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Enchanters' End Game

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THE DRIVE OF PROPHECY 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 tha THE DRIVE OF PROPHECY 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?


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THE DRIVE OF PROPHECY 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 tha THE DRIVE OF PROPHECY 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?

30 review for Enchanters' End Game

  1. 4 out of 5

    Wanda

    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 i 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.

  2. 4 out of 5

    C.E. Murphy

    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 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.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    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 a 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.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jane Jago

    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.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    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.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Susan Kennedy

    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 t 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.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Valyssia Leigh

    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 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. (view spoiler)[In the eleventh hour, she's ruined by the love of a 'good man.' One of Eddings god characters plainly states that unbalanced relationships do not work as the terms of the happy ending hat trick are being hammered out. While there's some truth in that, there are examples all around of powerless women yielding to powerful men and finding some measure of 'happiness,' mostly because the women in question have been reduced to the affore mentioned 'idiot children' under Eddings pen. So, Lady Polgara freely gives up her not insubstantial power for the life and love of a good man, who incidentally died a heroes death jumping on the Big Bad for the honor of 'his' woman. Funny, before this scene Polgara acted like this good man's love of her was sweet, but misguided. Yet, in the end he behaves like a blockhead and her attitude suddenly changes. She sees the great love she could have had and that gives her the strength to resist the will of an evil god, blah, blah, blah... The god is vanquished in too-short-order by the plucky, chosen one, hero boy and let the deus ex machina begin! It's really just all too tedious for words. After much pomp, wheedling, fanegaling and circumstance, it's revealed that Lady Polgara is still the implacable sorceress she always was. The changes were made to her revivified honey bear. The good man is now the newest, coolest sorcerer on the block. More rejoicing, more stale stuff, and the chosen one, hero boy gets to 'impale' his 'tiny little princess.' Women are just rewards. (hide spoiler)]

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lauren O'Farrell

    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!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Shaitarn

    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.

  10. 5 out of 5

    M.J.

    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 co 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.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

    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 obno 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.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    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 mor 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.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jesse

    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 w 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.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    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.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    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.

  16. 4 out of 5

    S James Bysouth

    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 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.

  17. 5 out of 5

    James

    4.5 stars for the series as a whole. While I rated each at 4 stars, this is one of those cases where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Wow, it's been a couple of months of time spent with this series, listening to the audiobooks during all of my commutes. I think that's the best way to go with this series as it really reads like one very long novel rather than 5 distinct ones. And this conclusion does a great job of coming full circle in almost every way. The confrontations, the bat 4.5 stars for the series as a whole. While I rated each at 4 stars, this is one of those cases where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Wow, it's been a couple of months of time spent with this series, listening to the audiobooks during all of my commutes. I think that's the best way to go with this series as it really reads like one very long novel rather than 5 distinct ones. And this conclusion does a great job of coming full circle in almost every way. The confrontations, the battles, the weddings, the prophecy. All were earned by the previous books and all were satisfying in their culmination. I loved that for a time we broke away from the regular POVs and got to see snippets of other views around the kingdom. That built the tension before the war well. And while I usually find battle scenes hard to follow, the narrator for this series had me on the edge of my seat. My previous complaints still apply. Eddings didn't write the most positive of female characters. And pretty much every character (and indeed race) has their one note archetype. But for all that, the world building was great, and the simplicity was comforting. I've enjoyed every piece of Garion's journey. Not ready to jump into the Mallorean and the prequels yet. I need a break. But I know it will be great to see all of these characters again for new journeys.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Katy

    Nice happy "almost" ending.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Wilma

