|Belgarath the Sorcerer|
Date: 28 February, 2002 — Book
I chose the book link that I did because I want to know what on earth the French artist was thinking. Armor. And wings. On a horse. With cows in the background.
All of which has utterly nothing to do with this novel.
This novel is the somewhat indulgent telling of the history of Belgarath the Sorcerer, perhaps the most powerful man in the world... and a thief, a drunk, and a storyteller above all else. It's all the bits and pieces that this somewhat rotten old man has dropped throughout the series, told in expanded format. We know how the story ends— that's what the Belgariad and the Malloreon were all about. So there's no massive amount of tension, since this is an "autobiography" told after the fact. We know he's okay, obviously, but he's so wonderfully flamboyant that we want to hear his side of the story.
Incidentally, I've yet to see a really good cover for this book. The American artist tried to replicate the styles used on the Belgariad and the Malloreon covers (done by Lawrence Schwinger and Edwin Herder, respectively), but ended up looking unfortunately cartoony. (The reason for comparatively cartoony styles on American fantasy has to do with the fact that the vast majority of books in America are bought not at bookstores but at supermarkets. Lame.) The English cover's a little better, but so vague that I'm not really sure what it has to do with this world. It's a guy with his back to the audience. Holding a sword. On a big round rock. (Which had damned well better not be the Orb.) With mountains in the background! Whee!
This book is for those who read the sequels and prequels and side bits and guides. It's well told, and a lot of fun, but it doesn't go anywhere new. Just so you know.