Best-selling authors David and Leigh Eddings welcome readers back to the time before The Belgariad and The Malloreon series. Join them as they chronicle that fateful conflict between two mortally opposed Destinies, in a monumental war of men and kings and Gods.
When the world was young and Gods still walked among their mortal children, a headstrong orphan boy set out to explore the world. Thus began the extraordinary adventures that would mold that youthful vagabond into a man, and the man into the finely honed instrument of Prophecy known to all the world as Belgarath the Sorcerer.
Then came the dark day when the Dark God Torak split the world asunder, and the God Aldur and his disciples began their monumental labor to set Destiny aright. Foremost among their number was Belgarath. His ceaseless devotion was foredoomed to cost him that which he held most dear - even as his loyal service would extend through echoing centuries of loss, of struggle, and of ultimate triumph.
©1996 David Eddings and Leigh Eddings (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
"This prequel to the earlier books, presented as Belgarath's memoirs, offers an absorbing story line and some memorable characters as, once again, the authors touch all the right fantasy bases." (Publishers Weekly)
Belgarath the Sorcerer is one of the books that fueled my love of modern fantasy, so when I saw it released by Audible Frontiers I leapt at the chance to revisit the oddball immortal sorcerer and his world.
I can't recommend this book enough. It's meant as a prequel to Eddings's Belgariad and Mallorean series, but I actually read it before reading those books and still enjoyed it immensely. I missed some of the explicit and implicit foreshadowing, of course, but this didn't impede my enjoyment of this fantasy autobiography.
Unfortunately, this edition is hobbled by lackluster narration. Belgarath is an enigmatic character with a wry and sometimes acerbic wit. This comes through only occasionally in this telling. The original audio I listened to--I'm legally blind--was Recorded Books for the Blind's cassettes read by Roy Avers, and they were brilliant. I've also relistened to those recently, so it's not just my nostalgia talking.
By the way, the Audible Frontiers edition of Polgara the Sorcerer also claims to be narrated by J. P. Linton, with perfect female pitch. Either J. P. Linton has an INCREDIBLE vocal range, or one of the titles is mislabeled.
Don't get me wrong. I'm usually a big fan of Audible Frontiers work. This is just sadly the exception that proves the rule. The narration is certainly listenable, and I'd still recommend it if this is your only access to this great novel.
I can't tell you how much I loved David Eddings and his writings. What J.P. Linton has done to his work is nothing short of a crime! He is awful! The narration sounds like a cross between a 40 hour lecture by the most horrible professor you've ever had, and an arrogant, insincere preacher. For those of you who may have made the mistake of downloading this travesty, don't let it get you down on David Eddings. He's an amazing writer, and the Belgariad and Mallorean on audible are worth the downloads.
I love this story and have read the book many times. I picked this up because the other Edding's books were so well done. This one is not. The narrator puts emphasis in the wrong places, consistently pronounces names incorrectly, and on top of that it feels like he is talking to fast. He has no ability to separate voices when the characters are speaking so you often find yourself wondering who just said what. I was listening to this on a long trip and after about an hour I turned it off and drove in silence. If the only way you can get this wonderful story is to listen to it hear, then I guess it is better than nothing but not by much.
The narration of this person is so unbearable that its not even funny. When i tried out and listened to him i thought that it was not ALL that bad and it was after all great quality on the sound. But as i listened on i quickly noticed how truly horrible this man is. A shame indeed, i had to get another audiobook copy elsewhere wich is far far older than this but oh sooo much better. Stay away from this Narrator..
Oh what a terrible thing the narrator has done to this wonderful book. I have the all the other books in this series in audible format (as well as written!), and loved each and every one. But this is appalling, the narrator is boring, and worse than that there has been no attempt to make sure that the pronunciation is in line with the other audio books. It makes it almost painful to listen to, and the voice of "Silk" at the end is cringe-making turning him into a slimy character instead of the intelligent and witty person we all know him to be. The book is written from the viewpoint of Belgarath telling his life history, but the audible version makes him sound bored and arrogant. I have given it one star only because I know the story to be, in fact, well worth reading the book. I expected this to be 5 stars, instead I got 30ish hours of the worst audio book ever.
