Guardians of the West by David Eddings

Good opening to the series.

Set a little after the events of the Belgariad, the first part of the book covers quite a few years until the latter third or so moves along at a more normal pace. Though the events of the previous series were pretty definitive, there are hints and portents that the conflict between the Light and the Dark might not be over.

So the story in this is very much a retcon and the author spends a fair bit of time scrambling around trying to show how the previous events didn’t necessarily show that the confrontation between Garion and Torak was the final event. To be fair they do a pretty good job of it if you take it with a leap of faith, there are a few bits in the previous series that may have shown this.

We also start with another POV in Errand, though Garion does take over for the rest of the book after this. The pace is quite leisurely at first but does pick up for the last half or so. All our favourite characters are back and still retain our affection even though circumstances might have changed for them. Garion is well done in that he really feels like a more mature version of the kid from the first series.

There is nothing new in these books, and modern readers might struggle with the pure stereotypes and archetypical plot points of them but they will always retain a special affection for me. They are a light, easy read though sometimes it kind of be a bit jarring as some pretty dark things are done, mostly by the bad guys but sometimes our heroes do some very questionable things. Looking forward to the rest of the series.

4 stars

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