    This is a review of the whole series, as I've read all of them recently and what I have to say pretty much applies to all the books in the series. I almost loved these books as much as I do Robin Hobb's. The characters in these novels are rather diverse as everybody has their own strengths and failings. Moreover, almost all of the character go through some kind of transformation, either smaller changes, like the less important characters, or bigger ones, when the character is more important to t This is a review of the whole series, as I've read all of them recently and what I have to say pretty much applies to all the books in the series. I almost loved these books as much as I do Robin Hobb's. The characters in these novels are rather diverse as everybody has their own strengths and failings. Moreover, almost all of the character go through some kind of transformation, either smaller changes, like the less important characters, or bigger ones, when the character is more important to the story. This ensured that none of the characters felt flat to me. The changes in one's character were portrayed as gradual, and sometimes a character would fall back into old habits, adding to the sense that these were real persons, rather than flat characters. The story and the world were well built, because, yes, it takes some getting into as to who is who and which people fought whom when, but it was so well explained within the story, that it wasn't hard to understand or get into. I also liked the fact that every nation in the land has stereotypes about other nations and their peoples, which were often waylaid when people actually took the effort to have more than superficial contact, like trading, with someone from another country. The only thing I didn't like about these novels, is the fact that all the problems or unfriendly encounters/fights were resolved far to quickly. At one point I was pretty sure that one of my favourite characters would die. However, within 5 pages or so, he was rescued. Granted, every character in the company uses his or her talent to solve certain problems, but there would have been more suspense, and it would have felt more like real-world problems, if they hadn't been resolved so quickly or easily. Another example (SPOILER ALERT) is that an evil mage who has been practising magic for quite awhile, forgets the most basic rule of magic, leading to his instanteous demise, and the victory for the main characters. I was expecting a bit more from this fight, because the whole novel was building up to it, but, sadly, it was a bit of an anticlimax. Overall though, the series was very entertaining and I really loved the characters, the world, and the story.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Raquel Evans

    I quite enjoyed this series, and the wide array of characters that were woven together to make the whole adventure work.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Barry

    First of all, I apologize to those who enjoyed this series. I didn’t grow up with this kind of story, so I put no nostalgic value in my review. It’s not that this is a bad book or series. It’s decent. But, in the past twenty years the fantasy world has probably evolved a great deal from a relatively straightforward good versus evil plot line with static characters. And I am of the opinion that the more complicated and morally ambiguous the characters, the better. Unfortunately, due to the static First of all, I apologize to those who enjoyed this series. I didn’t grow up with this kind of story, so I put no nostalgic value in my review. It’s not that this is a bad book or series. It’s decent. But, in the past twenty years the fantasy world has probably evolved a great deal from a relatively straightforward good versus evil plot line with static characters. And I am of the opinion that the more complicated and morally ambiguous the characters, the better. Unfortunately, due to the static nature of the characters I couldn’t enjoy them. In this book, I wanted to strangle something every time Garrion, innocently, made a mistake and was reprimanded (give the boy a break, he was never to,d what not to do!). Or when Ce’Nedra had to say anything at all. The rest of the characters were okay. Although, again, because there’s practically no character development, I could sort of guess what would happen as the various characters are challenged throughout the series. If I had read this as a teenager, I would have given this a much higher rating, probably. 2 Star for this book. 2.5 for the whole series (just middle of the road).

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    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 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.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Whitney

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The series gets more readable as it goes on. I still don't find the humor terribly appealing and the characters are still one-dimensional (though some of them manage to be very likable within their stereotypes.) There is a lot of action in these later novels and it is good mindless entertainment, however a few things about the conclusion bothered me. The choice Polgara, the most powerful woman in the world, is given post-climax is rather insulting. It's a rare novel indeed which offers a man the The series gets more readable as it goes on. I still don't find the humor terribly appealing and the characters are still one-dimensional (though some of them manage to be very likable within their stereotypes.) There is a lot of action in these later novels and it is good mindless entertainment, however a few things about the conclusion bothered me. The choice Polgara, the most powerful woman in the world, is given post-climax is rather insulting. It's a rare novel indeed which offers a man the opportunity to surrender his power for the sake of a woman! In fact, traditional gender roles saturate this series and I would be hard-pressed to name a single truly independent female character, including supposedly strong-willed characters like Ce'Nedra who substitute passive-aggressive manipulation for communication and the expectation of being listened to if they speak openly and rationally about their own needs and desires. Of course, given the behavior of some of the male characters (one of whom rapes his wife in an earlier novel, an incident which is completely glossed over), one can hardly lay all the blame on the ladies! Furthermore, the weeping soppiness the main character and supporting gods experience over the death of the evil god Torak might manage to be a touching portrayal of unconditional love if not for the fact that several of Torak's underlings--at least one of whom, Zedar, is almost purely his victim--are disposed of with nary a tear in sight. The theological impression this reader was left with was something of a twisted Paradise Lost, where the Devil is offered forgiveness by virtue of his power and importance while the weak and frail mortals he led astray are abandoned to the flames of perdition. I realize that this is an unfair comparison to lay on a light fantasy novel, but it is the first one that sprang to mind and I can't seem to think of a better. Even light fantasy novels contain morals, and it is sometimes interesting if not always a productive use of time to examine them. Overall I would say that this series was entertaining and I don't really mind that my OCD demands that I read the sequel Malloreon. I wouldn't recommend it to someone who hasn't already read the better and more wholesome fantasy series, such as Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Dark is Rising or any number of others but I would certainly take it over Twilight any day.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Renee

