I love this entire series, yet I really struggled to finish this book. The inconsistent pronunciations drove me crazy. I much prefer Cameron Bierle's performance. It's too bad he wasn't used for this book.
I love these Eddings stories, and the familiar lilting style of the banter between the characters. This narrator was extremely distracting as a storyteller. All the language between the dialogue had the same odd inflection, and at least half the dialogue itself seemed very unnatural. It seemed he was more interested in the sound of his own voice than in telling the story. Disappointing. I am not allowed to give it no stars in the review.
Narration fairly good after a questionable start. I already loved the story, as i have read the book (heck most of Eddings' works) many times (have worn out several paperbacks). glad its UNABRIDGED so the story didn't suffer.
Having read the Belgariad and Mallorean book series many years ago I decided to pick this one up, more or less on a whim.
The book covers a few thousand years before the main book series and give some background about what happened before the Belgariad and Mallorean. If you haven't read them before I would recommend you do that first.
It is written in the same storyteller style as all other books by the Eddings and is a classic adventure story filled with engaging characters, humor and suspense all delivered at a perfect pace.
Having children of my own I would argue that all Eddings books are suitable for a young adults which is not always the case in this genre.
The story is a fascinating exploration of the backdrop of the two prior series. The narrator is not as strong or interesting to listen to as the prior narrator, but neither is he as bad as many of the reviews state. It took approximately an hour to make the transition to this new narrator, but once done I was able to enjoy the story well enough. I well admit that his habit of ending declarative sentences on a upward pitch was annoying, but I was able to accept it as a foible and move beyond it. If a listener has enjoyed the two series, I would recommend this book.
I was a huge fan of the other earlier books in this series (the Belgariad), and look back on them with a certain nostalgia. Hoping to enjoy that again, I tried out this newer prequel.
Like the other comments here, I also felt that the narrator was pretty poor. He does have a good voice, but it seemed to me that he knows this as well and is relishing in the sound of his own voice, instead of really reading appropriately with the plot, or even sometimes punctuation of the story. This alone makes it difficult to get into the story.
Giving the author the benefit of the doubt, I may have felt differently about this book if it had been narrated better. But I also feel that the book itself was lacking. It seemed that much of the plot was characters talking to each other about things happening somewhere else; like a 20+ hour strategy meeting but never getting on to any doing. This lead to very little character development in my opinion. I'm not the kind of listener/reader that needs non-stop action by any means. But I think you'll find that it seems like you are listening to a list of events happening, rather than being "in" the story to experience them.
Eddings seems to repeat himself a lot in this one too with descriptions or characterizations, almost as if he feels the reader may have forgotten he said the same thing in the chapter previously. So mostly the book ends up being a forum with which to drop lots of references and allusions to his previous books in the series, rather than telling its own tale.
If you read the previous books I think you will probably be disappointed in this one. If you didn't read the previous books you will most definitely be disappointed.
I enjoy all of Mr. Eddings writings, but do not care for the narrator on Belgarath the Sorcerer. His pronunciation is so totally different from the Belgariad series that one can loose track of characters, places, etc., and it takes away from the enjoyment of the whole series.
Unfortunately J.P. Linton had a tough act to follow, after Cameron Beierle narrated the entirety of the series (save for Polgara the Sorceress).
That said, I'm not I would have liked Linton's narration regardless. My biggest dislike is that he reads entirely too quickly. Slowing down the narration to .75 speed didn't help, as that just made him sound too slow. He doesn't give the listener time to savor the words and he seems to skip over commas and periods with just a breath.
Admittedly, I didn't get through the prologue, but after hearing his butchering of the Rivan Queen's name, I had to stop.
The story isn't Eddings' best work. That said, it is a wonderful continuation of the cycle of the Belgariad/Mallorean series. I've read this book at least a dozen times, followed by Polgara the Sorceress, after which I simply wanted to start the whole series over again.
This book is worth a READ, but save your credits on this LISTEN -- the narration is not worth it.