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The Rivan Codex: Ancient Texts of the Belgariad and the Malloreon

(Belgariad Universe #13)

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  5,932 ratings  ·  86 reviews
Join David and Leigh Eddings on a fascinating behind-the-scenes tour of the extensive background materials they compiled before beginning the masterpiece of epic fantasy unforgettably set down in The Belgariad and The Malloreon and their two companion volumes, Belgarath the Sorcerer and Polgara the Sorceress.

Our tour stretches from the wealthy Empire of Tolnedra to the
Paperback, 480 pages
Published November 2nd 1999 by Del Rey Books (first published 1998)
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Average rating 3.56  · 
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Jul 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, fantasy
I find it impressive that they wrote this 460+ page book just to prepare for writing 10 others. As a fan of the original Belgariad and Mallorean, as well as both Polgara the Sorceress and Belgarath the Sorcerer, this "how to" process provided more insight than I initially expected. I found much of it fascinating, but think they could have pared down things like currency for the sake of publishing. Otherwise, a good read.
Jason Griffith
Apr 03, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: have-read
Allow me to point out that this book is definitely not one to be read from start to finish. It's not that kind of book.

This is the book that you read when you want to gain a full understanding of everything concerning the world and its history. This is where you turn for religious teachings, for currency names and exchange rates.

If anyone ever decided that they wanted to make a game or a movie based on these books, then this is definitely the place that you want to look to get the specific
Feb 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Sheila by: Shannon Lane
My considered opinion is that David Eddings is a little bit of a dick (and a little bit of a misogynist too, although I think he tries). I've been working with that theory since about Belgarath the Sorceror, and this book proved me right.

That said, he's got some good insights on writing, especially writing fantasy (he worldbuilds first, starts the story second), and seeing the origin of all his stories, with notes about the changes he made, makes me want to go reread both the Belgariad and the
Jan 07, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
Almost a guide to writing fantasy. It contains the notes which provided the details from which sprung both the Belgariad and Mallorean series. Interesting for readers of both series, especially to see where he made changes and how to go about writing a fantasy novel. Warning: IT ISNT A NOVEL ITSELF!
Jan 07, 2010 rated it liked it
This is actually a compilation of the hundreds and hundreds of pages of pre-novel work that Eddings put into his world and it's people. It reads kinda like an encyclopedia. Fun, but not necessary to the story.
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: soft
ah, nostalgia

you've always had a way with words, dave (or was it leigh?)

p215: ordinary warriors--addressed by rankar

p251: entire mountain ranges quite literally crumbled into rubble, and colossal tidal waves raced across the oceans of the world, forever altering coastlines a half a planet away.
Jeremy Preacher
The Rivan Codex is actually quite entertaining, for what it is - a collection of notes and reference materials used in the creation of the Garion books, bookended by Eddings's firmly-stated opinions about how to go about writing a fantasy series. This was pure 'nip to me when I was a teenager - I am fascinated by the process of worldbuilding, and while large chunks of this are fairly dry, they're interesting, at least to me. (And the bits that aren't purely notes are largely written in the more ...more
Nov 29, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
I have been a fan of David Eddings ever since I read Pawn of Prophecy 20 years ago. I know that his books are derivative, repetitive, and obvious, but even with all this they are enjoyable and fun to read, rather easy and light.

I have over the years added all the books from the Belgariad and Malloreon to my bookshelves at home. When I recently came across "The Rivan Codex" I wondered why I had never added this book, or even read it. I did recall seeing it in the book store when it was first
Ben Babcock
Dec 29, 2008 rated it it was ok
As a fantasy writer, I was fascinated to learn how one of the fantasy genre's most successful writers planned out his novels. I was well aware that Eddings was a formulaic writer, but it was interesting nonetheless to hear about his past in addition to reading the sheer amount of extra material he compiled in order to write The Belgariad.

