A magnificent epic set against a history of seven thousand years of the struggles of Gods and Kings and men - of strange lands and events - of fate and a prophecy that must be fulfilled! THE BELGARIAD
Long ago, so the Storyteller claimed, the evil God Torak sought dominion and drove men and Gods to war. But Belgarath the Sorcerer led men to reclaim the Orb that protected men of the West. So long as it lay at Riva, the prophecy went, men would be safe.
But that was only a story, and Garion did not believe in magic dooms, even though the dark man without a shadow had haunted him for years. Brought up on a quiet farm by his Aunt Pol, how could he know that the Apostate planned to wake dread Torak, or that he would be led on a quest of unparalleled magic and danger by those he loved - but did not know? For a while his dreams of innocence were safe, untroubled by knowledge of his strange heritage. For a little while... THUS BEGINS BOOK ONE OF THE BELGARIAD'
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 achieved great success. In a recent interview with sffworld.com, he said: "I don't take orders from readers."
On January 26, 2007 it was reported that Eddings accidentally burned about a quarter of his office, next door to his house, along with his Excalibur sports car, and the original manuscripts for most of his novels. He was flushing the fuel tank of the car with water when he lit a piece of paper and threw into the puddle to test if it was still flammable.
On February 28, 2007, David Eddings' wife, Leigh Eddings (born Judith Leigh Schall), died following a series of strokes. She was 69.
David Eddings died on June 2, 2009 at the age of 77.
At Gordon Ramsey's Pétrus restaurant (1 Kinnerton Street / Knightsbridge, London / SW1X 8EA...in case you're interested), I can get a "Roasted beef fillet with braised shin, baked celeriac and Barolo sauce" for the reasonable price of £65.00 pounds.
I haven't tried that dish yet (I probably never will), but it sounds fabulous. What I have tried, though, is my Mom's "Roast beef, mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables." I still make it whenever my kids are in the mood, and it costs me about $15.00 dollars Canadian for five people, and it's delicious. Yes, it's simple; yes, it is plain in comparison to Ramsey's feast; but it makes me feel good, tastes great and satiates my hunger.
Gladly running the risk of sounding like a boring guy, I think, in the big scheme of things, that I will always like my Mom's dish better than Ramsey's, even if I tried it in the company of say...Harrison Ford. I would always remember that "Roasted beef fillet with braised shin, baked celeriac and Barolo sauce" fondly, but I'd go back to my Mom's dish before I ever made it to Pétrus again.
There's nothing fancy about Eddings' tale of Garion, Belgarath and Polgara. We've all tasted the ingredients in a similar dish hundreds of times (at least we have if we're fantasy geeks). Some of those dishes have been tastier (think A Song of Ice and Fire -- at least that's what I've heard), some have been more filling (think Lord of the Rings), some are perfect aperitifs (think A Wizard of Earthsea), some are great appetizers (think The Chronicles of Narnia), and some are perfect desserts (almost anything by Guy Gavriel Kay), but it is always nice to have something familiar and tasty and simple. That's what Pawn of Prophecy is for me (now that I have finally read it).
I've started a few fantasy series lately, and they've slipped out of my memory as soon as I've put them down, but ten minutes after finishing Pawn of Prophecy I walked into a used bookstore and bought Queen of Sorcery, and I plan to read it soon. You see, I need my Mom's Roast beef and mashed potatoes for dinner every couple of Sundays, so I'm not about to wait.
I'm going to let Eddings cook for me again soon.
Bram and Ryan were right to love this book as boys (lose the guilt Brer Ryan). It might not be mindblowingly inventive, but it is comfortable, and sometimes that is better than mindblowing -- or just as good.
Eddings has really created a beloved series of books that can be recommended to young and old alike. It is not deep or etremely thought provoking, it's just an enjoyable combination of adventure, humor, and fun. Garion, a naive farm boy, finds out that he is not ordinary at all. As he discovers his powers, he grows to adulthood through the ten books that comprise the Belgariad and the Mallorean. Critics might find some elements a bit formulaic, but few can deny that it is a fun series to read. For me, it was my first introduction to fantasy after Tolkien, and it was very refreshing. It was written in the 1980's when there wasn't much new stuff around. We had Anne McCaffrey and her dragons, and Terry Brooks came along. I guess there was Ursula LeGuin and CS Lewis as well to fall back on, but Eddings really put together a compelling story with memorable dialogue that my wife and I frequently quote from.
I think many of the reviews of the Belgariad are too harsh. This is a book that you can hand to your kids without worrying what strange ideas they might pick up. Somebody reviewed the books as xenophobic. What rubbish! If you create a country like Cthol Murgos where the people have an evil ruler who promotes cruelty, or a country like Nyissa who are constantly in fear of being poisoned and have strange mannerisms that imitate their snake god is that xenophobic? No, it's doing what every author needs to do. They create a world that we can escape into and people that we can relate to. If you have to superimpose our world onto the canvas of the Belgariad you're looking too deeply. Eddings writings are not social commentary or overly symbolic. It's not CS Lewis or George Orwell. It's about having fun! Sorry for the tirade, but I get bugged by reviewers who are so full of themselves that they can't admit a book is a good read because someone might think of them as juvenile or unsophisticated!
There is nothing I hate more than trying to review one of my all-time favorite books from my teenage years. We all know the reason: the book just never lives up to your memories of its perfection. A fact - which if we are honest with ourselves - is inevitable, because we personally have changed too much, the world has changed too much, and our tastes have changed too much since the initial reading. This is true to a certain extent with David Edding’s Pawn of Prophecy.
Back when I picked up this first novel of The Belgariad in 1984, I was a 13-year-old or a 14-year-old (I can’t remember which anymore) just getting over an addiction to Dungeon & Dragons and trying to transition away from my pre-teen persona into my young adult one. I had also just recently made the life altering discovery of J.R.R. Tolkien, whose books made me fall in love with fantasy and ruined my dreams of ever being considered a cool kid in high school. (It was hard to be cool when you were reading The Hobbit and making jokes about what exactly JRR was talking about when he wrote “...it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort”, but I probably shouldn’t really mention that in this review.) So when Pawn of Prophecy found its way into my hands, it must have been fate, and I fell very hard for all things related to Belgarath, Polgara or Garion. A love which lasted into my early twenties and began from the very first page of this novel.