    It's too bad I didn't read this series as a child, for I might have liked it then. Reading it as an adult just didn't work for me, though I really wanted to like it. I liked some of the characters, and the overall storytelling; but had too many issues throughout. Worst for me was probably the characterization of women throughout this series. Sure, this setting is patriarchal, but that doesn't mean every woman has to be a fliggering idiot. They have tantrums, do stupid things so men have to rescu It's too bad I didn't read this series as a child, for I might have liked it then. Reading it as an adult just didn't work for me, though I really wanted to like it. I liked some of the characters, and the overall storytelling; but had too many issues throughout. Worst for me was probably the characterization of women throughout this series. Sure, this setting is patriarchal, but that doesn't mean every woman has to be a fliggering idiot. They have tantrums, do stupid things so men have to rescue them, can't bear it if someone raises a voice to them, become obsessed with their determined mates and act ridiculously. When one does something that makes sense, the men pat them on the head. It was hard to keep names straight, as they were most often 'the tiny girl,' 'the plump little queen,' 'the tiny little queen,' and so forth. After a while, it was just too much. One of the primary plots of this book was a standard journey. A long journey. My issue? (view spoiler)[The two of them were sorcerers who could, and did, change to animal shapes on the journey. Why the heck didn't they simply change into birds and fly to their destination? The whole plot felt like a waste of time to me. (hide spoiler)] The audio version was the final nail in the coffin for me. Random mispronounced words drove me bonkers. Also, two of the main place names were Nadrack and Mishrak (sp?). Every time I heard them, I got stuck on a song about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. It was not to be borne. After four and a half long books, I gave up.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Scot Parker

    David Eddings finished strong! The conclusion of The Belgariad has it all - more of the loveable characters you've followed through the previous four books. War. Adventure. An epic quest. Enchanters' End Game brings us to the final confrontation between Garion and Torak, one which will come at great personal cost to our heroes and even to the universe itself. While the battle between Garion and Torak was the event to which the series had been building, to me the true climax of the book was the s David Eddings finished strong! The conclusion of The Belgariad has it all - more of the loveable characters you've followed through the previous four books. War. Adventure. An epic quest. Enchanters' End Game brings us to the final confrontation between Garion and Torak, one which will come at great personal cost to our heroes and even to the universe itself. While the battle between Garion and Torak was the event to which the series had been building, to me the true climax of the book was the series of events that immediately followed the conclusion of that battle. Those few pages were incredibly emotionally evocative, and Eddings wrote them quite well. You'll know what I mean when you get there yourself. If you've read the series this far, finish it! Eddings does not disappoint!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Kinney

    5 books and enjoyed them all. Can't ask for more. Many times I will lose interest over time.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I hadn't read any David Eddings before this series. I had heard about him here and there, primarily from one friend I knew in the dorm back in college. A few months ago I was looking for some good fantasy pulp to keep my brain occupied as I tried to fall asleep. I was at Half-Price Books and saw this series (there are a LOT of Eddings books at Half-Price). I bought the first in the series Pawn of Prophecy and enjoyed it. Now, let me be a little more clear about that. I enjoyed it, but it's extr I hadn't read any David Eddings before this series. I had heard about him here and there, primarily from one friend I knew in the dorm back in college. A few months ago I was looking for some good fantasy pulp to keep my brain occupied as I tried to fall asleep. I was at Half-Price Books and saw this series (there are a LOT of Eddings books at Half-Price). I bought the first in the series Pawn of Prophecy and enjoyed it. Now, let me be a little more clear about that. I enjoyed it, but it's extremely typical fantasy. That is, it's intensely derivative of J.R.R. Tolkien--there's an old wizard who leads the way in a fight against a supernatural bad guy, an innocent young hero, a magical relic that will defeat the bad guy, and a collection of contrasting heroes is assembled that journeys across the world on a quest to defeat the bad guy. (I know, Tolkien is derivative of things before him as well.) The characters aren't very developed. Etc. So, I enjoyed it because I was actually looking for something fairly mindless. I went back to Half-Price and bought the whole series, you know, for the colossal sum of about eight bucks. I finally got through it. It wasn't terribly compelling, but it was somewhat, and I was apparently compelled enough to read five books. I think I mostly just wanted to know how it ended. I'll give you one guess. Yeah, that's right. The ending also came quite suddenly after a five book lead-up, and was also quite typical--the bad guy and the good guy, each with their respective magical weapons, grow to giant size and duke it out, and the good guy's sword-infused-with-magical-relic shoots lightning into the bad guy! It's interesting...I've seen other folk's reviews and I imagine if Eddings had been the first fantasy genre fiction I had read I would have a much deeper appreciation for him, so I respect that others do. (Believe me, I'm a freak about Tolkien.) But I'm almost 40-years-old now, and I read The Hobbit when I was seven. In the intervening thirty-two years I've read a lot of fantasy, and a lot of literature, and even obtained a degree in the stuff, and it takes a lot to impress me. (Please send me your recommendations, by the way.) So, bottom line, if you're a young fantasy fan, or just really like the genre, I'd say give the first book a shot and see what you think. If you're a seasoned fantasy fan I'd have to say it's not worth the time. There's nothing particularly new or interesting here. It's very typical of the genre.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Richard Clark