While interesting, it is all academic, and obviously out of context to anyone who hasn't read The Belgariad or The Malloreon. For those who have, you'll only
Jan 23, 2014 rated it liked it
The most startling thing about this was actually how much the voice changed from Eddings writing his forewords/afterwords to the actual content og the ancient texts. Otherwise, it was an informative read about the world of the Belgariad and the Malloreon; a lot of background information that was somewhat interesting.
Aug 17, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: high-fantasy
I remember reading this book over a decade ago and learning for the first time that authors did not always start out glamourously. Not that it deterred me. It did however tell me to write fantasy in a formulaic fashion. I always used to feel terrible that the story ideas I had didn't come out very similar to his formula, which I now understand as a good thing.
Adrienne Kern McClintock
Jun 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I love any book that includes the original ideas, short stories, and how the characters went from their beginnings to their current form. I love when the writer talks about their deals, contracts, and research.
Charles Harrison
Jul 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
This isn't a novel. It appealed to me from a certain academic perspective as within this text is a wonderful lesson in world building. The painstaking creation of a world, nationalities and several religions is amazing to behold and shows the effort needed to create something as rich as the world of the Belgariad. Perhaps this is easier today with tools like scrivener but the graft must be the same.
David King
May 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I read all of the Belgariad and Mallorean series, and loved them. They were the Harry Potter series of my youth. In this book Eddings peals back the finished product to explain how he planned the series before writing them. The majority of the book is his pre-narrative construction of his fantasy world. The first and last chapters are the best as he speaks to his readers, especially to aspiring writers, giving a detailed explanation of hows and whys.
Rose Boyer
A long time ago I read David Eddings books Polgara and the series which goes with it. I have not read them for years. I picked up this book and it was just too much for me. Perhaps if I read it following the previous series it would have held more interest. The story was interesting enough to keep my interest for a bit, but I just stopped reading.
Oct 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I reread this mostly for the essay on how to write a fantasy novel. It's classic and so funny. I skimmed the rest of the book, which is fun in a kind of geeky way. It's amazing how much effort he put into creating this world. I skipped the part about the Mallorean Gospels because I'm not rereading that series.
Apr 21, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Missing pages, almost 20% of the text. Editorial fail.

Please fix this damaged digital edition which is currently unreadable. The Eddings are among my favorite authors and this is a butchery of their work.
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This will only make sense to you if you are familiar with Belgarion's world. I suggest you at least read Pawn of Prophecy first.
Jill K. Davis
Companion to one of my favorite series of all time!
Mavis Hewitt
Oct 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Probably more enjoyable if you have a deep rather than surface knowledge of the books. Found the Malloreon section rather repetative
David Szatkowski
Jun 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Good background read for the prehistory and backstory of the Belgariad and Mallorean series.
Dale Noble
Jan 30, 2017 rated it liked it
For an avid reader of expanded lore, this book provides nice coverage into the world of he Belgariad and the Malloreon. The book itself consists of literary and religious texts from this world to provide a well-rounded summary of the history, geography and peoples of the world. I particularly enjoyed the format in which this book is written as a number of varying accounts from the world itself illustrate how the world functions whilst simultaneously allowing the reader to explore the mindset of ...more
Geoffery Crescent
Oct 30, 2012 rated it liked it
There are two reasons you'd think of read the Rivan Codex. The first is if you're a fan of the Belgariad (well, or the Malloreon, but they're much of a muchness) If this is the case you'll find plenty to love here. The rich detail Eddings put into creating how his world is admirable whilst the greatest enjoyment comes from seeing how his characters sprang up from his preliminary research. Despite this, even the most hard core fan might get bogged down somewhere between the Battle of Vo Mimbre ...more
Feb 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: "the collector/completionist"
I both loved, and hated this book.