As a teen who adored the Council of Elrond chapter in The Fellowship of the Ring, the prologue to Pawn of Prophecy was like getting a fix of my favorite pharmaceutical product. Where else except for The Silmarillion could I get to read about ancient gods creating a world only to have its perfection marred by some horrible act and throw creation into a state of constant strife? Not too many places. So within minutes, I was addicted to this story of maimed Torak and his eternal conflict with his godly siblings over possession of the Orb of Aldur, and I had to have more. Honestly, it was just a great hook.
From this beginning, Mr. Eddings immediately thrust me into the story of a simple farm boy named Garion. I learned of his earliest memories, hiding under a table watching his Aunt Pol cook. I experienced him growing up with his childhood friends, playing games, and even saw his first romance between himself and a local girl Zubrette. I also read about - but payed little attention to - the introduction of a wandering storyteller named Mister Wolf, who seemed like the comic relief more than a major character. (Boy, was I wrong on that!) And like all good fantasy books, Mr. Eddings provided me with constant foreshadowing that there was some terrible evil lurking right around the corner, waiting to destroy all this normalcy. A feeling which he deftly stoked by scene after scene of Garion experiencing visions of an unknown antagonist stalking him.
Naturally, one day Garion’s quiet farm life did end and end suddenly. Mister Wolf arriving at the farm unexpectedly, bearing news that a mysterious object has been stolen by a thief whom no-one will name. This news shocks Aunt Pol, causing her to pack up her and Garion’s things and leave the farm with Mister Wolf, dragging our clueless teenager along against his will. From there the true adventures began, and what a tale it was!
A huge, colorful world inhabited by different cultures, grand characters, and even ancient gods opened up before Garion. All of it there for our young farm boy to see and experience and me tagging along behind. Mr. Eddings dazzled both of us with his constant unveiling of ancient mysteries, evil villains, grand conspiracies, divine prophecies, and wonderful history. And the whole time, I - a teenager myself - witnessed one more thing: Garion dealing with the normal teen angst of a simple boy ripped from his safe home and thrown into a larger, more dangerous world than he ever imagined. Every adventure, every heartbreak he experienced slowly turning him into a young man before my reading eyes. Something that I was also struggling with in my own life though in different ways.
It was a grand ride that Mr. Eddings took my teenage self on during those years, and I adored every one - even when I was 19 instead of a 13-year-old, because for a few hours I could go back “home” and visit my teen heroes Garion, Belgarath, Aunt Pol, Silk, and all the rest. They felt like family to me. And it all started with this book.
Later in life I returned to Pawn of Prophecy to revisit my old “friends.” Like many times when you visit your childhood haunts, I found that things had changed - specifically me. I was older. No doubt about that. The mirror doesn’t lie after all. Plus, I was a father now. Responsibilities and all that other grown up stuff weighing me down. And I have to admit that I was now a bit jaded about life. Things were more gray now and a lot less black and white than back in my teen years. So Pawn of Prophecy’s straightforward fantasy about good guys defeating bad guys did not energize me as much as it once did. The best comparison I can give is going to your twentieth high school reunion excited to see your old girlfriend/boyfriend only to realize they aren’t sixteen anymore, have put on thirty pounds and gotten wrinkles just like you. How dare they change! That is how I felt as I sat there reading about my old friends Garion, Belgarath, and Polgara.
So why the five (5) star rating if I felt this way on my re-read you ask?
Simple: I try to rate my favorite, childhood books by what I thought of them when I read them the first time.
Maybe rating certain novels that way is wrong, but I cannot think of another way to be fair to a novel which I dearly loved at an earlier period of my life. It isn’t the books fault that I have gotten older after all. And the truth of the matter is that when I read Pawn of Prophecy - not once but numerous times in the 80s - I absolutely loved it! The simple plot and world spanning journeys of Garion bedazzled me, making me want more and more, and in my obviously biased opinion, it is still a great book for the right person - maybe another 13-year-old boy trying to grow up. Because I truly believe that even in its simplicity Pawn of Prophecy can still speak to that person and begin them on their journey into the world of fantasy novels. For that reason - and all my personal memories of it - Pawn of Prophecy will always remain a 5 star book and one of my all-time favorite fantasy novels.
3.5 stars This was a fun classic fantasy. If you’re looking for something innovative, then this book isn't for you. It was published in 1982 so by today’s standards it is definitely a cliché. However, of course, I personally won’t judge a book as a cliché if it’s almost 40 years old.
Even though it can be read to children, I don’t think it’s for a particular age only (though the older you are the less you’d enjoy it I suppose.) Pawn of Prophecy wasn’t fast-paced but it was a very quick read. It is not memorably by any means but it was enjoyable and it’s a good –even if typical- story.
I might seem negative but only because I don’t want people judging it harshly. The characters were interesting and the main character was decent (however we never learn if he eventually learns to write, there are some minor plot holes). I'm rating it 3 stars instead of 4 because I did not witness enough development in Garion's character/skills.
I’d only recommend it if you’re looking for a good old fantasy. I'm looking forward to continuing this series, I've been dropping many lately so it's good to read a book and plan to read its sequel!
And there we go - after posponing and postponing I've finally kicked off the last of the old great fantasy series on my long term fantasy reading quest.
Pawn of Prophecy is everything everyone makes it out to be. That is, it is a book which at first seems like a derivative, annoying teenage farmboy fantasy with very few redeeming qualities. For those who stick with it, however, it contains so much more. By the end of the book, I just wanted more immediately.
After a painstakingly slow beginning, the book picks up pace, and by the end, it becomes a real page-turner. Most of the characters are significantly more enjoyable than their equivalents in many similar fantasy series, and while I understand that some people are annoyed that they're seemingly invincible and face few real challenges to their progress, I found it somewhat refreshing to not have to read through the kind of setback some authors use to create fake suspense.
While there are plenty of downsides, the world of the Belgariad becomes more and more enjoyable by each chapter.
