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FanFiction & Other Series > The Belgariad

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message 1: by Patricia (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:09PM) (new)

Patricia (theinfophile) (theinfophile) | 7 comments I just posted this, and thought some of you may be interested:

THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SOME THINGS YOU MAY CONSIDER AS SPOILERS, though, I think they are just nuances because I'm not telling huge chunks of the story.

I like this book ("Pawn of Prophecy") because I like Harry Potter, and they are very similar, but I’ll get to that later.

This is the first book in a series of five called The Belgariad, which chronicles the quest of a boy who learns he is a sorcerer. His parents were killed when he was a baby, and he lives with his aunt. Sound familiar? This book was published in 1982.

What I liked most about “Pawn of Prophecy” is that the characters are quite human, and quite funny and smart-assed. I’ve laughed aloud a few times, and the author allows the characters to make fun of themselves and the antiquated language they sometimes employ. It’s also rather exciting and it’s an entire new world to learn a la Tolkein.

I feel secure in saying that I would like this book and perhaps this series had I never read Harry Potter; however, I am a huge HP fan and there is such a great number of parallels between “Pawn of Prophecy” and HP:

1) Garion, the boy who finds out he is a sorcerer, lives with his aunt. His parents were murdered when he was a baby, and he has sworn to avenge their deaths.
2) His aunt can turn into an animal. What animal? A great snowy owl, of course!
3) There is an important scene where Aunt Pol tells Garion he “must not say the name” of the evil god that, unbeknownst to him, he is to face in later books. This was prophesied before he was even born.
4) Also, “It’s not a good idea to speak his name. He has certain powers which might make it possible for him to know our every move if we alert him to our location, and he can hear his name spoken a thousand leagues away.”
5) The peoples in the Belgariad are separated by the gods, each choosing his own people to represent and each peoples having certain personality traits, much like the four houses of Hogwarts.
6) The author makes a deal about a cut on Garion’s forehead early on and I wonder if it has remained as a scar.
7) The old sorcerer, Garion’s grandfather, has this said about his eyes: “His eyes were a deep and merry blue, forever young and forever full of mischief.” Of course, this old sorcerer, Belgarath, has long white hair and a white beard etc. etc.
8) Garion has a “mark” upon his person that has been there as long as he can remember.
9) One of the men on Garion’s quest is regularly mistaken for a giant, as he is a big, hairy man.
10) Garion goes through this thing of where everyone keeps referring to him as “the boy” [who lived?:] and he has problems with that.
11) Said of the Murgos: “There are some among them who can reach out and pick the thoughts right out of your mind.” Hmm, occlumency circa 1982?


message 2: by Alien (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:09PM) (new)

Alien  Citizen | 14 comments WOW! That's a lot of parallels. Of course, Rowlings and this author likely read much of the same literature and are coming out of that shared literary tradition...but still this is an impressive list of shared elements. I'd like to read that book I think.


message 3: by Jennifer (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:11PM) (new)

Jennifer my goodness!! that is something else....interesting.

how did you stumble upon these books?


message 4: by Patricia (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:12PM) (new)

Patricia (theinfophile) (theinfophile) | 7 comments A friend recommended them to me. He made hint that I'd recognize a few things, knowing what a huge Harry Potter fan I am.


message 5: by Kerry (The Roaming Librarian) O'Donnell (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:12PM) (new)

Kerry (The Roaming Librarian) O'Donnell | 4 comments I agree that there are a few similarities between the two, but I read the Belgariad quite a while ago, well, when I was in high school anyway, and there are a ton of differences too. I liked some of the parallels you made, and they were things I hadn't noticed before, but I'd say there are way more differences than similarities. Definitely read them all, they are TOTALLY amazing books, and when you're done, check out The Mallorean series, same author, same world, new adventures. The characters are a riot in these books. Also, there's some great history of this world in the books Belgarath the Sorcerer and Polgara the Sorceress, which are incredible. Polgara was actually the first one I read about, and it's fantastic. Seriously, read them all!


message 6: by Tara (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:18PM) (new)

Tara | 83 comments I have never heard of this series but now you've gotten my interests peaked. I'm going to have to check out both Belgariad and Mallorean.

I'm really impressed by the similarities, but now I'm curious what the differences are that Kerry mentions. Woo hoo, more books to add to my "to read" list. Thanks! :)


message 7: by Alexander (new)

Alexander Draganov (darthsparhawk) A classic series. It is similar to both "Harry Potter"and "The Lord of the Rings", well-written, epic and in the same time humorous. Heartily recommended.


message 8: by Anna (new)

Anna Nielsen | 1 comments I love both of the series and I have read them at least 5 times each. But I've never seen or thought of the resemblance.
The sad thing though about the Belgariad/Malloreon books is that the authors is both dead. (Leigh, David's wife, helped him very much when he wrote the books. It's explained in the book The Rivas Codex.)


message 9: by Julia (new)

Julia | 113 comments Glad to see another Potter fan who enjoys the Belgariad! So far, I have only read Belgarath and Polgara (while getting some background information from family members who have read all of them), but I plan on reading the Belgariad soon, too!

P.S. The snowy owl comes up a few times in the series... I know why, because of reading Belgarath/Polgara, but keep an eye on her! There is a reason for that transformation!


message 10: by Gayatri (new)

Gayatri | 24 comments Thank you for this recommendation! I'd never heard of this series before.


message 11: by Julia (new)

Julia | 113 comments Patricia wrote: "I just posted this, and thought some of you may be interested:

THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SOME THINGS YOU MAY CONSIDER AS SPOILERS, though, I think they are just nuances because I'm not telling huge chu..."


I am starting a recommendation section here: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/... and will be adding Belgarath and Polgara, if that's okay? (I don't want to undermine your forum!) Like I said above, I have only read those two, but I plan to read the entire Belgariad, and I think that Belgarath works really well as a stand-alone too for a fan of Harry Potter.


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