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Pawn of Prophecy (The Belgariad, #1)
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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

This is our discussion of the Classic fantasy novel....


Pawn of Prophecy (The Belgariad, #1) by David Eddings Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings


message 2: by Jim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 2270 comments I remember reading this for the first time in 1983 or 4. My wife was pregnant with our 2d kid & I got it for her from the library. I think we managed to read 2, had to wait a bit for the third one & then waited a year for each of the rest of the books. I reread the series a couple of times during that time. This was always my favorite.

The characters are caricatures, but fun ones & Eddings does add some great dashes of realism in. They're just little things, like concern about the horses, but it leavens the fantastic elements a lot. I'll get started rereading this as soon as I finish my current book.


message 3: by Gary (last edited Jul 01, 2016 10:33AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gary Sundell | 204 comments I just reread this last year, only to discover that the rest of the series is no longer available in Ebook format in the US. Thankfully, I have the original paperback run as well as the HC omnibus that the original publisher released of books 1-3. Of course they never released the companion volume with books 4 and 5. Fortunately, I picked up the SF Book Club edition of books 4 and 5.
I love this series. Sure the dark rider watching Garion is a nod to The Lord of the Rings. Silk and Barak bear a resemblance to a pair of adventurers created by Fritz Leiber. Aunt Pol and her uncle are always great fun to read. The mix is always a delight to read for me at least.


Sue-Ellen (suejuddo) | 1 comments It is those little dashes of realism that I have found best about the book too. Makes the characters seem more real with having to deal with daily things. Have read the whole series and have gone back and read it again. The relationships between people are why I went back for a re read. The way they interacted with me, would make me laugh, get annoyed, celebrate with them, like a real friend. Sounds like became attached to these books.


message 5: by Jim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 2270 comments We're on our second set of paperbacks. 2 of our kids read it several times as well. One of them has the original set, but it's in very poor shape. A little too well loved & read.
;)


message 6: by Brendan (new)

Brendan (mistershine) | 743 comments One of the first fantasy novels I ever read. I've read pretty much every book the Eddings wrote, perhaps dozens of times.


message 7: by Dan (new)

Dan | 6 comments I read these books and the Mallorian series back in the day, enjoyable books, easy to read and with some interesting characters. I think Eddings set a kind of template for a lot of post LOTR fantasy series. I will read them again sometime but I would say I prefer the Sparhawk novels, I think Eddings had developed his style more in this later series and they were aimed at a slightly more "grown up" audience.


Michael Brookes (technohippy) Dan wrote: "I read these books and the Mallorian series back in the day, enjoyable books, easy to read and with some interesting characters. I think Eddings set a kind of template for a lot of post LOTR fantas..."

I agree with you on this, I think the Sparhawk novels had a better feel to them.


message 9: by Steve (new)

Steve Haywood I read the Lord of the Rings when I was 11 and loved it but, thought that was it. Then a family friend lent me Pawn of Prophecy and a whole new world of fantasy was opened up for me. I think the Elenium and Tamuli (Sparhawk books) were better books, but I've got a real soft spot for the Belgariad and the Mallorean. I grew up with these books and read them time and again. My favourite character was Silk, though virtually any time he spoke he did so 'sardonically'. Might be time for a re-read.


message 10: by Gary (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gary Sundell | 204 comments I sure expected more discussion on this book.


message 11: by Phil (new) - rated it 3 stars

Phil J | 329 comments Gary wrote: "I sure expected more discussion on this book."

I'm working through the audiobook slowly. I'm a first-time reader, so I don't have too much to say about it yet. So far it seems like Eddings paid as much attention to the Silmarillion as he did to LotR, which makes the prologue a lot of fun. The characters are a little corny but likeable, and the book is moving along.


Nannahall | 2 comments My favorite charachter is Belgarath. A mighty sorcerer, but also a loveable scoundrel. The way he got insulted when Belgarion tried to help him, is just fantastic!


message 13: by Brendan (new)

Brendan (mistershine) | 743 comments Ce'Nedra was my favourite character but I forget if she shows up in this book or a later one.


Nannahall | 2 comments Ce'Nedra shows up in the next bok Queen of sorcery. I like her too, but a lot of times she really annoys me!


message 15: by Gary (last edited Jul 12, 2016 01:49PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gary Sundell | 204 comments All the characters have their moments which is one of the things I enjoy about the series. I would not want to annoy Aunt Pol or Old Wolf.


message 16: by Gary (last edited Jul 12, 2016 01:52PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gary Sundell | 204 comments Nannahall wrote: "Ce'Nedra shows up in the next bok Queen of sorcery. I like her too, but a lot of times she really annoys me!"