    Although I believe it could have been 100 pages shorter, David Eddings ties everything together so well. That ending is so satisfying and properly wraps up this extended journey of the Belgaraid.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Matt Braymiller

    The five stars are for the entire series as much as for this final volume. As I mentioned in my comments on the first book in the series, this is one of my favorite presentations of the familiar coming of age / embodiment of prophecy fantasy stories. Eddings did such a good job of presenting Garion as an ordinary boy, living a life of ordinary obscurity before being thrust into events far beyond himself. It is very easy to get inside Garion's head and ride along with him through his series of adv The five stars are for the entire series as much as for this final volume. As I mentioned in my comments on the first book in the series, this is one of my favorite presentations of the familiar coming of age / embodiment of prophecy fantasy stories. Eddings did such a good job of presenting Garion as an ordinary boy, living a life of ordinary obscurity before being thrust into events far beyond himself. It is very easy to get inside Garion's head and ride along with him through his series of adventures and to empathize with his feelings of ill-preparedness as the events escalate and he is caught in the flood of things beyond his control. I think this story and the other two on my short mental list appeal so much because they spend so much time developing the characters to the point that they feel very much like old friends. They also allow a certain vicarious enjoyment of the adventures while at the same time reminding me how much I like my ordinary obscure life. Adventure is all well and good, but it has certain terrifying elements to it as well. I am now old enough to appreciate the joys to be had in the ordinary events of daily life. The other two series on my little list, if anyone cares, are Tad William's Memory, Sorrow and Thorn novels and Robert Jordan's massive Wheel of Time series. For now, I will put the Belgariad away and probably revisit it in another four or five years and once more experience the joy of being reunited with Garion, Durnik, and all their friends.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kirsty (Amethyst Bookwyrm)

    This and my other reviews can be found at http://amethystbookwyrm.blogspot.co.uk/ The fate of the world depends on one duel. Garion is now the King of Riva, but he knows there will be no peace as long as Torak lives. Garion along with Belgarath and Silk set out to find him. In order to keep Torak’s forces focus away from Garion, and also to keep the peace in the West, Ce’Nedra has gathered her forces and is ready to take on the Angarak’s. With Garion getting close to Torak, he knows he will have This and my other reviews can be found at http://amethystbookwyrm.blogspot.co.uk/ The fate of the world depends on one duel. Garion is now the King of Riva, but he knows there will be no peace as long as Torak lives. Garion along with Belgarath and Silk set out to find him. In order to keep Torak’s forces focus away from Garion, and also to keep the peace in the West, Ce’Nedra has gathered her forces and is ready to take on the Angarak’s. With Garion getting close to Torak, he knows he will have to fight him, but how can he possibly win against a God. With the two prophecies converging, which side will win? Enchanters’ End Game is the final book in the Belgariad and it wraps up everything from the previous books. There are two storylines going on in this book and whilst I liked Ce’Nedra and Pol’s, I was more interested in Garion’s. Garion is really depressed in this book but is also very determined, and it has been enjoyable watching him grow up. Whilst I like Ce’Nedra more than when we first met her, she doesn’t realise how dangerous and serious war can be, and doesn’t think about the consequences of her actions This is the end of a really good classic fantasy book and I would recommend Enchanters’ End Game to people who enjoyed the first 4 books and if you have enjoyed this series, I would suggest you read the sequel series, The Malloreon, and the prequel’s Belgarath the Sorcerer, and Polgara the Sorceress.

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