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Here it is. The final review for the final instalment of David Eddings' Belgariad series (number five out of five). However, it's not technically the final book as there are 13 books from this universe, so don't be too disheartened! This final book is called Enchanters End-Game, but the end-game for whom I potentially hear you wonder? Well, just because I don't want to ruin the plot for anyone interested in reading the series, I won't give it away! But I will give you a brief run down, and my opinions of this book.
When beginning this instalment, the reader has been left on a cliff-hanger - and how long they've been left on said cliff depends on how long they have waited between purchasing/reading each book. Events are beginning to reach a climax, in two different areas of the world. A war is not only brewing but is imminent, and a fight to the death will determine the fate of the entire world. Garion and his friends are facing more danger than they have ever before, but will any of them come out unscathed?
And that's all I'm giving you! Events in this book are linked rather closely with events in Castle of Wizardry - I almost see these as one book in two parts, rather than part of a series. Although all five books in the series are one story, books four and five are the most closely linked of them all I feel, especially where the book is left off and begins - right smack dab in the middle of it all! Even the endless wandering about seems less tedious than the wandering in Lord of the Rings! It's really hard to talk about this book without giving too much away but I shall try.
The book (as with the other four) begins with a prologue, detailing some passages from a Book of the Gods - another element that makes these books so involved; there is an evident back-story and history to the world we have strayed into. I nowadays skip the prologue as it interrupts the flow of the story, but it is worth reading as it gives a bit of backstory that will aide your understanding and appreciation of the forth-coming story. The book - unusually so far in the series - also ends with a little epilogue to wrap up some loose storylines; and perhaps get your appetite whetted for the next series of five books!
Enchanter's End-Game is the grand finale of the series. The characters we have met throughout all come back together, almost like an encore. Some of the more major characters have their own private encore, but you will definitely see the return of some very familiar faces - whether you want to or not. The importance of feeling involved with the characters' stories becomes evident in this book, as I found myself rooting for some of them, even holding my breath a little at times! I think if the writing hadn't allowed for so much involvement and relation to characters, the impact of certain parts of this book would be lessened, and perhaps even ruined.
There of course is still some of the light humour I have come to expect from these books - sometimes enough to make me laugh out loud, which I don't do very often if I'm honest. I think there are some jokes that are rather subtle for the older reader (almost like those found in Disney films), but there are also more obvious jokes for younger readers. There are my usual health warnings about some battle violence (there is a war going after all) but myself and my sister have read these from a young(ish) age (I think she was about 9 when she read these) and there weren't any problems. I think 9 is a rather good age for these books - much younger and some elements may not be understood, or some awkward questions may be asked! I'd recommend reading them first and using your own judgement, as you may feel your child will enjoy these even when younger than 9.
Importantly, the end of the book leaves you feeling satisfied, unlike so many books I have read recently. It almost leaves you questioning the point of the next five - but not too much! Loose ends are tied up, and there may even be some happy endings. You'll have to read it to see. I'm not going to be corny and say I finish this book with a smile on my face, but I do happily close the pages, and just as happily open them again a couple of months down the line. I don't feel frustrated or cheated when I finish the book - I feel that working my way through the book, and the series, was worth it and Eddings rewards his readers rather than cheats them out of the ending they deserve. And it could be a happy ending for the good or bad guys - it just makes sure there's a definite ending. You could happily not move on to the next series and you wouldn't lose anything from it; but you would miss out half the story!
I was sad at the impending end to the book, even though I knew there was another series. It sounds odd to say (but perhaps is a compliment to how involved in the book I became) but I was sad to leave that far off world and all the characters in it. There have been few books that have got me so hooked - and even fewer that have had me openly laughing and crying. Enchanter's End-Game, along with all the others, will grace my bookshelves (and my Kindle) for many years to come. I hope you enjoy these books as much as I do!
Enchanters End Game is the fifth and final book in the epic fantasy series 'The Belgariad' by the American fantasy author David Eddings. Enchanters End Game continues the story from where we left it in 'Castle Of Wizardry'. David Eddings now had a large fan base by the time this book came out in late 1984. People had been excited by this new writer on the scene and wanted to see how the series ended. This book was a big seller at the time for Eddings and has since gone on to sell many copies and be a very popular book within the fantasy fiction world. This book sealed David Eddings' place as one of the great modern day fantasy writers.
The story continues with Garion on his quest. Garion or Belgarion as his has now become known, is heading for the final battle with the evil Torak. As he approaches the land of Cthol Mishrak Belgarion has had strange and powerful dreams where Torak tries to convince him that his is his father. However Belgarion is strong and rejects these evil dreams and makes it through all the traps and dangers that are before him. As Belgarion approaches the final battle with the evil God Torak can he fulfill ancient prophecy or will the power of the God be to much for the young man.
To be honest I was a little disappointed with this book. It starts off very well and everything is just as we would expect. Then as the story nears it's climax everything seems a little bit rushed. The final battle which we have always been heading for is very poorly described and I was confused as to what had actually happened at the end of it. The book seems to finish in one big rush and it feels like there are lots of loose ends that never really get tied up. Despite that though this is still an enjoyable read. The story moves at a frantic pace from start to finish and we feel as we are being sucked along with the momentum.