I spend so much time driving on business trips or suffering in boring exercise. For over 40 years I dreamed of something like Audible.
I exercise every day with Audible. I drive every day with Audible. I have listened to everything Frank Muller. Frank's death pained me so. He set a very high standard. I loved Dickens done by Muller, and King's Dark Tower was so good, even after Frank had to stop reading. I've now done 228 unabridged books on Audible done by many great narrators. Yes, I also read, but mostly when I go to bed at night. I consume a great deal of literature. This is the only book I've had to turn off. Too bad. We learned in choir to soften our "R"s. Linton wasn't there. Narrators do so much more than read. To the blind person who wrote another review. I hope you can get my message that I should have listened to you.
So far, great story...but this voice actor is horrible. Great voice...but his inflections and emphases are just weird. How many words in one sentence can you emphasize before it sounds ridiculous? Find out. He reads with a dozy cadence and a grandiose bass bellow. Cameron Bierle, who did the other Eddings novels, was not much of a treat, but he's a total Frank Muller compared to this guy. I'll get through despite to horrific narration, but I won't enjoy it.
The first of two prequels to Eddings' Belgariad and Mallorean series is packed to the hilt with characters only mentioned in legend during the first two series. This tome fills in the gaps and expands on the rich world that Eddings built.
Unfortunately, this narrator has to be the worse I have ever heard on any any audiobook. He is downright painful and I had to fight to stay with it since this is one of my favorite novels in the fantasy genre.
Since there is no alternative, I still recommend this if you are a fan of the old wolf.
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 am a big fan of The Belgariad and The Mallorean and have read this book and thoroughly enjoyed it, however the audiobook has greatly disappointed me. The narrator for me fails to interpret the characters correctly and the voices he gives to the characters are just wrong. For those who know the character Silk from the books, in this audiobook he sounds like Piglet in the disney cartoon, I so wish I had listened to the sample before buying. Cameron Beierle may pronounce some words strangely when reading the Belgariad and Mallorean but this guy massacres them.
"New narrator that feels wrong"
Sadly this lovely story is destroyed by the narrator. He is over ambitious and tries so hard to dramatize and fails utterly because I have listened to the other books in this series and now I do not recognize names or characters... If a narrator takes up the job after another he could at least see to it that he pronounced NAMES in the same way as the older one... VERY irritating...
"Ruined by the Narrator"
First of all let me just say that I am a huge fan of David Eddings and that any criticism here is directed at the narrated book not at the book itself.
Belgarath the Sorcerer was my favorite of all of that set of books and I was looking forward to listening to it no end. Having paid my money and downloaded the book I settled in for a quiet few hours. Imagine then my shock and dismay when I heard J P linton launch into a truly awful narration. I am afraid that I managed only an hour or so of this production before I gave in. It was ruined for me. Why oh why did they change from Cameron Beierle who did an admirable job.
If I could have rated this as zero I would have done.
What a shame!
"Turn speed to 1 1/4"
It was ok
Probably if I knew they hadn't read all the others in the long list of endings books. That's the only way it stands alone. Basically in my opinion its a rehash of those wonderful earlier books and not a very good one. Polgara is a better listen.
Told him not to droll on so much, was better when I raised the speed to one and a quarter, to be honest without that I was have given up. Sorry J P.
The insight into Belgarath's love for Poledra.
Listening to the story made it so much easier to be there as I closed my eyes it was like I was actually there.
How could you compare Belgarath to any other book, I feel I just could not answer that , Unless you want to pit Belgarath against his strong willed daughter Polgara!
Beldin, the mis-shapen dwarf, He says what he feels and he does exactly as he pleases, (within reason lol )
At long last bought to the Big Screen, I bring you "Belgarath"
I could read this book over and over again, It always gives me such excitment as i read about everyone in it, it just gets better with each read.
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