Fantasy/SciFi: In Memory of David Eddings…
I just found out that David Eddings passed away last month and I cannot believe it. God Bless he and Leigh. I picked up Pawn of Prophecy in Caldors in Bridgehampton when I was around 11 and the love affair with David (and Leigh!) Eddings’ work and SciFi/Fantasy never ended. My father, God Bless, let me go back to the store the next day to buy the other volumes of the Belgariad already in print and I eagerly awaited each new novel thereafter…
It is one of my fondest memories of being with my Dad in fact, he also loved to read and he would chuckle every time he came through the living room that weekend as I sat in my chair with my pile of Eddings, NOT TO BE DISTURBED. I awaited each book, filled with excitement and dread over what the malevolent Kal Torak may be up to and how the wonderful group of adventurers young Garion, Silk, Barak, Ce’Nedra, Aunt Pol, the rascal Belgarath, the brave Mandorallen, and later Relg and Taiba along with the rest of the crew would live to tell another tale and save the world. Even the Orb had a very specific personality and character, the Prophecy itself had a sardonic wit not found in Tolkein….I was incredibly happy when Leigh’s name appeared as coauthor on the cover with the release of Belgarath the Sorcerer.
These are essential elements in any Fantasy fans library, to be read and reread. The Belgariad, The Mallorean, and the Sparhawk novels (The Elenium, Tamuli) that followed along with the stand lone companion pieces Belgarath the Sorcerer and Polgara the Sorceress are MASTER works in the field. The character development is unsurpassed. The Eddings’ will be missed and their work will live on forever.
From Mark Wilson’s scifi.fantasy blog:
…Eddings is best known for The Belgariad series, the first installment of which, The Pawn of Prophecy (1982), prompted Lester del Rey to tell him, “You’ve written a classic.” The series introduced many to fantasy, and inspired some to write themselves (including Stephen Hunt, whose tribute to Eddings is here). Eddings was himself inspired by the success of The Lord of the Rings, which he was startled to discover was in its 78th printing when he encountered a display copy in a bookstore.
The Eddings’ work includes The Belgariad series (5 books, 1982-1984) and The Malloreon series (5 books, 1987-1991), with three related books in the 1990s; The Elenium and The Tamuli (two trilogies, 1989-1994); and The Dreamers series (4 books, 2003-2006).
Eddings was famously old-fashioned, never using a typewriter or computer (he wrote out his scripts in long-hand) and was well-known for being self-effacing, once remarking, “I’m never going to be in danger of getting a Nobel Prize for literature.” He was most pleased when told that his books had turned nonreaders into booklovers. “I look upon this as perhaps my purpose in life,” he explained in a 1997 interview. “I am here to teach a generation or two how to read. After they’ve finished with me and I don’t challenge them any more, they can move on to somebody important like Homer or Milton.”
When asked in a recent interview what made his books so successful, Eddings replied with the same answer many of his fans would give: “Characters. My people are as real as I can make them.”
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