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Not your average Magician
Magician's Gambit - David Eddings
Member Name: tinkerbell18
Magician's Gambit - David Eddings
Advantages: Brilliant story; hooks you!
Disadvantages: Hooks you too much!
As it's my Easter holiday, I'm trying to do as many reviews as possible before I go back to school - and I'm honestly not avoiding doing my essay! So here it is Magician's Gambit, the third book in David Eddings' five-book Belgariad series, and the third book in an overall set of thirteen books (and eventually thirteen reviews of course!).
So, whilst attempting to avoid any spoilers (I will try my best but apologies if I slip), what happens in Magician's Gambit? Well firstly, we get to find out what the cliff-hanger at the end of Queen of Sorcery was - thank goodness! We again pick up the trail of the thief with Garion & his gang (although they now know who and what they are hunting). The trail leads Garion - and us - through the Vale of Aldur where we meet someone very unexpected; on through a very haunted land, where the ghosts are definitely not related to Casper; and into even more dangerous and perilous lands - and once you get through the haunted land, you would not believe that was possible. And all the time, the group are racing against time - and prophecy - to find the thief.
There is again a bit more of a guided tour through the lands that make up this world - but it is absolutely fascinating experiencing all the cultures, traditions and history that Eddings has created. In some, there are clear influences from own history, such as Romans and Vikings, but others I can't quite put my finger on and they seem to be pretty unique. I absolutely love this and almost expect it from any fantasy novel I read - although I do think that I have been spoilt by writers such as Eddings & Tolkien. Some cultures in this book give us tantalizing glimpses of their world and leave me wanting more - but I suppose that could indicate excellent writing, leaving the reader wanting more.
Garion's group doesn't grow quite as much as in the previous two books, giving us chance to get to know the characters and their quirks. The group really gels together, and their high (and usually bring-a-smile to your face) points that mingle nicely with low points - and a perfect balance of the both. I actually reach a point of familiarity and liking of each group member that if anyone were to leave, even characters that initially irritated me, I would feel very disappointed.
The style of the story-telling is brilliant, with enough description to give the reader a very clear picture without going overboard; amazing character interaction with the right balance of humour and seriousness; and, of course, a splash of magic & intrigue, and a dash of danger & romance to delight every reader. Nothing is too gory or explicit, and the written language isn't too challenging - when you get past the thee's and thou's of Mandorallen & the prologue, but there's not too much so it's quite easy to get the hang of!
Without repeating myself too much from my previous reviews - I love this series! Magician's Gambit is fast-paced and building up to something, perhaps a climax; you'll have to read it to see! From the content of this book (but I can't say too much about that) as well as the detail of the characters and countries, I can definitely say this is one of my favourite books of the thirteen - and as I find it so hard to choose between them, that is saying something!
A perfect book for a nice, cosy read; a decent length that means if you really get into it, it shouldn't take more than a day (or a night in my case!). And, as always, have the next one to hand!
Summary: My favourite so far