The first volume in the five book Belgariad series, which I'll happily admit to reading and then rereading throughout my mid-teens. Farm boy Garion enjoys a peaceful childhood in the care of his loving and occasionally stern Aunt Pol until the arrival of assassins sees them both on the run and Garion increasingly aware that he's much more important than he could have imagined. This is where the classic 'chosen one' fantasy template gets going in earnest and it's rarely been done better. The scale and detail of Eddings' world is often staggering and the interplay between the characters a frequent delight. Some elements will seem overly familiar to modern fantasy readers, from the prolonged info-dump in the prologue to the 'boy with a great destiny' central protagonist. It should be remembered, however, that many of these elements became tropes because of Eddings' success. Genre history lessons aside, this series remains a hugely engaging read and the first volume is no exception.
Classical Fantasy in its finest! Brought back some of my childhood and the first Sparks of Love for the genre! Yes, I am sure my feelings are tainted by nostalgia, but if I had kids, I would definitely be reading this to them, just as my dad used to read it to me... Yeah, totally worth it 😊🤗💕!
Okay, I see all the glowing reviews and all the 4 and 5 star ratings... sigh. Here I go again.
While I don't actually dislike this book I'm pretty far from liking it either. Mostly I struggled to stay awake and keep my mind on it. It starts out slow meanders around trying to find a plot in the midst of it's standard epic fantasy stereotypes and finishes telling me I should get the next book.
Not for now, thanks.
The book wants very badly to be a standout epic. I mentioned elsewhere that it felt as though the book kept yelling "LOOK AT ME I'M AN EPIC FANTASY!" The novel begins by introing us to the deities of the book's mythology, telling us about the "evil one of them" and the "mythic event" that set things in motion. . We are told about and later meet Polgara, Belgarath and Garion. Garion is a boy growing up on large and prosperous farm or farm-stead being raised by "Aunt Pol".
I read one other David Eddings book some years ago and I've largely forgotten it. My only clear impression is that throughout the book we were always traveling. We're here and we need to go there. We get there and we find we need to go somewhere else. Once there another trip became necessary. I joked that I probably wore out shoes reading the book. The same starts out here...
Anyway, the book strives to build a portentous story but ends feeling mostly like an intro into a longer story. I know a lot of you like this book and I'm not taking shots at it, it just didn't draw me in. I kept finding that my mind had wandered off the story, so enjoy if it's for you.
This is I'd say a "try it yourself book". I didn't care for it and probably won't follow it up (at least not till someone convinces me that I "simply must" try the next one. LOL). See what you think, not one I really care for. And, frankly...I'm pretty sure I'm not going to be an "Eddings fan".
This is the first of a series of books by David Eddings that comprises his epic Belgariad, the story of a young boy thrust into the eternal contest between two competing prophesies.
This is an important book if you follow Eddings’ work as he introduces themes here in this volume and the rest of the series that he continues and repeats in his other works. Eddings pens tales of Gods meddling in mortal lives and how the gods themselves are pawns in the greater scheme of the universe.
I found the book a light read but substantial enough, probably because I cut my teeth in fantasy with Tolkien and Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time. With those as my initial foray into sword and sorcery fantasy, I expected something heavy. I was pleasantly surprised as this was not the case. Tolkien often plodded in his narrative and Jordan’s later work in his books was a quagmire, so I felt the pace here was fast but not so fast as to neglect characterization.
The book is highly recommended for enthusiast of the sword and sorcery fantasy genre. This first book is something a young adult can enjoy and Eddings will only improve in the next books, growing along with his targeted audience and with the stories turning darker as well. I have already enjoyed multiple readings of this book.
ببینید من کتابهایی رو که شصتاد جلد مقدمهچینی میکنن بعد میرن سراغ داستان اصلی، دوست ندارم. مثل بلگاریاد. از قرار معلوم تا جلد سوم قرار نیست وارد ماجراهای اصلی بشیم. :|||||| بابا یعنی چی این کار؟ مقدمهچینی اونجورش خوبه که پایهریزیِ وقایع آینده باشه و در عین حال ماجراها و شخصیتپردازیهای جالبتوجه ارائه بده نه اینکه ما چند جلد راه رفتن شخصیتها رو تحمل کنیم تا تازه برسیم به داستان اصلی! O_o
بذارین سریال مستر ربات رو مثال بزنم چون فعلا فقط اون به ذهنم میرسه. آغاز مستر ربات مقدمهچینیه. هنوز بیننده از وقایع آینده خبر نداره و اگه کسی به الیوتِ قدیمیِ آغاز سریال نگاه کنه، توی دلش سرش داد میزنه: Uh man you have NO IDEA! اما از همون اپیزود اول به رابطهی شخصیت اصلی، الیوت، با چندین شخصیت مهم پرداخته میشه. زندگی و وضعیت روحیش توضیح داده میشه. ماجراهایی که برای ورود اون به قصهی اصلی لازمه اتفاق بیفتن، از همون قسمت اول در حال رخ دادنن. در عین حال سازنده برای پایان فصل و چه بسا فصلهای آینده کد و سرنخ میده. قسمتهای آغازین مقدمهاند، درست، اما بههیچوجه نمیشه گفت از اپیزودهای آینده کمتر مهم یا هیجانانگیزند. اینجوری خوبه.
قلم نویسنده رو چندان دوست نداشتم چون: ۱- پر از اسم آدم و مکان بود. ۲- نویسنده چیزهایی در ذهن داره که اونا رو روی کاغذ نمیآره. یکی از قسمتهای کتاب رو مینویسم که بفهمید منظورم چیه: شولای مخملی و آبیِ سیرِ عمهاش باعث شده بود چنان باوقار و زیبا شود که واقعا زبانش بند آمد. بعد از این جمله، شخصیتها تا صفحهی بعد دارند از زیبایی پولین تعریف میکنند. :| نویسندهی عزیز: اگه به من بگی فلانی خیلی زیبا بود، نمیتونم زیباییش رو تصور کنم که. اینکه بذاری بعدش شخصیتها قربون صدقهی زیباییای برن که من نمیتونم ببینم، فقط عصبیم میکنه. کلا داره به صفتها میگه: لطفا کارِ من رو بهجام انجام بدین.
