Castle of Wizardry by David Eddings - WARNING! I cannot review this book without spoiling the others in the series. Read no further if you're planning on reading this series and don't want it spoilt for you.
It had all begun with the theft of the Orb that had so long protected the West from the evil God Torak. Before that, Garion had been a simple farm boy. Afterward, he discovered that his aunt was really the Sorceress Polgara and his grandfather was Belgarath, the Eternal Man. Then, on the long quest to recover the Orb, Garion found to his dismay that he, too, was a sorcerer.
Now, at last, the Orb was regained and the quest was nearing its end. Of course, the questors still had to escape from this crumbling enemy fortress and flee across a desert filled with Murgo soldiers searching for them, while Grolim Hierarchs strove to destroy them with dark magic. Then, somehow, they must manage to be in Riva with the Orb by Erastide.
After that, however, Garion was sure that his part in these great events would be finished.
But the Prophecy still held future surprises for Garion--and for the little princess Ce'Nedra. From the blurb.
The fourth and penultimate book in the Belgariad series, and things are starting to come to ahead!
Ctuchik destroyed himself when in an effort to keep possession of the Orb, making certain that Belgarath succeeded in reclaiming it. Now with Errand, the young innocent boy with only purity in his heart Zedar used to steal the Orb, under their protection, Garion and his friends make their way to Riva, picking up Ce'Nedra on the way. The Orb must be returned to it's rightful home in the Hall of the Rivan King, and Ce'Nedra must present herself before the throne on her sixteenth birthday to be the bride of the Rivan King, if he returns, to meet with the agreement set out in the Accords of Vo Mimbre. Garion believes his part in this adventure nearly at the end, but the Prophecy has not yet finished with him.
This is the book where it all comes together! All hints lead to here, and all loose ends are finally brought together. This is the book where we finally discover what Garion's destiny is, right along with him - though so many hints have been dropped throughout the previous three books, if any reader is surprised by what happens in this book, I'd be bowled over. It's where things really start to get interesting, and you can see exactly where this story will lead, and it's so exciting!
In Castle of Wizardry, we once again meet two characters we only see very briefly at the end of Magician's Gambit, Taiba and Errand. Taiba was a slave kept by the Murgos. She was born into slavery, and has known nothing but cruelty her whole life. She has a very unique view of on morality which drives Relg insane; when life is cruel, you take joy whereever you find it. Despite the hardships she's had to suffer, she's a strong woman who has a strong sense of self-worth, and will not be made to feel ashamed for what was done to her. Errand is the young boy of about four who carries the Orb - the only person who can. The Orb will kill anyone who has any ill-intent in his heart. Errand can only say one word - "errand", hence that is what the others call him as he responds to the word. He is always trying to pass the Orb on to someone else, making the others believe he has been told by Zedar he has an errand which is to pass the Orb onto someone else, Zedar meaning Torak. Errand is completely trusting and loving of all, and has no idea what danger or evil is. He is a complete innocent, and the cutest little boy because of it.
Ce'Nedra comes into her own at the end of this book. She realises she has a part to play as well, and isn't just along for the ride. She comes to understand just what the Prophecy requires of her. Ce'Nedra is still very much the same girl, but she puts aside the girlish whims and desires, and becomes a very capable - if nervous of her role - young woman. She does what needs to be done, despite what she believes it will ultimately mean. But in her heart she knows it's necessary, even if ever step she takes breaks her heart. Love is a powerful motivator.
Castle of Wizardry ends with the ball in motion, heading inevitably towards it's conclusion - the meeting between the Child of Light and the Child of Dark. What the outcome of that meeting will be no-one can say - but it's going to be cataclysmic!
Published: 1984 (my edition)
David Eddings' Website
My other reviews from the series:
Pawn of Prophecy (The Belgariad Book 1)
Queen of Sorcery (The Belgariad Book 2)
Magician's Gambit (The Belgariad Book 3)