“ Author: David Eddings / Genre: Sci-Fi / Fantasy „
I'm having some computer problems so I'm getting plenty of time to handwrite my next few reviews - and read a lot of books! As I am hurtling through the David Eddings' books, I feel I better pick up the pace reviewing the books! My fourth review in the Belgariad five book series focuses on the fourth book, called Castle of Wizardry.
As always, I'm going to try to avoid any spoilers, but Castle of Wizardry is quite deep in the story, so I apologise in advance if I'm a little brief or if you feel I give too much away. The books start is quite action-packed due to the climactic events at the end of Magician's Gambit; our hero Garion has taken charge of the group as both Belgarath and Polgara (his grandfather and aunt respectively) are incapacitated and he is the only member left with the power of sorcery. The ranks of the little group have swollen as they race away from Rak Cthol (a fortress of the bad guys basically) with some very precious cargo. The end is in sight, but it is far from over. Garion faces one last challenge - indeed Garion and his friends all face a final challenge; which will lead to the final book!
Yes this book is just as frustrating as Magician's Gambit was - or the endings are as frustrating anyway. Everything is hurtling towards a massive climax, pages are turning at speed, and its lucky breathing is an involuntary action - and the book ends. When I first read the book, the ending was met with a howl of frustration and me hurtling upstairs to grab the final instalment. But I get ahead of myself. Castle of Wizardry begins at a cliff-hanger, as mentioned previously, so you are literally thrown into the action from the start. The story does seem to cool off after a little bit once the group arrive at their intended destination, but to be honest you do need chance to catch your breath once in a while! I did reach a point where I was wondering what on earth could happen next to possibly fill another book but there were a few key elements that I did forget about, so it was a bit of a nice surprise when I realised that the story still had a bit of a way to go.
We do meet a couple of new characters - or get to know them a bit better as we had met them at the end of Magician's Gambit. For the most part, however, it does feel like you are returning to some old friends. The characters are so familiar, and even though their stories are still being slightly built upon, there is so much depth and detail by now that it's almost not necessary. You know how the Knight Mandorallen will respond to certain comments, you know when Princess Ce'Nedra will flounce off in a mood - and you can almost tell when Garion is going to say the fatal words "Why Me?". I think the depth and familiarity of the characters is partly due to the number of books you have read by this point, but partly to do with the excellence of writing. I have found that even in a series of books I sometimes don't get to know the characters anywhere near as much as I do here. For those of you who are familiar with my reviews, character personality & familiarity is a key element to my enjoyment of the book. I feel it really allows you to get involved with the characters and to be honest actually makes you feel like you are part of the group, albeit a silent member!
Again the book isn't too explicit; there are some subtle nods to more romantic activities, which older readers may notice (it's taken me a while to understand most of these nods to be honest), and there is a little violence. I wouldn't say it is too gory, but perhaps slightly graphic. In all honesty, the bit that creeps me out the most is when a character seems to melt his way through rock - I seem to imagine getting stuck halfway through to be honest (a bit like another character, Silk's, own fears!).
I bet you can tell, I love this book also! I was a little annoyed at the end having yet another cliff-hanger, but that was solved easily by running upstairs to grab another book. The story did seem to lull a little too much in the middle, especially after the quick pace set at the beginning. But it was settling down to more domestic rather than dramatic affairs, and once you reach the end of the book you do realise it was the eye of the storm (or calm before the storm, deep breath before the plunge etc.). Not that the domestic affairs weren't interesting and important in their own way, it just felt a bit of a sudden change of pace. As always, I'd say have the next book on hand, just in case you have a bit of a patience problem (or a tendency to gobble books), like me!
Castle Of Wizardry is the forth book in the epic fantasy series 'The Belgariad' by the American fantasy author David Eddings. This book follows on from the third book in the series 'Magician's Gambit'. By this point in the series David Eddings had his readers hooked and they could not wait to get their hands on this one and continue the story, because of that this was a massive seller for Eddings. The book was released in 1984 and since then has always been a popular seller as many people have fallen in love with the world that Eddings created.
This book again follows the story of Garion. This time however he has had to do some serious growing up. Belgarath was injured in the battle with the evil Ctuchik and Polgara was hurt while protecting the boy Errand as his fled with the Orb. Now Garion is in charge and must make all tough decisions that lie before him. Garion soon finds out that his ancestry is a little more complex that he first realises, the Orb reveals him to be heir to the throne of Rivan. Now Garion's life has suddenly become very complicated and he has only just turned sixteen! The choices that lie before Garion will change his life forever, will he follow prophecy and go on to be the hero that his destiny requires.
This is another superb book from Eddings. In the last book the story seemed to get lost in places, but in this one it feels like we are rushing towards a final destination. There are some real big surprises in this book that the reader does not see coming and it constantly keeps you turning the pages. Eddings does so well at describing the emotions of the main characters and getting the reader involved. By this stage we can really empathise with how Garion is feeling and we really have formed a real bond with him and his companions.
As always the language that Eddings use in his story telling is very descriptive. He has an excellent way of setting the scene and showing the reader exactly what is taking place. He also adds a real human element to his story telling so rather than just describing action he tells us how the main characters react to what is taking place around them.
Yet again this is a stunning book from Eddings. It really does keep the story moving at a wonderful pace and it now feels like we are heading to a final showdown. This book really does set up the final book in the series very well. I can't imagine anyone could read this book and then not bother with the last one in the series. As you would expect you really need to have read the three books before this one for this to make any sense, so bear that in mind. Overall though this is an excellent book and I'm sure that fans of the Belgariad and fans of Eddings himself will not be disappointed with this one.