رابطهی شخصیت اصلی (واقعا بهکار بردن عبارت شخصیت اصلی واسهش کار خندهداریه! تنها نشونهی حضور یارو توی داستان اینه که هرازگاهی فکر میکنه وای من نمیدونم چه خبره!) با بقیهی شخصیتها بسیار سمیه. مخصوصا عمهاش. رابطهی این دوتا من رو یاد رابطهی کلارک و مدی توی سریال «صد نفر» میندازه. کلارک، مادر واقعی مدی نیست اما اون رو بچهی خودش میدونه و با تمام وجود ازش محافظت میکنه. مشکل اینجاست که مدی رو جزء اموال خودش میدونه، نمیفهمه مدی خودش آدمه و حق داره کارهایی رو بکنه و چیزهایی رو بدونه. عمه پولین هم همینطوره. ننهی گالیون نیست اما بیشتر از والدین ایرانی محدودش میکنه. نمیذاره هویت داشته باشه. یه جا خیلی بدم اومد که گالیون گفت میخواد بره شکار و یکی گفت: «تولهات دارد دندان درمیآورد، پولین.» 😐 هربار که گالیون بینوا دهن باز میکنه حرفی بزنه، پولین یکی از «اون نگاهها» که هیچوقت هم نفهمیدم چه نگاههایی هستن بهش میندازه و گالیون دهنش رو میبنده. از آغاز تا پایان کتاب درگیری گالیون با ماجراها در این حده که: گالیون: چه خبره؟ همه: از عمهات بپرس. عمه: به تو چه ربطی داره که از زادگاه و دوستانت دورت کردیم، شهر به شهر میگردونیمت، مدام در حال سروکله زدن با آدمهای خطرناکیم، مجبورت میکنیم پادویی کنی، سر هــــر کاری سرزنشت میکنیم، هیچی هم بهت نمیگیم؟ حدت رو بدون! گالیون: آه.
کتاب رو با ترجمهی آقای شهرابی خوندم که بسیار ترجمهی خوبی بود و دستشون درد نکنه. عالی و شیوا. فقط، آم، من تنهام یا شما هم حس میکنین اعرابگذاری زیاده از حده؟ آخه منِ خواننده اول و دوم دبستانی که نیستم، طرز تلفظ کلمات رو بلدم دیگه.👀
از اون��ایی که محبوبیت این جلد در گودریدز از بقیهی مجموعه بالاتره گمون نکنم شانسی به بقیهی جلدها بدم. ولی اگه توانایی خرید بقیهی جلدها رو داشته باشم یحتمل نظرم رو عوض میکنم و میبینم چی میشه.
آخر سر هم بگم که ریویوم رو چندان جدی نگیرید.😂 فقط میخواستم غر بزنم و بیشک زیاد مبالغه کردم. فانتزیپسندها ممکنه خوششون بیاد.
I noticed that most of the reviewers give this a nostalgic loved-this-when-I-was-young rating. And they're right to do so. This is the perfect series of books for a young reader: clever enough to hold its own, exciting without being too graphic, and the youth don't notice just how bad the prose is.
I mean, it's hilariously bad. It's not that the Eddings machine can't write for beans; it's that the writing does all the hackneyed nasty cliched things that you're supposed to get out of your system sometime shortly after high school. (For an effective drinking game, swig every time Eddings writes a Tom Swifty - ("I can't swallow this peach," Garion choked.) Or just sip; it happens on every page so you'll drink your share either way)
On rereading, though, two things struck me other than the bad prose. The first is, the characteriations are really swift, moving directly and smoothly from "yes you care about this person" to "this is what's happening to this person", usually in a couple paragraphs. Drawing parallels for me to the adventure novels of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The brevity of the characetrizations are a real strength. The second thing I noticed was that there was something else going on here; glimpses of a cosmology of wonder and fascination beyond the play of the story itself. It was as though, every once in a while, the bottom dropped out of the floor and you realized you were in the midst of the ambitious project of an undiscovered author, the one thing he cares about more than anything else, and you have a front-row seat to teh story he wants to tell, yes, but more importantly you can see him constructing the stage props by hand in the wings, scrambling for everything he can get his hands on, and by some happy accident conjuring a genie that grants his greatest wish.
When we're all looking for a good book to read, we usually look to our favourite authors and our best friends and trust their recommnendations as to what we should try next. Such as it was for me. The Belgariad was suggested to me by just about everyone I knew who enjoyed fantasy, and a number of my favourite authors. Imagine my surprise when I start reading and keep waiting for the story's plot to begin, and it begins to dawn on me that no such relief will be arriving. The problems I have with the Belgariad are simple: The 'story' is so cliche (An orphen boy who finds himself the subject of a prophecy to save the world, say it isn't so!), The characters are bland and the world seems impervious to logic. Garion, the protagonist of the story, grows up an orphaned child with only his annoyingly mysterious Aunt Pol to take care of him. Despite the fact that he is at an age where he is approaching maturity, Garion demonstrates momentous stupidity several times throughout the series, and particularly in the first book. His entire childhood has been haunted by the prescence of a 'ringwraith' archetype character, a mysterious shrouded black horseman who stalks him, yet he has never once mentioned the terrifying figure to his Aunt Pol, and nor has she, who it becomes known is a powerful sorceress bordering on godly power, ever detected this figure despite being Garion's caretaker and vigilant protector. Over the course of the story, Garion travels alongside a group of companions, every single one of whom is either Royalty, powerful Nobility or an individual regarded as an equal among Kings and Emperors. Bit odd of an adventuring party eh? On top of all of this, the action is horribly bland and Garion's growth into the prophetic saviour is infuriatingly poor, one minute he's a lackwit child and the next he's striding along blasting enemies with torrents of magic without training and out-witting his counselors and advisors despite the fact he's never really had a proper education in statecraft. The dialogue is similarly poor, and often cliche. The romance between Garion and the princess of a neighboring Empire was just plain embarrassing. In summary, I was regretful I had ever picked up the series, and was and still am confused as to how the series ever gathered the acclaim it has.
