Friday, December 15, 2017

To there and back again

I hadn't intended on starting David Eddings's The Mallorean quite so soon, but at the end of the last book, I grabbed Guardians of the West off the shelf as insurance of having something to read at work.

Any rate, it's done begun now, and I'll have to work in the subsequent volumes around the stuff I have from the library.

So, we begin not long after the ending of Enchanter's End Game with Belgarath, Polgara, Durnik, and Errand returning to Aldur's Vale to begin life anew after the death of Torak. We find that Errand is a bit more than he appears, although we really don't get clues beyond his seeming omniscience about some things. Much like Garion as a child, he gets to meet projections of people who will later on become important in the story. In this case, Cyradis, the Seeress of Kell; and Zandramas, the new Child of Dark.

Then we return to Garion, adjusting to life as King of Riva. Which is really dull for a while, even with the Deus ex machina plot hook tucked in here, wherein Errand and Garion wake in the night and walk in to th ethrone room to see the Orb of Aldur turn red and a voice cry out "Beware Zandramas!"

Followed by another hundred pages of nothing happening beyond an overly long epilogue  to the first series.

Finally, though, C'Nedra gets knocked up, has an heir, and then the plot actually starts moving. Let's see, we have someone trying to get Ce'Nedra to kill Prince Geran while she's asleep. Which brings Poledra back in the picture, even if she's not really there. Then we have the killing of the Rivan Warder, which almost starts a war between Cherek and Riva. While they mop up that, Geran gets kidnapped, leading to another cleaning up of the Alorn Bear Cult, this time in North Eastern Drasnia. Garion finds out how to read a hidden passage in the Mrin Codex, and hey, we're questing again.

By far, the fact that nothing of major interest happening for a few hundred pages is the biggest problem with this introduction. Once it gets going, it takes on a much darker tone than the Belgariad, which hopefully bodes well for the rest of the series. (It does, although we'll return to issues present in The Mallorean as we get through the next volumes eventually.)

So, What we know so far:

-Garion is now a man, and so are his old compatriots.
-Dryads have strange reproductive practices.
-One of Torak's old Acolytes is still alive and living in Mallorea somewhere.
-One of the companions in this series will die by the end.