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04 January 2013 @ 09:05 am
The Belgariad  
I'm re-reading the Belgariad, which is one of my favorite epic fantasy series ever. The dialog and characterization are wonderful, and hold up even though it's been at least, I don't know, 15, probably 20 years, since I've read them. (And Silk. Oh, Silk. The first love of my life looked like Silk. It's the nose. I have a thing for noses even in book characters.)

The re-read is prompted by having bought the books for my nephew, only when I went to wrap up the last two, it turned out the bookstore had accidentally ordered more copies of 1&2. So I said O WOE GOSH I GUESS I HAVE TO RE-READ THEM and went and bought the rest of the series for myself, too.

I have no idea if my nephew has read them yet (probably not, they got an X-Box for Christmas), but Deirdre re-read them herself (a great surprise, as I hadn't known she'd read them in the first place. Deirdre is turning out to be far more of a geek than I ever suspected.). At Christmas she looked at me thoughtfully and said, "Polgara always reminded me of Catie."

I assume she means beautiful and powerful, not bossy and short-tempered. :)
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The Bellinghmanbellinghman on January 4th, 2013 10:29 am (UTC)
She's your sister. So of course she means bossy and short-tempered.

I was disappointed that Eddings never wrote anything else. Sure, other books came out with other titles, but they all seemed to be retreads.
kitmizkit on January 4th, 2013 10:30 am (UTC)
Yes, that was my problem with everything else too. But I did so love the first outing with that story. :)

Also, from a very pragmatic point of view, I've come around to admiring the longevity and success of his career by writing the same story over and over again.
The Bellinghmanbellinghman on January 4th, 2013 12:07 pm (UTC)
I think his publisher was saying 'more of the same' while forgetting the necessary 'but different' qualifier.
rfrancis on January 4th, 2013 04:41 pm (UTC)
Hard to imagine a more apt description of the Mallorean (which I never finished, having, I felt, read it already.)
Patrick Samphirepsamphire on January 4th, 2013 11:09 am (UTC)
I did love the Belgariad as a teenager, and, to a diminishing degree, the sequels. I must admit, though, as I got older and particularly with some later series, I started to get rather uncomfortable with the way he handled the different races in his worlds. If I could find my copies of the Belgariad in my numerous packing cases of books, I'd definitely re-read them, though.
kitmizkit on January 4th, 2013 01:33 pm (UTC)
His races are done with extremely broad strokes, it's true, and reading them for the first time in 20 years it's more noticeable than I found it as a teen. OTOH, individual characters persist in being so well drawn that I can forgive it. :)
Laura Anne Gilmansuricattus on January 4th, 2013 12:07 pm (UTC)
I suspect The Begariad is to blame for my habit of secondary characters running away with the story...

Also: didn't everyone fall in love with Silk?
Paul Weimerprincejvstin on January 4th, 2013 01:17 pm (UTC)
:raises hand:

And yeah, its a classic case of the minor characters taking over the narrative...
kitmizkit on January 4th, 2013 01:33 pm (UTC)
Ah, but did you fall in love with Velvet?
Paul Weimerprincejvstin on January 4th, 2013 02:33 pm (UTC)
I crushed on Velvet hard, yeah (I was reversing them in my head for some reason, Silk and Velvet)
Deborah Blakedeborahblakehps on January 4th, 2013 12:17 pm (UTC)
Haven't read that one in years! *hmmmmm*
Dreamshadowmorgie on January 4th, 2013 01:20 pm (UTC)
Hee. Currently listening to Pawn of Prophecy on the way to/from work right now!
hegemony hedgehogagrimony on January 4th, 2013 03:31 pm (UTC)
I absolutely love The Belgariad. I re-read it fairly regularly. The older I get, the more I appreciate the nuances of relationship for various couples in the story. (Silk's love for Porenn, Sir Mandorallen and his liege's lady, Belgarath and Poledra, Barak and his wife.)
rfrancis on January 4th, 2013 04:42 pm (UTC)
We're watching Legend of the Seeker (loosely based on the Sword of Truth books, which I have nor read and don't particularly intend to read, but never mind) and I keep being struck at parallels -- in particular, Zeddicus never stops reminding me of Belgarath. It's a good thing. I love Belgarath.
Mary Anne: pixelpers1stence on January 5th, 2013 04:32 am (UTC)
I liked legend of the seeker (also not having read the books or having any intention of doing so anytime soon).

I found the Mallorean books annoying in how exactly they matched the belgariad and after reading one book of one other of his trilogies gave up on the whole oeuvre.
anthony_lionanthony_lion on January 5th, 2013 12:11 pm (UTC)
Loved the Belgariad...
And have just about every other book he wrote, too.

Unfortunately, though, what strikes me with the latter books is that his characters tends to 'get new magic when it fits the plot'.
One character may struggle along, then a few chapters later suddenly uses magic that would have been handy earlier.
(No, can't mention specific incidents. Too long since I read the books. And if I do a re-read, I'll read just the Belgariad)
Flitterbyflit on January 6th, 2013 10:34 am (UTC)
I pretty much read the Belgariad for Silk and Polgara, so.
silkiemom on January 8th, 2013 08:41 am (UTC)
Didn't Polgara have a white stripe in her hair?
kitmizkit on January 8th, 2013 08:43 am (UTC)
Yes, but I'm quite sure Deirdre's association came long before I started wearing one of those :)