It’s difficult to rate this book objectively in light of learning about the terrible abuse David Eddings and his uncredited coauthor wife Leigh perpetrated against their two young adopted children.
It started out promisingly enough, with the promise being a simple, easy, enjoyably tropey old school fantasy. But as the story wore on, the overt racial essentialism in the world the Eddings created became more and more apparent, and there were an increasing number of cringey moments between husbands and their wives, with the women inevitably being put in their place.
This series has a reputation of having been formative for many younger readers, a gateway drug of sorts, but it hasn’t aged well, either on its own terms or in light of the revelations about its creators’ misdeeds.
I won’t be continuing. I almost didn’t want to finish this, but I hate abandoning books I’ve started.
I was chugging along through Pawn of Prophecy just to get through it and viola! Saved by the ending! The prologue, including Eddings' world creation myth, had me really hopeful, but then this one got mired in the typical bratty-kid-is-the-key-to-everything-and-doesn't-know-it epic fantasy trope. That was disappointing. It's just not my jam. I'd heard good things about The Belgariad series. After the slow first two-thirds, things got interesting. I'm intrigued by the story now and one day I'll read the next book.
+3 “El Destino no siempre significa la muerte. Ojalá el mío lo fuera. Un Destino es algo terrible que le sucede fatalmente a un hombre, y la muerte no es lo peor que puede pasarle”.
Yo venía en busca de fantasía clásica y voilà la encontré sin lugar a dudas. Necesitaba este tipo de lectura, un libro que no fuese ni muy denso ni muy ligero, sino intermedio. Sentía que si seguía en libros ligeros que devoro a la velocidad del rayo habría acabado con las pocas neuronas decentes que me quedan.
“Cuando uno hace algo que disgusta a otros, éstos tienden a odiarlo. Este odio se acumula con los años hasta que se convierte en algo parecido a una religión. No sólo te odian a ti y a los tuyos, sino que detestan cualquier cosa que tenga relación contigo”.
Este libro que es el comienzo de las Cronicas de Belgarath no deja de ser sino una introducción a una larga saga de fantasía clásica: con fantasia clásica me refiero a que une los componentes de: un viaje, un elegido, una profecía, un grupo, magia, aventuras, amistad y enemigos entre otros elementos típicos de este tipo de literatura.
“Estamos viviendo momentos trascendentales, Garion. Los acontecimientos de un millar de años o más se han concentrado en estos días presentes. El mundo, según me han dicho, es así. Transcurren siglos sin que suceda nada y luego, en unos pocos años, tienen lugar sucesos de tan tremenda importancia que el mundo no vuelve a ser el mismo.
-Creo que, si pudiera escoger preferiría uno de esos siglos de tranquilidad.
- ¡Oh no! Éste es el momento de estar vivo para ver cómo sucede todo, para participar en ello. Eso hacer correr la sangre en las venas y cada respiración es una aventura”.
Me ha gustado mucho, siento que puede ser una saga que me va a gustar, aunque este libro no deja de ser introductorio. Los personajes me parecen muy carismáticos y la historia interesante. El único problema que encuentro es que nombran tantas razas o pueblos y sus formas de ser que me pierdo un poco. Sin embargo, creo que con el paso de las novelas iré cogiendo el hilo.
“¿Quién puede saber que es fantasía y que es verdad disfrazada de cuento?”
"No existen palabras mágicas. Alguna gente cree que sí, pero se equivoca. Los grolims utilizan palabras extrañas pero, en realidad, no son necesarias. Cualquier palabra surte efecto. Lo importante es la voluntad, no la palabra. La palabra es un medio para la voluntad".
Este es el primer libro de las Crónicas de Belgarath, fantasía de la clásica, como para volver a enraizarse en los orígenes del género.
Cada tanto me gusta volver a estos relatos de estructura sencilla, donde los personajes principales se embarcan en un viaje que los llevará a encontrarse con diferentes problemas y enemigos a los que sortear y vencer.
Tenemos también secretos que no llegan a develarse del todo porque Eddings va construyendo una gran introducción para lo que vendrá después. En este libro vemos solamente atisbos de la historia general, no hay tampoco mucha acción, pero sí bastantes hilos del relato que se abren y van enroscándose a la trama principal.
Me gusta mucho cómo los personajes mutan, se transforman levemente, paso a paso, a medida que se enfrentan a nuevas experiencias. También me parece muy interesante que aún no exista un Enemigo con mayúsculas, encarnado, al que enfrentarse. Por el contrario, aparece alguien a quien no se nombra y algunos seres llamados murgos, que no sabemos exactamente todo lo que pueden hacer. No es que no sepamos quién es el malo de la historia, sino que por el momento no es relevante.
Otra cosa que me ha encantado es la personalidad de una de las mujeres de la historia, la tía Pol: avasalladora, no se detiene ante nadie y su personalidad mantiene a raya a cualquiera.
El Viejo narrador de historias es uno de mis favoritos, a quien no puedo dejar de vincular con un personaje muy querido por la mayoría de quienes disfrutamos de la fantasía clásica.
En fin, puedo decir que La senda de la Profecía es un viento fresco en medio de un verano caluroso. Para disfrutar tranquilamente sin tener que sumergirse en universos demasiado enrevesados y complejos.
This is the book and series that essentially sparked my interest in the fantasy genre. Now as they are slowly (and I emphasize the word slowly) being released in electronic format, I have begun to start reading them again on my Kindle. Let's be clear: Pawn of Prophecy is not Game of Thrones. It's not The Name of the Wind. Heck, it's not even Assassin's Apprentice. But what it is is an entertaining quest fantasy filled with characters who you feel you know personally by the time you finish the book. The theme is pretty standard farm boy growing up not knowing that he is part of a lineage of a magical family. Evil lord does something bad, the unwitting boy then discovers who he really is and must undertake a quest to vanquish blah blah blah, you get the picture. Despite the formulaic storyline though, David Eddings and his wife Leigh Eddings manage to overcome that by crafting a heartwarming tale that is a pleasure to revisit time and time again. We hear the term comfort-read thrown around quite often, and The Belgariad is that to me in spades. I simply adore the five books that comprise this series and they will always hold a special place in my heart. Like I said, don't expect anything earth-shattering and complex. But do expect a really fun and exciting fantasy with characters who you connect with and who jump off the page.
