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The Malloreon Volume 1, by David Eddings Book Review | SFReader.com
The Malloreon Volume 1, by David Eddings Genre: Fantasy Publisher: Random House Published: 2005 Review Posted: 10/14/2006 Reviewer Rating:
No Stars! Reader Rating: 6 out of 10
The Malloreon Volume 1, by David Eddings
Book Review by David A. Olson
Have you read this book?
The Malloreon is the sequel to the Belgariad series. Volume One contains the first three books in the Malloreon: "Guardians of the West," "King of the Murgos," and "Demon Lord of Karanda." Besides those three books, it also has a map of the Kingdoms of the West and the Angaraks as well as a very short preface by David Eddings. He comments that the Malloreon is longer than Belgariad and how this book is more adult than the original series.
I really tried to like this book. I forced myself to read chapter after chapter, but I found it simply horrible and it didn't get any better. (I know this will be a very unpopular review, as this series does have fans, but I have no idea why anyone likes it.) The things that really made me detest this book are the characters and the plot.
I can only suppose that someone who read the original series and liked the characters there will also like the characters here. I found them irritating. First we have Belgarath the Sorcerer, who is ornery, which is fine, but also is an alcoholic. That wouldn't be so bad, but his alcoholism is treated as a joke, and I have to say I don't find it the slightest bit amusing. Polgara the Sorcerer is a tough woman who gets what she wants through tough looks and incessant nagging. She is supposed to be funny with such lines as, "If the medicine doesn't taste bad, it isn't working," and "Why me?" This is pretty typical for the type of humor and dialog found in the book; that is, tired old cliches. Every time someone opens their mouth, a cliche falls out. This book seriously deserves an MST3K version. That I WOULD enjoy. Errand is the only character who I liked a bit, and that's because he has an air of mystery and isn't supposed to be funny.
The plotting in these books is at a complete standstill. In the first chapter, nothing of interest happens. The closest thing to interesting is a very minor sledding accident that is mentioned for a few paragraphs but doesn't advance the plot one iota. Most chapters are about some small adventure, such as helping someone with their marriage problems, which is resolved quite easily, with no appreciable advance of the larger plot. The marriage problem I mentioned is solved by off screen by Polgara by her talking to the involved couple. Another chapter involves a king dying because he got overweight and sick. In another, there is nearly a war over a woman, which you might think would be exciting, but it is resolved without much effort and again within one chapter.
Honestly, I was expecting a lot more. I'd rather read a dozen self-published books than one more Eddings book. At least the authors of self-published books are trying and don't look down on their audience. I can't think of a single reason to recommend this book to anyone and have no idea why these books sell. I can only assume there is some reason, but it completely evades me.
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Comment on The Malloreon Volume 1, by David Eddings
Comments on The Malloreon Volume 1, by David Eddings
Posted by Pete on 10/15/2006
I remember how disappointed I was with this series, and pretty much everything everything after that the Eddings wrote -- I loved the Belgariad, the first series, in my teens, and everything after seemed to be a thinly veiled and poorly written photocopy that was too cute for its own good. For sentimental reasons I might add one star to the zero, but if I hadn't read the belgariad first, I'd probably rate this one the same.
Posted by David Hart on 10/15/2006
"I know this will be a very unpopular review, as this series does have fans, but I have no idea why anyone likes it." Well, for one thing, they would have read the Belgariad ;) The Malloreon is very much a continuation of the Belgariad (which itself has three prequels), and has mostly the same characters. Starting any story towards the end is likely to be something of a handicap plotwise. The examples that you give are mostly back-references, tidying up from the last series and setting the scene for what's to come. And Belgarath is a binge-drinker, not an alcoholic; for which his distant past provides an excuse.
I can agree more about the characterisation, which is less than perfect. Each character has his own distinctive traits: too much so in fact, as their catch-phrases become very repetitive; but there is no character progression.
I find the Eddings' books pleasant, restful reads. Good triumphs over evil, none of the main characters get killed. OTOH they're slow and very repetitive, with inferior characterisation. Overall I'd rate them as 3 stars.
Posted by Dave on 10/14/2006
Ouch! I think i read this back in my early teens, and I recall enjoying them, but not so much that they left much of an impression. I've tried a few Eddings book since, and have yet managed to complete one.