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Magician's Gambit

(The Belgariad #3)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  82,807 ratings  ·  928 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 June 1983 by Del Rey
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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)
Jonathan Spencer I read The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan several years ago. Looking for somethibg comparable to that led me to David Eddings. I think that if you lik…moreI read The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan several years ago. Looking for somethibg comparable to that led me to David Eddings. I think that if you like The Belgariad, you would like The Wheel of Time.(less)

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 ·  82,807 ratings  ·  928 reviews

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Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I flew through Magician's Gambit, and it was a very enjoyable read, though it's more a set-up for the next book. The climax is where it ends, quite abruptly in fact. Possibly in the middle of the sente-

Yup, that's how abruptly this book ends.

The characters are super likeable, and I'm enjoying the mythology and the centuries of history Eddings so meticulously created.

It's a classic hero's journey, and it doesn't deviate from the usual tropes, at least not so far, but it's a comforting one, light-
Oct 03, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: a comfort read: predictable, but entertaining
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
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
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
And so this is how long it took for the derivative nature of the series overwhelmed me. At first it was quite an exciting series, but at this point I can no longer ignore the fact that there is not a single original aspect of this, nor even any suspense.

Strangely (or perhaps not?) it also seems to have made an impact that I read this book as en ebook, and the previous two as physical copies. Holding a physical book in your hand is always a superior experience.

All that being said, I will continue
Susan Kennedy
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-epic
Another great book in this amazing series. You continue to follow the group as they are in search of the orb that was stolen. This is a huge, world changing event. They travel through many different areas of this continent and are constantly pursued by one danger or another. It is such an epic adventure story that I truly love more the second time around.

I can't say enough how much I love these characters and how you get to know them more each book that you read. The little group is brought toge
C.E. Murphy
Feb 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing

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,
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
Sep 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
April 2020 Reread: Even with Ce'Nedra's POV chapters this remains my favorite in the series so far. I find her highly irritating in this read through! Still, there's no better way to get through stressful times than a comfort re-re-re-read :) Review from 2012 below.


Magician's Gambit is the third book of The Belgariad. The first portion of the story is told from Ce'Nedra's point of view. It was interesting to see Garion and the party from another view point. The best part of this com
Jane Jago
Feb 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Review will come after book five
Dec 19, 2007 rated it really liked it
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!
3.5 stars
Dec 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: epic-fantasy, 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
Nicolo Yu
Oct 10, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Scot Parker
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: other-fantasy
In this book, our heroes continue on their quest to unite the races of men and cast the Ring of Power into the fires of-wait, wrong book. Although it's an easy enough mistake to make. In Magician's Gambit, we see Garion begin to gain some control over his power. We watch the continued juvenile interactions between him and Ce'Nedra (but they are young teenagers, so why not? The other central characters continue to do their thing, none of them seem to change much as this series evolves, but they a ...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
Oct 21, 2008 rated it liked it
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.
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.
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
A meandering middle volume with much too little plot and overly simple and small advancement of the same group of adventurers endlessly traveling to dull locations. Only the final 30 pages were interesting. I hope to find the next volume of more interest.
Mar 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 14, 2009 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.
bella farren
Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, books-i-own
currently adding all my family favourites to my GR, a well loved series in my house hold ✨
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: want-to-buy
I'm still enjoying this series and I think book 3 might've been my favorite so far. But for god's sake, can we just say what the whole prophecy is? And why each piece? It's constantly alluded to but nobody ever questions it. You'd think if not Garion, someone in the party would ask for explanation, but no...they just keep letting the references slide. At least we're getting closer now. Seems like they're done collecting pieces for the party. Time to put everything together starting in book 4?
Oct 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy-scifi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 01, 2009 marked it as dnf
Shelves: 2009, audio
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
James Tomasino
Jul 05, 2009 rated it it was ok
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 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
Chad Harrison
Mar 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
More of the same: great worldbuilding, if a little shallow with regard to citizens who act in exact conformance with their national stereotypes; fun characters whose quippiness makes them a little tiring; interesting philosophical asides that are a little ruined by older cultural notions; and frustrating attitudes towards violence, gender, and relationships. I'm pretty sure that nostalgia has added an extra star to each of my reviews.
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
A well written book. Enjoyed reading it.
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: magica, 2019
It's not so much that the characters are two-dimensional, but that they only possess the characteristics of their countries.

Lets see, we have the horse people, the viking berzerkers, the sneaky spies, the Robin Hood country (both the knights and the archers), the snake people.

And who can forget our Bad Guys?
The dumb but evil, the kinda OK-ish but evil, and the evil evils.
Feb 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Enjoyable reread of the series.
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: epic-fantasy
A high three stars rounded up to four.

It's showing its age a bit, but this is still a fantasy classic.
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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 a

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)

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“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.” 19 likes
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