Years ago this series was my re-introduction to the fantasy genre as such it holds a special place in my heart, so I was a little scared to do a re-read as I didn’t want to be disappointed if it didn’t live up to my memory. I am happy to report I was not disappointed, although I didn’t remember till the end that you really want to have all the book waiting in the queue because Eddings pretty much ends these books in the middle of a sentence.
People can say what they want about Eddings writing or storyline or whatever they want; I want to say I still love this book. I think this book/series is the perfect introduction to the epic fantasy genre. I think Eddings world building is great he tells you what each country is about, what kind of people they are, the differences from other countries ect. These characters have stayed with me all these years and I was happy to welcome them back into my life.
I decided to do my re-read on audio, with narration by Cameron Beierle his narration did take some getting used to I wasn’t a big fan of his very young Garion and was happy when he was 5 years older, what I totally loved was Silk, who is my favorite character and he sounded like George Sanders which I found perfect! I thought Belgarath sounded more and more like Sean Connery as the book went on and as such that is who I am now picturing in my head as Belgarath which isn’t a bad thing! There were times I felt like Cameron was still finding his way with so many characters but who wouldn’t there are so many different voices to do it would be hard to keep track. I will be listening to the rest of this series as I am sure that Cameron’s narration will continue to get better and better as the series progresses.
Still 5 stars just because!
You'll find me chattering and chasing shiny things.
Listening to this book left me sad on a lot of levels. I *loved* this series in my teen years. I must have read it 10 times. What I didn't realize then was how sexist it is (much as the rest of the genre written in that era). Sure, one of the main characters is a strong woman, however most of the other women, when portrayed, are incredibly stereotypical.
Most horrific was a passage I didn't at all register as a young reader: a drunken rape by a main character of his wife. And while the character registered he felt sorry for his act - there was still more of an emphasis on it's justification because his wife would not give him sex willingly. And for good reason in my opinion!
I still love the story for what it is - but I found it almost impossible gloss over the telling now as I could when I was a kid. That disappointment was compounded infinitely by the narration.
Beierle is flat out awful. Even if I could get past the issues I previously mentioned, there is no way I'd make it through even one more book of the series as currently narrated (and he narrates all of the Belgariad and Mallorean) The man cannot maintain an accent for more than a few words and forgets which accent he uses from character to character - often in the same conversation! I don't know which I liked less - his attempt at a Connery-esque brogue for Belgarath or the mouthful of rocks and phlegm for Barak.
Place and people names are also inconsistent and often defy the laws of american english (or even english english) pronunciation. Admittedly, in fantasy books, we all hear our own pronunciations in our heads unless a book specifies them to be different. But the Belgariad does not (except Ce'nedra). It almost seems like Beierle made them up out of some sort of desire to make the story feel more fantastical, which is incredibly grating and not at all necessary.
I only have one positive thing to say about this narrator: the presentation of Garion. One reviewer mentioned not appreciating Garion sounding so whiny. Garion *is* a whiny little boy til the 2nd or 3rd book.
I'm sorry to pan this book so thoroughly - nothing would have given me greater pleasure than to say I had come home again in this audio edition.
Pretty good listen but it seemed shorter than when I read the book years ago. I was not well impressed with the reader. He changes accents but not voices. Also I'm not so sure the pronunciations are accurate.
Definitely worth the price though.
I can't recommend this audiobook at all. Fun story, horrible narration!
The narrator has felt compelled to provide an over-the-top accent for every single character. If that's not bad enough, many times the same character's accent would change in the middle of their dialogue! Sometimes, the accent would jump from American to British to Mexican to some kind of Italian. Also, the B&G character doesn't also have to sound Russian. And an adult trying too hard to sound like a child is just embarrassing.I wanted to get the entire series since I can't find them in ebook form. Instead, I'll just stop right here and grab an old paperback.
Worth the reading time? Yes.
Worth the listening time? NO!
A trilogy. Say it in three. Done.
Pawn's Prophecy is the promising beginning of this epic fantasy series, in which each title has something to do with a chess game and something to do with the fantasy genre. The story is told in 3rd person, and feels like it was written for ages 14-20. The main hero is 14 years old; we hear his POV.
I'd never read the book before, so I had no preconceived expectations of how the characters should sound. I had no problem with the narration. It was quite masterful, I thought.
This book felt fairly similar to The Fellowship of the Ring, with a small motley band — Belgarath (aka Mr. Wolf) and his daughter Aunt Pol (both are sorcerers), Garion the teenager, Silk the spy, Barak the giant bear-man, and Durnik the blacksmith. These six characters bond in loyalty and trust as they travel all over the kingdom of Sendaria, led by that gray-bearded old sorcerer (aka Gandalf), attempting to recover a stolen orb, the most powerful relic in all the world. Minions of the evil god Tarok are on their tail every step of the way, and young Garion's life is always at risk.
Good story, but the plot felt fairly slow in this first book, and that pacing problem was exacerbated when listening to the audiobook, because I read faster and can skim the slow parts. Another reason the pace felt slow was confusion on my part — there are a slew of strange pronunciations, and I found myself lost amidst so many alien-sounding characters and places, many of them sounding similar. I had to stop several times to look up the list of characters online, just to follow along. (There is no digital book companion available.)
So, I think if I'd read this book instead of listening, and read it years ago, when I was a teenager, it would have been more engrossing.
But even so, either way, I didn't like all the secrets kept from Garion, saying he's too young. He's 14 — nearly a man in that era — and his destiny is unveiling before him. He needs to know what's going on. By simple dumb luck — or pure plot contrivance — he was in the right place at the right time several times to eavesdrop on the adults, thereby learning some of the facts piecemeal. I didn't like this. At first, it was okay, but it went on too long. I also didn't like how they called him "boy" for most of the book. That got old.
I doubt if I'll continue the series, but maybe someday...
I love this series of books and Pawn of Prophesy is a brilliant first entry. While character development continued through the whole series, each character is introduced in an interesting manner and you quickly get an idea of what they're like (though not who they really are). Most characters have something admirable or likable or relatable though each has their own flaws - except Polgara who is a word I can't use in this review. An epic fantasy that brings together enjoyable characters for a quest that isn't clear cut in the first stage, this is a great book that introduces you to an interesting world and storyline but has an ending that will leave you satisfied if you choose not to continue.
I think it was worth the time, but I had to not cringle because the reader was so bad
I am because of the story
Get a new performer
I love the Belgariad, and have read the books countless times. While this audiobook is still good, the reader is painful to hear at times. He can't stick to a single voice for any of the characters and breaks into weird British accents at time. He seemed to be trying to do a Sean Connery impression for Belgarath for a chapter.
the Story is awesome.
For some reason he felt the need to roll his 'r's and tried too hard to put everyone in very different dialect.
Silk sounded like a child molester.
Garion had the same voice from when he was a child into his teens.. creepy
Durnik sounded like a scottsman..
Strange decisions on the accents.
Great story teller
I don't care for his attempt to mimic the actual voices of the charactors. Just read the book.