The Castle of Wizardry is the fourth novel in David eddings Belgariad series.
David Eddings was an American fantasy author who wrote two epic fantasy five novel series called The Belgaraid and The Mallorean. These two novels are amongst the best post Tolkien novels in the genre; he also wrote two series on a knight called Sparhawk in which there are many similarities with characters in the Belgariad and the Mallorean. He also wrote a few stand alone novels and has just finished another 5 part series called the Elder Gods. His later novels came in for criticism for the similarity to his previous novels, his character development rather stopped and his quality dropped. Towards the end of his career he wrote three prequels/cover novels to his two great series and on those novels he acknowledged the help of his wife Leigh. David Eddings passed away last year (2008).
Prior to CofW
Garion a young man who grew up on a stable loving farm in Sendaria with his Aunt Polgara is pulled away from his farm by a mysterious storyteller called Belgarath. Belgarath turns out to be Polgara's father and is a powerful wizard, he has lived for 7000 years and is Garion's grandfather many times removed. Garion is descended from a now defunct line of kings who wielded The Orb of Aldur, a mysterious jewel with enormous power which works through the line of Garion's family or through anyone with no impure thoughts. Garion along with the farms smith Durnik, Polgara, and Belgarath are forced to leave the farm because the Orb has been stolen from its citadel stronghold. Along the way they pick up companions and it becomes clear that there are more powerful forces than the simple loss of a jewel. By the end of the Magician Gambit, Garion and his companions have travelled deep into enemy territory and after a huge battle between Belgarath and the head of the enemy wizards reclaim the orb and a mysterious boy who took the orb.
Castle of Wizardry
After the explosive events at the end of The Magicians Gambit, the Castle is a bit more sedate than its predecessor. Eddings takes the opportunity to calm the story and to take time to explain what is going on, the quest for the orb ends with the retrieval of the Orb but it soon becomes clear that the mad god Torak is awakening and his forces are massing in the East. Garion is about 16 in this novel, and the naive young farm had has been left well behind, he has to lead the group for the first time after his grandfathers epic battle with Ctuthnik, in this novel we are introduced to the more adult version of Garion and can see the qualities which have meant his arrival on the planet has been long plotted.
In this novel, we have things which in previous novels had only been mentioned are explained in full, some of the plot lines start to coalesce. Firstly, the reason for the names of Garions companion are explained, some are obvious like the Archer and the knight paramount but some are obscure, even here in this novel the identities of some of the companions are still obscure, we have yet to meet the Queen of the World or the Man with Two lives. This constant theme of history and ancient prophecy is the cement which binds all of Eddings early novels and in particular in this first five book series.
However, things do progress and the identity of the Bride of Light is becoming clearer with the plot line between Garion and Ce'Nedra baring fruit should we say. You suspect Eddings rather enjoys himself with this novel; we have teenage betrothals with plenty of rather ribald comments and tongue in cheek enjoyment. I suspect Eddings has gone through at least one angst ridden teenager in the past and clearly uses his experiences for the reactions of Garion and Ce'Nedra. I particularly love the way he places Garion full tilt in front of Ce'Nedra who explodes in fury, but when Garion sneaks off, she turns into a Joan of Arc figure. Hmm I think she protests too much perhaps.
The novel ends with a split in the generic group, as with Tolkien in his masterpiece a many book fantasy novel needs things to happen in many different settings, so from this point on we have two or three character references with a chapter defined for each. The novel ends with the story on a precipice and you know all the facts which will shape the end, but there are one or oddities which have yet to be explained. This novel is the deep breath before the end and a sharp exclamation after the excitement of The Magicians Gambit.
It sounds like this novel is a little bit dull, but there is plenty of good solid fantasy fare, in it we are given more details to chew on and there is plenty of humour and life to mean it's a decent read on its own. I've always looked forward to re-reading the Castle of Wizardry as I know that events depicted here will both explain the events in The Magicians Gambit and set up the ending in the final book The Enchanters End Game.
Castle of wizardry is part of a 5 book series written by author David eddings.I have had mixed feelings about the series so far it feels like sometimes like reading something as long as lord of the rings.Don't get me wrong there are some great characters like silk a Drasnian merchant who is so good at his job he could he could probably sell ice to polar bears.He also adapts multiple personalities so he can evade be arrested or killed because he is some known for cheating people.
The series follows a young boy by the name Garion who is sent with his uncle and aunt Pogara the sorceress and belgareth a sorcerer to for fill a prophecy.
It all starts off when a God named Torak steals a item from the other gods called the orb of aldur.With the orb you could have the power to undo everything that was ever made.After a long battle with torak and his army belgareth manages get back the orb only to have it stolen by an evil sorcerer named Ctuchik.The first three books follow there journey try and find him and get the orb back before he Ctuchik returns the orb to his master Torak.
The book 4 continues from where the author last left us when the evil Ctuchik had managed to destroy himself in a battle against belgareth. Although successful in battle belgareth is drained of most of his power and it is up to garion to protect them even though he is almost a student in the world of sorcery.
Although book is action packed the series could have ended here as most of the prophecy has been full filled and is draging out an already long story.
I am hoping his final book in the series Enchanters' End Game won't feel like the story has been dragged out to much.
you may also find this review under the my other username jonathan21 on ciao
Eddings throws you, yet again, in a fantasy world where the characters will become as well known to you as life-like friends and the mystical aspects of this book don't seem cartoonish or petty. The beauty of Eddings works is they're all taken from a realistic start without any fantasy and incorporates it slowly and very believably as well. This book, as well as his other Malloreon series (which is a continuance of the Belgariad) MUST be read.