Belgarath the Sorcerer by David and Leigh Eddings

A great story that expands on events referenced in the main books though it has its flaws.

The framing of the book is that Garion and Durnik basically badger Belgarath into writing his memoirs and it is in this style that it is written. It’s all told from his POV with lots of snide comments to the reader and his imagined audience. Like all biographies it starts with his birth and early life, then shows how he became Aldur’s disciple and covers all the major events that preceded the main series’ in great detail. For fans of the series’ it is brilliant.

As mentioned already the style on how this is written is very well done. The little digs that ‘Belgarath’ puts in to Garion, Polgara and co are great and really make the biography style of the writing work. And all those questions and thoughts you may have wanted answered on how a person can get through seven millennia are here, though there is a lot of brushing through centuries. It is simplistic, and we won’t even go through the lack of technological change, but it is still fun to read about. I loved getting more backstory on his fellow disciples and all the events leading up to the Breaking of the World were some of favourite parts.

The bits that annoyed me though are all towards the end of the book, basically everything after the Battle of Vo Mimbre. One of the main points of the first two books of the Belgariad is that Belgarath and Polgara claim no knowledge that Asharak is Chamdar though we find out here that it is known all along. I understand that there are always going to be continuity issues when a series goes on so long that wasn’t all planned out in detail beforehand, but I still found it annoying.

If you’re a fan of the series’ I would definitely recommend this book. It’s titled as a prequel but do not read it until after you’ve read all the other books as it will give away all the main plot points. I hadn’t planned on it but I think I want to spend some more time in this world so Polgara the Sorceress is up next.

5 stars

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