Welcome to the (hopefully) weekly: What’s on My Bookshelf? This week it is The Belgariad, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2.
The Belegariad series is one of, if not, my favorite Fantasy series of all time–I go back and forward on this. It is a little dated by today’s settings, but it acts as an apotheosis to the GrimDark series that are currently popular in today’s fantasy novels. It has a Good Guy (Protagonist) and a Ultimate Evil (Antagonist), however, even though you know who the antagonist is, you don’t actually get direct overt conflict for a while between the two.
Yes, yes, I know in the days of GrimDark and where “everybody” is a bad guy, even the “good guys,” this seems old fashioned, but I still feel that heroes (for fiction) are much more realistic because they always have the “hardest” road to follow and GrimDark characters take the “easy” way out–hence, the popularity of GrimDark and the Anit-Hero. Easy is better more fun while hard means you have to work and sacrifice and who wants to all that in today’s world?
Belgariad, Vol. 1 includes the first 3 books in the Belgariad series. Essentially, it tells the story of Garion, a simple farm boy and scullion who may be more than he seems. The early chapters talk about his time on Faldor’s Farm and foreshadow quite a few bits of information before uprooting him from his life and plunging him into adventure. This is a great set-up for the protagonist as we get to see him grow and develop as the experiences his various adventures. This is high fantasy at its best–pseudo-medieval world/technology level, magic, non-human races as “monsters” and antagonists, but only different “human” races (i.e., no elves, dwarves, etc.). The world-building is extremely well done and so too is the magic system. I read these as individual books, but liked them so much that I bought the trade paperbacks of the books. These two books literally helped me to get through school and I try to read them once a year whenever possible.
Belgariad, Vol. 2 includes the last 2 books in the Belgariad series. These two books tell the story of the protagonist who finally comes into his own, discovers his true heritage and sets out to meet and face the challenges of his destiny. I like this one because it is the conclusion to the series, but it really pays off on the promises set up in the first volume. It adds a love interest and it also adds in the “Big Bad” of the series and their ultimate confrontation. To me, it is a satisfying conclusion to the series.
It is a good, clean read (gasp, in the days of the “Red Wedding” or “Negan Kills–both of which I only know through their infamous nature, the idea that something doesn’t have to be super violent or sexy to be fun is shocking, I know 🙂 , but it can be done and David Eddings proves it with this series). While not written for young adults, it is also appropriate for young adults as well as adults, so this one could be for you or younger fantasy readers (not two young–I’d say Tweens and up as their quite a few double-entendres and mild (PG) thematic elements, but no explicit violence or sex scenes–its just good fantasy). Anyway, here is a weekly peek into what’s on my Bookshelf.
As always, the links will take you to Amazon.com and if you purchase through these links, I get a small commission which will help me, so thanks in advance! See you next week, hopefully!
- Read Faerie Knight in the anthology Fae, Rhonda Parrish, Ed. or the Kindle Edition
- Read Ship of Shadows in the anthology Visions IV: Space Between Stars, Carrol Fix, Ed. or the Kindle Edition.
- Read WarLight in the anthology Visions VI: Galaxies, Carrol Fix, Ed. or the Kindle Edition.
- Read Dragonhawk in the magazine Tales of the Talisman, Vol. 8, Iss. 3, David Lee Summers, Ed. or the Kindle Edition.
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