Queen of Sorcery 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.
Legends told of how the evil God Torak had coveted the power of the Orb of Aldur, until defeated in a final battle.
But the prophecy spoke of a time when he would awake and again seek dominance over all the world. Now the Orb had been stolen by a priest of Torak, and that time was at hand.
The master Sorcerer Belgarath and his daughter Polgara the arch-sorceress were on the trail of the Orb, seekung to regain it before the final disaster. And with them went Garion, a simple farm boy only months before, but now in the focus of the struggle. He had never believed in sorcery and wanted no part of it. Yet with every league they travelled, the power grew in him, forcing him to acts of wizardry he could not accept. From the blurb.
A re-read of the second book in this incredible series.
The search for the Orb of Aldur continues. Garion is still confused as to how he happens to be among such people on such an important quest, despite his ties to Aunt Pol, but he's learning as he goes. More people join them on their quest to get back the Orb before Torak awakes, and war is inevitable. The Murgos and Grolims are throwing obstacles in their path along the way, and Asharak the Murgo still seems to have a frightening insterest in Garion. But it's not just the Murgos who are trying to thwart their plans. Eternal Salmissra of Nyissa has embroilled herself into the coming conflict, to take advantage and get what she can, and she wants Garion for herself...
If I remember correctly, by the end of this book, all the characters that form the group of companions have been introduced. In Pawn of Prophecy, as well as Garion, Belgarath and Polgara - known to Garion as Mister Wolf and Aunt Pol - we are also introduced to Durnik, Silk and Barak. Belgarath comes across as a shabby vagrant, commanding and wise, but with a love of beer and the company of beautiful women. Polgara is stern and authoritative, but loving, caring and warm. Durnik, a Sendar, is a good, practical and dependable man with strong morals. Silk, a Drasnian, is slick, sly and humourous - a spy and a master of disguise. Barak, a Cherek, is big, tough warrior with a love of fighting, being at sea and and tankards of ale.
In Queen of Sorcery, we meet Lelldorin, Hettar, Mandorallen and Ce'Nedra. Lelldorin, and Asturian Arend, is a young, passionate man with not much in the way of common sense, but a deeply loyal friend to Garion. Hettar, an Algarian, is a quiet, almost moody seeming man, with a hatred for Murgos and a peculiar ability to communicate with horses. Mandorallen, a Mibrate Arend and knight, is archaic and full of honour and bravery, seemingly arrogant in his skill as a Knight, but comes from the fact that he simply is the best out there. Ce'Nedra, the Imperial Princess of Tolnedra, is a spoilt little brat of a girl, demanding and entitled, and so arrogant, stubborn and strong willed. At first. I remember when I first read this book I couldn't stand her at all. I loathed her. Until you get to know her better and get to watch her grow. All of these characters are very dear to me, but Ce'Nedra is quite possibly my favourite. She's wicked, but in the best possible way!
I had forgotten how young Garion seems at the very start of this series, but already he's shown some growth. The danger and intrigue surrounding their quest has forced him to grow up fairly quickly, and although he's not reached full maturity yet, he's started to show some sense and intelligence in this book But he's not immune to teenage angst, and will have his moments of childish.
I love watching Garion slowly learn bits and pieces about who he is. Learning about the true identities of Belgarath and Polgara made him feel completely adrift - being thousands of years old, his Aunt Pol can't really be his direct aunt. He felt completely lost with no idea as to who he is or where he's come from, but he slowly discovers things about his parents as he goes. Learning of their murder brings rage into his heart, and his desire for revenge is absolute. It's also fascinating to see the beginnings of his power begin to emerge, and I'm so looking forward to what comes next and his instruction!
The danger has increased, with the Murgos specifically out to stop them and cause strife in theKingdoms of the West. It's all so intriguing and exciting, and I'm really excited for it to all come to a head!So ready to dive into book three, Magician's Gambit!
Published: 1984 (my edition)
David Eddings' Website
My other reviews from the series:
Pawn of Prophecy (The Belgariad Book 1)