Great continuation of the series.
Again there’s no time jump here, we start immediately where we left off. There’s a few POV’s from familiar characters in other parts of the world before going back to Garion and the gang for the rest of the book. Here we get to explore Melcene and then move on to the greater Melcene empire.
Some of my favourite bits of the series are in this book. I love the trip to the Melcene university. Something about the reactions of Senji to Belgarath, Beldin and Garion always gets me. Also the note still gives me goosebumps. We get back to Zakath too, one of my favourites as mentioned in a previous review, and I love his capitulation when he realizes that he is still a relatively minor player in the grand scheme of things.
There is not much character growth in the books to be honest, especially in each individual series though there is a bit between the Belgariad and the Mallorean. It’s not a problem though, at least in my opinion, the characters are so well formed that it seems largely unnecessary. If anything they become even more themselves. Saying that, Durnik really gets his moments to shine in this book and it’s about time. He’s mostly a fairly background character but really stands out throughout this one.
Most of the main mysteries behind events and the motivations of the Zandramas and her underlings are explained here though there a few things still unanswered. Roll on the final part.