شاید اگه ده سال پیش این کتاب رو میخوندم یعنی زمانی که یک پسر سیزده ساله بودم و اولین کتاب فانتزی بود که خوندم میگفتم عالیه اما الان به عنوان کسی که دوست داره داستانهایی با شخصیتهای پختهتر و کشمکشهای درونی عمیقتری بخونه و همچنین شاهکارهای فانتزی حماسی جهان مثل ارباب حلقهها، چرخ زمان، نغمه آتش و یخ و تعدادی دیگه رو خونده بلگاریاد برای من یک کتاب بسیار خسته کننده با ایدهای کهنه، ضرب آهنگی عاری از هیجان و تعلیق با شخصیت پردازی که تاریخ مصرفش گذشته، بود. تقريباً تمام صفحات این کتاب ریتم داستان هیچ هیجان و اشتیاقی برای خواننده ایجاد نمیکرد و شخصیتها درحال سفری مجهول برای خواننده بودند، سفری که ما حتی تا نیمهی دوم کتاب نمیدونستیم چه هدفی پشت خودش داره. شخصيتها دل نگرانیها و درگیریهای درونی خودشون رو داشتند و این ��کتهی خوبیه اما پرداخت کافی نشده بودند تا من به عنوان خواننده بیشتر باهاشون همزاد پنداری کنم درست مثل اینکه صفحات یک روزنامه رو بخونیم و بفهمیم فلان فرد فلان مشکل رو با خانوادهاش داره و ازش بگذریم. شخصیت اصلی داستان، گاریون پسری در آستانه چهارده سالگی بود که بحرانی درونی با ناشناخته بودن هویت خودش داشت، پسری که نمیدونه پدر و مادرش کی هستند و به یکباره پرت میشه وسط یک ماجراجویی و در این حین مدام تلنگرهایی بهش زده میشد که این ماجرای عجیب و غریب به گذشتهاش ارتباط مستقیم داره اما هربار که قرار بود این درگیری درونی شخصیت اصلی اوج بگیره و اشتیاق و همزاد پنداری باهم دیگه تنیده بشن تا حس تعلیق و اشتیاق شکل بگیره نویسنده مدام ترمز دستی رو میکشید و شخصیت اصلی و خواننده رو دنبال نخود سیاه میفرستاد. ديويد ادینگز با خلق شخصیت پولگارا که بار تنها کارکتر اصلی زن رو به دوش میکشید قصد داشت همون کاری رو انجام بده که رابرت جردن در چرخ زمان انجام داد اما پولگارا تا اینجا گاهی نقش دایهی مهربانتر از مادر رو بازی میکرد گرچه میشد حس کرد که اهداف دیگهای هم در پشت این مهربانیهاش داره اما درهرصورت زنی بود که با وسواسهای بیش از حد خودش گاهی نفرت من رو برمیانگیخت. درست که وظیفهاش رو به عنوان کاراکتری که داشت خیلی درست و منطقی انجام میداد اما به چه قیمتی؟ به قیمت نابود کردن هیجان داستان! نمیدونم چهطور نویسنده انتظار داره که خواننده شخصیت اصلیای رو که حتی نمیتونه خودش رو از عمهاش مبرّا کنه و مستقل باشه دوست داشته باشه! وقتی گاریون انتخابهای درست و غلطی انجام نمیده و تبدیل به یک کاراکتر وابسته میشه آیا جذابیتی خواهد داشت؟ خب یکی دیگه از نکاتی که در زمان امروزی آزار دهنده بود شخصیت بلگارات بود، همون پيرمرد خردمند، همون جادوگر بزرگی که نقش پدر نداشتهی شخصیت اصلی رو بازی میکنه. دقیقاً همون مرلین، گندالف و دامبلدور و... بدون هیچ تغییری و با تاثیرگذاری بسیار کمتر البته نباید این نکته رو فراموش کرد که زمان انتشار این کتاب (سال 1984)چنین تیپ شخصیتهایی کلیشهای محسوب نمیشدند. شخصیتهای دیگهای هم در طول کتاب بودند مثل باراک، خلدار(ابریشم) و حتی دورنیک که با وجود مجموعه بودن این کتاب نمیشه پرداختشون رو فعلاً قضاوت کرد و فقط ازشون به عنوان کارکترهایی با پتانسیل بالا یاد میکنم که انگار نویسندههای فانتزی اون دوران به خوبی ازشون استفاده نمیکردند البته بازهم میگم که باید چشم انتظار باقی کتابها ماند. اما وقتی شخصیت آراگورن رو در کتاب ارباب حلقهها و فیلم سینماییاش مقایسه میکنم و کیفیت بالای اون شاهکار تاریخی رو کنار بلگاریاد میگذارم نمیتونم امید چندانی داشته باشم که شخصیتهای نام برده به خوبی دیده بشن. در جمع بندی نهاییام نمیتونم بلگاریاد رو دوست داشته باشم چون کتابهای خیلی قویتری در این سبک از فانتزی خوندم و دیگر اینکه فانتزی حماسی امروزه بسیار پیشرفت کرده. اگر طرفدار پروپاقرص فانتزی حماسی نیستید این کتاب رو دوست نخواهید داشت اما اگر مثل من کشته مردهی این ژانر هستید شاید بلگاریاد با ارفاق راضی کننده باشه. در نهایت هم باید تشکر کنم از مترجم کتاب جناب آقای حسین شهرابی که ترجمهشون لذت بخشترین بخش این کتاب بود.
"Quando si scende al nocciolo delle cose, nulla...o almeno quasi nulla... è davvero impossibile."
Erano anni che desideravo leggere ed avere in libreria la saga dei Belgariad, osannata e alla ribalta negli anni 80 e considerata una tappa quasi obbligata per ogni amante del fantasy classico e non. Ebbene devo ammettere che questo primo romanzo è in effetti ben scritto e piacevole da leggere ma non esente da ingenuità.