She takes on a bigger role in Book 3 as I recall. I will be reading books 3-5 before the end of the year for the second time..


message 17: by Jim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 2270 comments Gary wrote: "I sure expected more discussion on this book."

I'm hoping to start my reread tomorrow. Too much going on in the real world.


message 18: by Jim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 2270 comments I had to pick my daughter up from the dentist, so wound up finishing the book tonight. Loved it again. The characters are a bit overblown, but that's half the fun. Very quick, easy, & entertaining.


message 19: by Fisch (new) - added it

Fisch | 3 comments I still have my paperbacks but haven't read them in a long time! I've read most all of the books he wrote along with the ones with Leigh. Sad to know they're both gone as their books were a great part of my reading growing up.


message 20: by V.W. (new)

V.W. Singer | 253 comments I remember seeing the poster for the book come up on the wall of the Forbidden Planet bookshop in London. I was immediately drawn to it, and wasn't disappointed when I finally got hold of the book. I loved the world it created and the characters in it.


message 21: by Gary (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gary Sundell | 204 comments For me part of the fun is the supporting cast, Barak's wife and a certain Drasnian Queen come to mind.


message 22: by Jim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 2270 comments I'm going to start Queen of Sorcery today at lunch. I don't know for sure, but I'll probably wind up reading all 5 books of the Belgariad. It's tough not to. I'm sure I won't go on to the Mallorean, but I might read the Elenium trilogy again. Faran is a hoot.


message 23: by Rodney (new)

Rodney Carlson (rodneycarlson) | 8 comments It's been too many years since I've read this, but I remember the books captivated me. Eddings did a great job with the characters. I will revisit these if I can find them in my pile of hoarded books.


message 24: by Gary (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gary Sundell | 204 comments I'll be picking up with book 3 after I finish with Robin Hobb's Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy, #1) by Robin Hobb


message 25: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 2764 comments I first read this book in 2006, so this makes for a 10 year anniversary. I read through the entire Belgariad, but at the time I didn't have the Mallorean so stopped there. Now that I've acquired the Mallorean, as well as the three standalone books, I wanted to go back and re-read the entire series from the start. So perfect timing for the book club to have selected this book :)

It was a pleasure getting back into this world again. I recall how much I loved the characters, I was always particular to Silk. I'm a fan of the sneaky ones that get by with their wits rather than their brawn. And as someone already pointed out, even the secondary characters are fun.

The characters are a bit simplistic, all the Alorn kings are good and kind, all the Murgos and Thulls are dark and scary. But you know, sometimes its nice to just sit back, relax, and enjoy a story. Even if all the "twists" are so obvious Eddings practically hits you over the head with them. I felt sorry at times for Garion for being the only one oblivious to the true natures of those around him. I mean right down to Aunt Pol's lock of white hair, and his own white mark on his hand.

I'm going to read The Magicians next, but after that I'll be back to the Belgariad.


message 26: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah | 68 comments I'm really hoping to still be able to squeeze in at least starting this book this month.
A book for one my other groups is taking much, much longer than I anticipated so it is slowing down my progress.


message 27: by Phil (new) - rated it 3 stars

Phil J | 329 comments Sarah wrote: "I'm really hoping to still be able to squeeze in at least starting this book this month.
A book for one my other groups is taking much, much longer than I anticipated so it is slowing down my prog..."


I'm slowly going along with it. I listen to audiobooks when I'm walking, and I've mostly been driving lately. I'm only about 15% in. So, hang in there, Sarah, and keep me company in the caboose of this discussion.


message 28: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah | 68 comments Phil wrote: "Sarah wrote: "I'm really hoping to still be able to squeeze in at least starting this book this month.
A book for one my other groups is taking much, much longer than I anticipated so it is slowin..."


I like audiobooks for some things too, especially with a good narrator. I have the actual print book of this one though.

And, being in the caboose means we at least made the train!


message 29: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah | 68 comments I did manage to get started on this just as the month ended.
About thirty pages in.
It seems like it should be good, but like so many epic fantasy stories its rather slow starting.


message 30: by Phil (new) - rated it 3 stars

Phil J | 329 comments I just got to the part with Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. I'm not sure if it's a loving homage or blatant theft. I wonder how many readers encountered this book after they'd already read Fritz Leiber.

