Newest Review: ... 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... more
Not Your Typical Castle
Castle of Wizadry - David Eddings
Member Name: tinkerbell18
Castle of Wizadry - David Eddings
Advantages: Excellent story and character development
Disadvantages: Perhaps calms a little too much
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!
Summary: Book 4 does not disappoint