I hated it because it wasn't actually a new 'story' and it wasn't really what the title suggested it would be to a fan of the two series. It wasn't bad though. It was interesting but it definitely was not a page turner. I read it slowly, over the course of several weeks where I typically devoured new Eddings novels in a single sitting. I reread the entire Belgariad and Malloreon while reading it and cross referenced between the novels and the 'text book' as I
Jul 28, 2012 rated it it was ok
Maybe I wasnt a big enough fan of the Belgariad and Mallorean to get as much out of this as I could have, but this was only of middling enjoyability to read.

It could be that almost everything in it, I had read before. Much of it repeatedly. It could be that the changing point of view or voice made much of it hard to swallow - for example - one ninute the voice of the book is telling us about creating the large sweeping back story, and the next minute the voice of the book is decrying the events
Jun 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
I bought this book as it was the last of the books pertaining to the Belgariad and the Mallorean that I had not read yet. I must say that even though I knew that it was going to be a collection of the ancient texts that were refered to time and time again in the novels, I was a bit dissapointed. I found the book on a whole hard to read, and found myself scanning the pages rather than reading them in order to get it finished.
The best part of it was at the beginning where the author is talking
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
It's been a long time since I have re-read any of my Eddings books. That last series - The Elder Gods - left such a bad taste in my mouth it was over a decade before I could face it I guess. It was in that series they took that too cutsey "I noticed you noticing" stuff too far.
This book has some of that, plus some arrogance, plus some crotchety old man just for variety.
But I still enjoyed it.
This is the source material for the Belgarion & Mallorean series. Some of it became "Belgarath the
Nov 01, 2009 rated it did not like it
don't buy this...a repackaging of the previous works. Pisses me off since I wasted $6 of my cash back when I earned about a $100 a month..

As a follow up...I read this "book" around 1999. I woke up twice this week (2012) dreaming about how much this slop pissed me off. So...that should tell you something. One, that I need to get over it; Two, That I really, really, really hate repackaging just to garner idiots (fans?) like me into more sales. Its deceitful and dishonest. Authors should take a
This is clearly targeted to those who totally geek-out on Eddings. It is mostly a compilation of the background material compiled to give his world some depth, and in this way it is similar to much of what Christopher Tolkien has published out of his father's source materials.

So, if you are an obsessive completist (hello), or like reading early drafts and tedious background detail, or are considering the colossal mistake of creating your own fantasy world, then this book might be for you. And if
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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

Other books in the series

Belgariad Universe (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Belgarath the Sorcerer
  • Polgara the Sorceress
  • Pawn of Prophecy (The Belgariad, #1)
  • Queen of Sorcery (The Belgariad, #2)
  • Magician's Gambit (The Belgariad, #3)
  • Castle of Wizardry (The Belgariad, #4)
  • Enchanters' End Game (The Belgariad, #5)
  • Guardians of the West (The Malloreon, #1)
  • King of the Murgos (The Malloreon, #2)
  • Demon Lord of Karanda (The Malloreon, #3)
“Operating by trial and error mostly, we've evolved a tacitly agreed upon list of the elements that make for a good fantasy. The first decision the aspiring fantasist must make is theological. King Arthur and Charlemagne were Christians. Siegfried and Sigurd the Volsung were pagans. My personal view is that pagans write better stories. When a writer is having fun, it shows, and pagans have more fun than Christians. Let's scrape Horace's Dulche et utile off the plate before we even start the banquet. We're writing for fun, not to provide moral instruction. I had much more fun with the Belgariad/Malloreon than you did, because I know where all the jokes are.

All right, then, for item number one, I chose paganism. (Note that Papa Tolkien, a devout Anglo-Catholic, took the same route.)”
“Contemporary fantasists all bow politely to Lord Tennyson and Papa Tolkien, then step around them to go back to the original texts for inspiration--and there are a lot of those texts. We have King Arthur and his gang in English; we've got Siegfried and Brunhild in German; Charlemagne and Roland in French; El Cid in Spanish; Sigurd the Volsung in Icelandic; and assorted 'myghtiest Knights on lyfe' in a half-dozen other cultures. Without shame, we pillage medieval romance for all we're worth.” 12 likes
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