I'm about 1/3 in, and I'd say that stands for my feelings in general. There's nothing new here, but the good-natured enthusiasm takes it up a notch.


message 31: by Gary (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gary Sundell | 204 comments It is more an affectionate tribute than a rip-off, I think. Silk is no sorcerer. Mouser as I recall has some skill at magic. There are other differences but I do not want to post spoilers.


message 32: by Phil (new) - rated it 3 stars

Phil J | 329 comments Still moseying my way through the audiobook. I'm about halfway, and starting to grit my teeth a little. The characters are getting annoying.

Specifically, Garion is a mooncalf. It takes him a really, really long time to ask any questions at all about the obvious mysteries in his life, such as his absent parents. When he does, he's surprisingly easily shut down by his elders. I think he's the first teenager without a hormone in his whole body.

Then there's Aunt Pol, who builds on the Miss Piggy prototype of "powerful but shrill female character written by a man." She also reminds me a lot of Nynaeve from the WoT books, so I'm guessing Robert Jordan was a fan.

I will continue, in the hopes that there is some kind of gut-check moment when Aunt Pol gets murdered by Orcs and Garion has to face the truth that being an idiot will not protect him from the evil of Torak One-Eye.


message 33: by Jim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 2270 comments I listen to a lot of audio books & have these, but couldn't listen to them. I always read the paperback & that allows me to skim at times. I don't think Eddings writes to be read out loud. Orson Scott Card says he reads his books aloud to make sure they flow correctly. His books are better as audio books, IMO.


message 34: by Phil (new) - rated it 3 stars

Phil J | 329 comments Finished, only two months late. It definitely picked up in the last third. The Cherek kingdom was more interesting, with a better developed culture and all the courtly doings. I like what he did with Barak's character, and Garion became less annoyingly childish.

My review is mixed:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

This book is far from being a favorite, but I did learn to appreciate it by the end.


message 35: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah | 68 comments I'm behind on some stuff I meant to read and I'm really struggling to get in to it, so this has been on the back burner. Should get back to it soon.


message 36: by Phil (new) - rated it 3 stars

Phil J | 329 comments Wow, I just checked out the "Is this book racist?" thread. It's predictably heated.

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

My two cents are all the way down in comment 163. Basically, I don't think it's intentionally racist so much as accidentally racist by way of lazy characterization.

By comparison, I did not pick up on racism in Phantom Menace, Star Trek, or Tolkien, but I cringed a few times while reading Pawn of Prophecy. I don't think I'm super-sensitive on the subject, but I do think it stands out a bit in this one.


message 37: by [deleted user] (new)

Well, I've started reading this. (Yes, I know it's three months late.) I think I should be saying "re-reading", but I really have no memory of the first time I read it all, beyond a vague recollection that I found it really boring. I've re-read books I didn't remember much about before, and usually once I start reading I begin to remember at least the main story (though even in familiar books, I've often forgotten certain details.) With Pawn of Prophecy, I'm halfway through and still drawing a total blank; I've done a pretty thorough job purging it from my memory.

Anyway, at the halfway point not a lot has happened yet. (The King has just requested the protagonists' presence. This request was military in nature.) But it's not as boring as I was prepared for. I'm beginning to wonder if I had somehow conflated my memory of it with some other boring book I read at around the same time.


Sue-Ellen wrote: "It is those little dashes of realism that I have found best about the book too. .."

I can certainly agree that Eddings has a nice way with little details, especially his frequent references to smells (kitchen, wood smoke, horses,...)


message 38: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 2764 comments I had the same experience, I read it not that many years ago, but reading it now it was almost like reading it for new, though I mainly recalled the characters. And it isn't like it is so bad that it needs to be scrubbed from one's mind (in fact I don't find it bad at all, its fun), it just doesn't seem to stick for some reason.

Maybe I'll be able to enjoy it all over again in another few years!


message 39: by Andy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Andy | 78 comments I've read these books many times - very easy reading. I'd describe them as a 'jaunty adventure'. Garion is a little naive,"Why me?" - but is only 15 or so, and I think I was around the same age when I read them for the first time. Even though it's been years since I picked it up I still know that 'the kitchen at Faldor's farm was the first thing the boy Garion could remember'. There's little sense of main character imperilment though, and the books are fun, with some laugh out loud moments.


message 40: by Gary (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gary Sundell | 204 comments The entire Belgariad is available again in Ebook format here in the US.


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