Parts of it were great but far too much repetition of events.
So after the ‘biography’ we had of Belgarath, we now have the same for Polgara. The same pretence is used in that Ce’Nedra wants to get the full story as she thought that Belgarath had left too much out of his so she enlists the aid of Poledra to get it. It’s done in the same narrative style with lots of asides, mainly to her father.
I was actually quite looking forward to this. I’ve read it before but struggled to remember exactly what happened in it that wasn’t already covered in Belgarath’s one. The short answer is not a lot. Pretty much all the events from her birth are covered again except from her POV. There is additional information of course, and the different viewpoint does colour certain scenes a little more but overall I found myself bored too many times. Like it’s an interesting premise to have the same events covered from another’s perspective but this is a hefty book and it was too much for certain periods.
There were parts that were great. I loved learning more about what happened during her time in Arendia and how she managed to continue fighting after the fall of the Wacites. Her love of Sendaria makes a lot more sense now after you learn of her involvement in the founding of it. I also enjoyed learning more about Garion’s predecessors and how Polgara managed to deal with them all through the centuries.
I’m still not sure of her ‘voice’ in the narrative. She was always quite enigmatic and composed (mostly) in the books but here she sometimes seemed too much like Belgarath, especially with the pithy asides. Also the constant comments about the differences between men and women got very tiresome.
I probably would have enjoyed this more if I hadn’t jumped into it directly after Belgarath the Sorcerer but it is what it is. This completely rounds out the ‘Belgariad’ universe but I wouldn’t recommend for the more casual fan as there is far too much repetition of events in it.
3.5 stars rounded up