Apart from the last few chapters Eddings is yet again on top form when it comes to getting the reader involved with the story. We feel like we are really there with the main characters and we feel like we are living the story along with them. We have spent a long time getting to know our heroes in these books and so we really do start to care about what is going to become of them. As always Eddings does very well putting you into the mindset of the characters and showing you exactly how they are feeling.
Overall I would say this is not the best book that Eddings has done. It think he should have taken a little more time working on his ending and getting it right. Despite that fact though this is still a really enjoyable read. I think it's probably the fastest I have ever read a book as it really grips your attention as you wait to see what will happen at the end. If you have read the other books in The Belgariad I am sure you will be eager to get your hands on this one and although it could have been better it's still a good end to a truly classics series of fantasy books. If you have never read these books and like fantasy fiction I would say these are books that you really need to give a go!
Enchanters End Game is the fifth and final book in the Belgariad written by American author David Eddings.
David Eddings was an American fantasy author who wrote two epic five book works of fiction called The Belgariad and The Mallorean. Both are five book epics, he also wrote two trilogies on a knight called Sparhawk which were well received and some stand alone novels. As he got older his novels tended to be rather repetitive and his later works are his weakest. Towards the end of his novels he acknowledged his wife as a co-author, he passed away in 2008.
Enchanters End Game
The first four novels introduce Garion as the main character, Garion is a young man living with his aunt on a quiet farm. One night when he is about 14 he is pulled away from his farm by a travelling storyteller, his aunt and the farms smith, they are sent on a quest to retrieve a stolen jewel called the Orb of Aldur. The Orb has mysterious powers and it soon becomes clear that Garion is descended from keepers of the Orb, millenia earlier his family was almost wiped out and the storyteller who turns out to be a magician called Belgarath and his daughter Polgara (Garion's aunt) have been protecting his family ever since. Also as Garion travels to reclaim the orb, his group picks up companions whose names have been placed in the stars for millenia. These companions ancestors have been watched over by belgarath and polgara for centuries.
The first three books in the series introduce the main characters, and at the end of the third novel the orb has been retrieved but an evil god has awoken and is threatening invasion of the west. By the end of the fourth novel Garion is informed that he is the child of light and will meet the child of dark who is the evil god Torak. Garion, Belgarath and a businessman/prince called Silk sneak away and travel to meet the evil god.
The Enchanters End Game
This novel finishes the five part series, from the beginning it splits the novel into two seperate storylines, one is the small group of Garion, Belgarath and Silk and the other is a larger group of Ce'Nedra (Garion's betrothed), Polgara, and the other companions. Garions travels are more intense and driven than the Ce'Nedra sections and the author uses the travel to push Garion into a more serious mind set. Garion guided by Belgarath travels through the lands of the magicians, Belgarath is a wizard using powers of the mind but magicians use demons to get their purposes done.
Ce'Nedra's story is a story about betrayal, she feels betrayed by Garion leaving her to travel to his fight. She raises a huge army and invades the lands of th east to engage the forces of the East. This plot line is a bit similar to Tolkeins use of aragorn's forces invading Mordor to allow Frodo to get to Mount Doom. The battles are of course stock in fantasy fare, and Eddings doesn't miss a chance to have a good bloodbath, but he does use the battle as a means to bring the story to a conclusion.
Finally we bring all the characters to one place and the novel brings all the storylines together, we find out who the Queen of the world is and who The man with two lives is. Both are shocking in their way and genuinely shock the reader but it brings a clarity and a conclusion to the novels.
In this novel Eddings brings all of the stories together and uses his skills in description to bring alive the final clash between Garion and Torak. The plot lines which have been weaved over five novels and many hundreds of pages are brought together and satisfyingly concluded. However, he does leave the series open for a sequel which he explored about 10 years later in his Mallorean series of novels.
I know comparisons to Tolkien are an ever presence menace amongst fantasy reviews, just this once I think the reference is acurate. Deliberatly, I'm sure, this book follows the same structure as the last third of the Lord of the Rings. Our heros split into two groups. One, small group, goes on a mission deep into enemy territory to defeat the evil at its heart - Frodo with the Ring in Lords of the Ring, Belgarion to confront Torak here; while the rest take part in a large war, with the only hope of victory the success of the smaller group. Just like Tolkien the two stories are dealt with in detail, one following the other, just as in Lord of the Rings, only coming together when the heros finally meet for the climax. Like all of David Eddings books, this is entertaining, well written stuff, great characters, and a well rounded world, here with the plot finally coming to an end. Like all Eddings series, the book doesn't end abrupty with the victory of the good guys, but goes on to tie up any loose ends, something many authors dislike, but at the end of the five book series there is no excuse not to take a dozen pages to round things off, and it provides a satisfying ending to a very entertaining series.
The final book of the Belgariad.