Friday, April 2, 2010

Queen of Sorcery by David Eddings

Continuing my reading of David Eddings’ omnibus The Belgariad: Volume One, after finishing Pawn of Prophecy, I went straight into the second book in the series, Queen of Sorcery.

After the events of Pawn of Prophecy, Garion and company continue their quest to find the stolen artifact, heading farther south in the Western Kingdoms. Along their travels they gather a few new members, including an archer with an overpowering prejudice against a group of his fellow countrymen, including a knight who also joins the party. And, as they travel through the kingdom of Tolnedra, a spoiled princess sneaks off and joins their group when they are too far away to return her. Meeting a number of different peoples, including an old enemy, they group winds up in Nyissa, the land of the snake-people(as in snake worshipers, as opposed to literal snake-people), who wish to use Garion for their own means.

Eddings strengths of style and character development continue. You get every detail of their plot, which at times might seem too much, but with Eddings at the helm it doesn’t falter, instead making every diversion and step on the path a new adventure to overcome, with repercussion for the rest of the series. There is no meaningless fight or adventure, as each one builds what must follow.

At first I was concerned that the new characters would mess up the chemistry built between the original party, but they instead integrate in time to fit just as well as the original members. Eddings deft hand at characterization made character conflicts realistic and inevitable, but they are all handled with an incredible realism.

As with the first book, Queen of Sorcery takes comfort reading and makes into a brand new thing, with solid literary style and a un-put-downable plot.


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