E is for Eddings

David and Leigh Eddings are Masters of High Fantasy. While they did write a couple of contemporary novels, it is the high fantasy they are famous for.

The Belgariad and Mallorean are the first two series written by the Eddings and follow the life of Polgara, Belgarath, Garion and the collection of heros who fight the evil gods. This is a great high fantasy series but is serious high fantasy. You get flashes of humour throughout the two series, predominately through the character of Silk.

It is the second series of books, The Elenium and The Tamuli where they really hit their true brilliance. These books follow Sparhawk and his band of friends as they hunt for a gem stone to free the Queen Ehlana from the poison killing her. With these books, David and Leigh Eddings let loose and really grow up. The books are fast paced, funny and completely enthralling. You get snark, humour, sarcasm and pure fun. These are the books I’d recommend if you were ever to be isolated on a desert island because no matter how many times you read them, you will always find new levels of enjoyment. At the end of Book 3 in the Elenium, a character dies and no matter how many times I read these books, those scenes tear me apart, leaving me a crying mess.

The Elenium is being re-released as an omnibus in the near future (I’m not completely sure of the release date) and I am desperately hoping for an audio book copy of the series so I can give it to my partner who just doesn’t get why I get so upset over the death scene.

The Redemption of Althalus was the next of the Eddings books but for me, this and the Younger Gods/ Elder Gods series returned to pure high fantasy. Well developed characters; an active story; Fantastic bad guys and everything you look for in high fantasy.

Enjoyable but not as enjoyable as the Sparhawk series.

In the Rivan Codex, David Eddings has an essay written to all fantasy writers, which for anyone who wants to write fantasy novels should be a required reading textbook. It sets out how he did things and what he considered essential for anyone to be successful in the field. In fact, any writer of any genre should consider reading the advice in this book.

Regardless of the number of times you’ve read these books you will always find something new in them. If you don’t own these books, go now and beg, borrow or buy them. You will not regret it. But if you have to choose just one series, go for the Sparhawk books. Great for any age, fantastic fun and these books will stay with you for the rest of your life.

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