay ne yazmam gerektiğini bile bilmiyorum, şoklardan şok beğenmiş haldeyim. Çok güzeldin, tam kararındaydın canım Belgariad. Son kitap da tam tetamatındaydı, her şey yerli yerine oturdu; aklımızda soru işareti kalmadı ve bitirdik; tüm karakterleri özleyeceğim sanırım. Ama en çok seni Pol en çok seni...
Profile Image for Zeliha.
169 reviews49 followers
October 21, 2022
Nihayet serinin son kitabı da bitti. Sonsuza kadar başa dönüp dönüp okuyabilirim dediğim serinin son kitabına nihayet bitti yazmak da ayrı trajedi tabi.

Serinin en yavaş ilerleyen kitabı bu 5. kitap olabilir. İlk üç kitapta sadece Garion’un bulunduğu mekanlardan yapılan anlatım bu son kitapta birçok farklı mekanın anlatılmasıyla işin büyüsünü kaçırdı. Her bölümde her karakterin yaşadığı şeyleri anlatmaması, bazı karakterlerin yaşadıklarına 3-4 bölümde bir yer verilmesi eş zamanlı olarak diğerlerinin başına ne geliyor diye merak uyandırdı. Kitap ilerledikçe bu durum konunun ilerleyişinde kopukluk hissetmeme neden oldu.

3. Kitap ve sonrasında gözüme takılan olumsuzluklara rağmen Malloryon serisini merak ettiren güzel bir seri Belgariad. Yüzüklerin Efendisi benzerliklerini görmezden gelemediğim için bir yerden sonra keyfim kaçtı ama görmezden gelindiği sürece keyifle okunabilir.
Profile Image for Jesse.
1,044 reviews11 followers
August 20, 2014
Alright, this concludes my complete re-read of this series (until I start the second one...). There was a lot in this book that I didn't remember. In fact, the ending was much better than I remembered; an epic scene of the protagonist fighting a massive god-in-the-flesh in the abondoned city of his preisthood. Pretty good.

The plot structure is mixed up a bit from previous books, as the all the characters have split into two groups and are traveling in different directions...to the same goal.

As with the previous reviews, what makes these books good isn't the plot (and there are definitely holes and glaring coverups), but the characters and the rich world they are moving in. And, once again, Eddings drives those aspects home with great finesse.

Profile Image for Belinda.
1,331 reviews181 followers
January 18, 2018
4,25 stars - Audiobook - I have dyslexia - Belgarion is on a quest to do the battle between good and evil with a God. In the company of Silk and Belagrath. Ce'nestra gets an army together to give Belgarion the chance to make it to that battle. This last book in the trilogy is a little slow for me. Some events take to long to happen. I love the characters, so that is the reason I wanted to hear this book (again) 🌹🌸🌹
Profile Image for Stephen.
1,516 reviews11k followers
June 25, 2010
3.5 stars. Fairly satisfying ending the Belgariad. Overall, this was an above average epic fantasy series geared more towards the YA audience but still enjoyable for adults.

One final note: I listened to the audiobook narrated by Cameron Beierle and he did an excellent job with the series.
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