Il viaggio che il giovane eroe Garion, ignaro del proprio retaggio e futuro destino, intraprende accompagnato da fedeli e potenti compagni in un mondo pieno di popoli e nazioni diverse, permette al lettore di rimanere coinvolto nell'avventura insieme a lui. Peccato che a parte il girovagare da un villaggio ad una città e da una città ad un villaggio succede ben poco altro per quasi tutta la prima metà del romanzo. Garion ha un innato talento nel trovarsi sempre nel posto giusto al momento giusto forzando un po' troppo gli eventi. Le donne, a parte la zia Pol, sono messe da parte ma spero sia solo una caratteristica del regno barbarico del nord. Il nemico sembra avere mille possibilità di risolvere la situazione ma stranamente non lo fa e rimane a guardare.
Un fantasy di altri tempi, dove valori, costumi e aspettative del pubblico erano leggermente diversi e si rispecchiano nelle sue pagine. Inutile a parer mio criticare queste differenze, che seppur appaiono evidenti oggi, non lo erano allora.
Ottima la resa delle varie popolazioni presentate con le loro peculiarità sociali, mentre mi aspettavo qualcosa di più approfondito sulle dinamiche di gruppo e sui personaggi stessi a volte meri spettatori.
Un primo romanzo di preparazione, con una prosa invidiabile e che promette grandi cose a venire.
This is a review of The Belgariad, a fantasy series that includes the books: Pawn of Prophecy, Queen of Sorcery, Magician's Gambit, Castle of Wizardry, and Enchanter's End Game.
Are the cares of life getting you down? Sky rocketing gas prices, financial and housing markets in ruins, high unemployment, an unending war sucking dry the country's coffers and recession looming on the horizon. Rather than resort to drink or despair, get away with some escapist fantasy! I read The Belgariad series when I was in high school and recently revisited it to see if they were as good as I had thought when I was a mere lass. Lo and behold, the books were a pleasant surprise upon re-reading. The plot includes all the key plot points for a hugely satisfying fantasy story -- no spoilers but there is an epic fight between good and evil, battling prophecies for both, a young good-hearted boy who discovers in time his true destiny, a band of heroes on a quest to seek a powerful talisman, and adventures galore with monsters, gods, fierce warriors, great battles, and magic. These books are not rocket science, and there are no ethical nor even any thoughtful questions posed as sometimes happens with fantasy/sci fi books. But the story moves along briskly with some surprising twists, the characters are fierce and funny. I almost felt sorry for Evil since who could withstand such a powerful band of heroes? Recommended for when you need to escape reality, with no hangovers afterwards.
My old review from 2008 still holds. This is the beginning of a fun, 5 book series. There is another 5 book series, the Mallorean, that comes after plus several additional books, "Polgara", 'Belgarath' & the 'Mrin Codex'. If you stick with the first 5 & maybe the second 5, you'll be happy. Unless this world totally captivates you, reading the 3 additional books is kind of a waste. While there are some tidbits you can pick up, mostly they're a rehash from different POV's of the other 10 books.
That said, the world captivated me. My wife & I originally started reading this series just after the second book came out. We the proceeded to read one book a year - FOREVER! - well, it seemed like forever. Of course, we'd have to re-read or at least skim the earlier books again, so I don't know how many times we read them. Two of my kids have read them at least once each, as well.
It's a sword & sorcery world with a nifty take on it. The characters are engaging, larger than life & just a lot of fun. No sex or gore, it's appropriate for ten or so & up, coming-of-age story. This first book follows Garion from his early memories to about 14. His world starts to turn upside down about 1/4 of the way through as he (& the reader) slowly begin to figure out what's going on.
David Eddings'in isimlerini santraç hamlelerinden ilham aldığı ve epik- fantastik edebiyat öğeleriyle birleştirdiği Belgariad Serisinin ilk kitabı Kehanetin Oyuncağı.
Dünyanın oluşumundan sorumlu 7 tanrıdan Aldur'un çocuk kalbi büyüklüğünde bir küre yaratıp, başıboş bir halde dolaşan Belgarath adında bir çocuğu müridi olarak yanına alması yetiştirmesi ve ardından kardeşlerinden olan Torak'ın bu taşı çalması ve mutlu mesut yaşayan insanların ve tanrıların halklara bölünmesiyle ortaya çıkan savaşların ön bilgilendirmesiyle başlıyor her şey en basit haliyle. Hikayenin gelişimi ise ana karakter olan yetim Garion'un deyimlerinden ilerliyor.
Eddings Anlatımı ve Karakterler
Eddings harika bir masal anlatıcısı ve buna rağmen Eddings'in bu serisinin hakkının yenildiğini düşünüyorum. Eddings, anlatım olarak sade, tek boyutlu, eğlenceli ve bu basit oluşum içinde sindire sindire katmanlaştırdığı bir okumaya maruz bırakıyor okuyucuyu. Oluşturduğu dünya, fantastik öğelere yaklaşımı dönemsel olarak düşünüldüğünde kendine münhasır.
Bunun yanında Eddings için şunu belirtmeliyim ki kesinlike bir Tolkien taklitçisi değil. Benzerlikler muhakkak mevcut. (Belgarath/Gandalf) Eddings seriyi tarihsel olguların üstüne oturtup daha çok harita üstünden bir FRP etkisi meydana getirirken, Tolkien sadece bir orta dünya yaratmayıp ve aynı zamanda ırklara özgü dil yaratıyor
Karakterlere gelince, açıkcası her karakteri kendi içinde çok sevdim . Garion'un çocukluktan başlayarak çiftlikte teyzesi Pol kendini, doğuştan gelen bir içsesini keşfi inanılmaz derece içten bir anlatımdı. Bunun yanında diğer yan ana karakterler, Pol Teyze, Bay Kurt, İpek ve Barak hikayeye dahil olması ve önsözde yer alan tarihsel gelişimi tekrardan farklı açılardan sunmaları da keyifli.
