Tuesday, June 23, 2009

David Eddings

I’m posting the blog entry early this week.

David Eddings died recently. I was sad to hear of his passing. His loss is a blow to the Fantasy genre. This is an updated article I wrote on him a few years ago.

Few writers of Fantasy have made the New York Times Bestseller list. David Eddings has done it several times. What makes this author so popular? It is his storytelling ability. He writes books full of adventure, realistic characters, action and intricate magic systems with a subtle sense of humor running through his books. His many books are entertaining contributions to the worlds of Fantasy.

Mr. Edding's books are under an overall title for his various series. The first of these was the "Belgariad." It contains five books: Pawn of Prophecy, Queen of Sorcery, Magician's Gambit, Castle of Wizardry and Enchanter's Endgame. This series tells the story of Belgarion, a young boy living with a formidable woman named Polgara. Fantastic circumstances put him and several companions on a quest to stop a fallen god. Belgarion learns to use his magic talents and grows with every new book of increasing complexity.

In his next series, the "Elenium," Eddings introduces us to his character of Sparhawk the Pandion knight. The Diamond Throne finds Sparhawk returning from exile to discover the young queen of Elenia trapped in a crystal. The story continues in The Ruby Knight and The Sapphire Rose in the battle against an old god. These books have a Medieval structure of feudal kingdoms, orders of knights and a young goddess that appears to her followers frequently. There is a subtle streak of humor running thoughout the books that will sneak up on the unsuspecting reader.

Next, Eddings returned to the world of Belgarion for the "Mallorean." This time, the characters are older. Belgarion, his wife and companions pursue the kidnappers of their child through new realms of magic and strange cultures. The five books in this series are: The Guardians of the West, King of the Murgos, Demon Lord of Karanda, Sorceress of Darshiva and The Seeress of Kell.

The "Tamuli" returns to the world of Sparhawk and his friends. They embark on a trip to a distant, foreign empire to battle a dangerous god. Domes of Fire, The Shining Ones and The Hidden City are full of the action, well-developed plots and humor like the previous novels in this world. By the last book, Sparhawk knows and faces his true destiny.

Eddings returns to the world of the "Belgariad's" past in his next two novels. Belgarath the Sorcerer tells the story of Belgarath's life with his wife. His daughter's story is told in Polgara the Sorceress and how she comes to be the guardian of young Garion, future inheritor of the Rivan throne. These two novels fill in an important aspect of this world's history and completes the stories of two popular characters.

Another different book is the Rivan Codex. This one is not a fiction book. It is Mr. Edding's notes and outlines on how he developed the world of the "Belgariad" and "Mallorean." Readers will find in depth material to add deeper appreciation of the novels. Aspiring Fantasy writers will get a good idea of the work that goes into writing a complex Fantasy novel. They will find some good advice for writing Fantasy.

Regina’s Song is a stand alone book not part of any series. This book is different because it is set in the modern day world with supernatural elements. In this story of twin girls, Regina and Renata, one is brutally murdered. Mark the family friend tries to help the survivor cope with her loss. Interwoven through their story are a series of vicious murders occurring in Seattle. Mr. Eddings provides a different book for readers with this story.

A stand alone Epic Fantasy novel can be found in The Redemption of Althalus. The story is set is a world where three sibling gods vie for control. Althalus is a thief hired by someone to steal a magical book. He meets the feline goddess Dweia who keeps him for over two thousand years to lear magic. He must recruit several other people to aid in the quest to find a knife and fight in the coming battle between the god brothers Dewois and Daeva. Mr. Eddings delivers an entertaining story of adventure, action and humor.

“The Dreamers” series consists of four books: The Elder Gods, The Treasured One, Crystal Gorge, and The Younger Gods. This series tells the story of younger gods that come into power to replace the Elder Gods of their world as they wane. Into this mix is added another force of the Vlagh which begins a war of the gods. An exciting and fitting series written by Mr. Eddings that adds to his body of works.

David Eddings collaborated on many of his books with his wife, the late Leigh Eddings. Their deaths silence two great contributors to the genre. Still, readers will continue to enjoy the unforgettable characters, intricate magic systems, complex cultures and adventure of their works for many years to come.

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