İlk olarak, çabucak okunan bir kitap. Fakat,kitabın fantastik edebiyat öğeleri açısından günümüzdeki çeşitliliği açısından bakıldığında eksik, problemli, vahim bulunabileceği kesin. Betimler yetersiz. Her şeye rağmen baktığımda kendime iyi ki başlamışım diyorum.
Fantastik edebiyata giriş yapmadıysanız daha önceden kesinlikle en doğru serilerden biri The Belgariad serisi. Bunun yanında bir genç yetişki serisi olarak da düşünüldüğünde de gönül rahatlığıyla çocuklara okutulabilecek bir seri.
İyi okumalar! 10/8
"Büyülü söz diye bir şey yoktur.Bazı insanlar var zanneder ama...Her söz olur. Önemli olan İradedir, Söz değil. Söz iradenin yoludur sadece.."
Pawn of Prophecy and the remaining four books that make up The Belgariad series are for me pure comfort reading, something that always manages to put a smile on my face and entertains me throughout.
Like many others I cut my fantasy teeth on David Eddings' Belgariad and Mallorean series, once in my early teens and then again in my early twenties. And it was during last week and in between books that I heard the siren song of Eddings once more and knew that I had to heed the call.
I have read other readers reviews on Goodreads that label this series as being simple, too formulaic, Eddings was secretly a xenophobe and that in comparison to other much well read fantasy series just childish in comparison. Well to them I say phooey! ;)
Formulaic? Most fantasy series begin with similar tropes so I reject that argument? Xenophobic? You're reading too much into it and obviously have way too much time on your hands. Childish? Well it's definitely a lighter read than say Donaldson, Erikson or Abercrombie but again I don't care. This book is pure entertainment, populated by fantastic characters that you really come to know and love. Silk, Belgarath, Garion, Polgara, Anheg, Barak, Porenn and even the Earl of Seline, all bloody well written and you just can't help but like them.
Overall, I loved this book to death the first time I read it and age and time haven't diminished my love for it now. Let's all raise a glass to the beauty of nostalgia :)
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 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?
By his own admission, Eddings (much like Terry Brooks) was a struggling writer until he saw how Tolkien was selling like hot cakes and decided to churn out simple, easily digestible, highly formulaic fantasy novels. There isn't necessarily anything wrong with that (I actually like Brooks' work while admiring the balls it took to blatantly re-write The Lord of the Rings and just changing the names a little). Let's see what Eddings gave us:
A mentally handicapped young man who doesn't understand the history or society of his world, or generally anything that is happening around him at any given time, has to constantly ask everyone around him to explain absolutely everything to him. People then go about giving him HUGE info dumps. The tiny amount of action that happens always involves the mentally handicapped boy wandering blindly into danger without a safety helmet or reflective vest, thus requiring a responsible adult to come and save him. Repeat for 300 pages. The End. If this is supposed to be the chosen one, the world would be better off by dumping him down a well and hoping for the best.
On a side note: since this book basically serves as no more than an almanac for his fantasy setting, it would have been much better had Eddings created a more compelling world.
I read this last year and thought it was decent, but I didn’t like it enough to continue. I decided to give it another go this year with a more open mind and I was surprised to find that I enjoyed it quite a bit more!
Garion is a young orphaned farm boy believed to be the descendant of heroes, destined to confront the fallen Dark Lord Torak who betrayed the gods of the old age and threw the world into darkness. With Torak's wicked forces rising from the shadows to wreak havoc in search of an ancient orb that will allow their master to be resurrected, Garion sets out on an epic quest to gain the support of kings from around the world and claim the orb before it falls into the wrong hands. Accompanied by his fierce yet motherly Aunt Pol, the wise sorcerer Wolf, and a slew of colorful companions, Garion must face many challenges before he confronts his mortal enemy and discover the truth behind his lineage.
An engaging classic fantasy with fun characters and charming humor. The plot and characters are rather simplistic and cliche, but not necessarily in a bad way. All the characters are recognizable archetypes that have been done hundreds of times before. Garion is the orphaned farm boy turned hero of prophecy. Pol is the harsh yet lovable sorceress. Wolf is the wise old bearded wizard. Silk is the cunning sharp-tongued jester. Barak is the barbarian warrior with a heart of gold, etc. But the Belgariad manages to utilize these archetypes much better than most typical classic epic fantasy stories by making them far more human, realistic and relatable.
The story is as formulaic and by the numbers as fantasy can possibly be, but this was actually an intentional choice by the author. He wanted to prove that he could make a fun, engaging and entertaining series using all the familiar tropes often associated with classic fantasy. Where Eddings succeeds where many classic fantasy epics don’t is the great dialogue, stronger prose, tighter pacing, characters with bright personalities that pop out of the pages and consistently witty and humorous banter between the core cast.
Is it a monumental work of fantasy that redefines the genre? No. Is it highly entertaining with moments of brilliance here and there? Definitely.
Silk is my favorite character so far. He’s like Littlefinger from Game of Thrones, but if he were actually a decent guy that just likes gambling, debating and being a sassy little devil.
What a fun ride - but gorrammit did Eddings HAVE to end it THAT WAY? We got some answers (thank Bilbo for that!) but dayum, it took awhile! And now, in order to get more answers and closure, I gotta find book 2!
Slightly Updated Bullet Review (More Coffee, Less Snoozes):
I had a LOT of fun reading this. It's pretty much your classic Hero's Journey story - a young boy with a MYSTERIOUS past sees all these crazy things going on. He joins his aunt-figure and a wizened old man on a journey to find something - what, he doesn't know. As he journeys, he meets new peoples (Barak and Silk), learns new skills (basically sign language) and starts to learn the truth about himself and those he thought he knew best.
I'm not going to bother writing a proper review because I was too damn slow to read this book, and it's not fair. But I will say: this may have all those cliches we gripe and moan about, but in a way that's just so much FUN. Sometimes it's nice to watch something not so gorram serious (I'm looking at you, DC!), and just go along for the ride.
The only problem? This book does NOT have an ending! We get a couple of answers...and then, BOOM, it's the end! Which means I absolutely HAVE to get my hands on book 2 one of these days and attempt to read this slightly faster than I read it this time around!