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Publisher's Summary

Long ago, so the Storyteller claimed, the evil god Torak sought dominion and drove men and gods to war. But Belgrath the Sorcerer led men to reclaim the Orb that protected the West. So long as it lay at Riva, the prophecy went, men would be safe. That was only a story, and Garion did not believe in magic dooms, even though the man without a shadow had haunted him for years. Brought up on a quiet farm by his Aunt Pol, how could he know that the Apostate planned to wake dread Torak, or that he would be led on a quest of unparalleled magic and danger by those he loved, but did not truly know.

For yet a little while, his dreams of innocence remained safe, untroubled by knowledge of his strange heritage. For a little while... thus begins The Belgariad, an epic fantasy of immense scope set against a history of 7,000 years. It tells of the struggles between ancient gods and mighty Kings, and of men in strange lands facing fated events, all bound by a prophecy that must be fulfilled.

Fantasy fan? Listen to more in the Belgariad series, and its sequel, David Eddings' Malloreon series.
© and (P)2003 Books in Motion. This recording is produced by arrangement with the Ballantine Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Incorporated.

Critic Reviews

"Absorbing. Touches all the right fantasy bases. Warring gods, political intrigues, supernatural creatures, and appealingly human magicians." (Publishers Weekly)
"Fabulous! Eddings has a marvelous storyteller style. Exceedingly well portrayed." (Anne McCaffrey)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
  • Michael
  • Richfield, MN, USA
  • 07-27-09

My literary "comfort food"

First, I want to say that, reading others' reviews, it becomes clear how very subjective preferences in narration style and voice can be. Some people love Mr Beierle's interpretation; some really don't.

Myself, I'm in the former category. These audiobooks (for I've listened to the whole series, now) do a remarkable job, for me, of bringing the stories to life in a new way, having read and reread them over the years. While it's true that his accents shift around a bit, and not all of his interpretations match what I had in my head, by and large I find his reading excellent, for one key reason: it sounds very much like these are stories Mr Beierle truly enjoys, and understands, and wants to share; and not just like something he's reading as a job.

The stories themselves are layered. On one level, they are quite simple, but there's some complex ideas floating around at deeper layers. What I've always liked best about them is that they aren't black-and-white. The "good guys" all have flaws and occasionally do some unpleasant or unflattering things; the "bad guys" all have reasons for what they do that make perfect sense to them.

These are not, perhaps, "classic" literature, but they're good reads, and as audiobooks, well read. The characters and their interactions are memorable and entertaining and occasionally insightful. Definitely worth your time!

53 of 55 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Loved This!

Just got finished listening to the first book. I read the entire series twice when I was younger. After reading the reviews, I was worried that the narration was terrible... It wasn't. Do the accents get scrambled a few times? Yes. Does the narrator change pronunciations a time or two? Yes. Does this ruin the audiobook experience? Absolutely NOT. I enjoyed the reading and although it wasn't perfect, it was read by someone who cares about the content being read. I loved this and am continuing on with the audio series. Highly recommended for fantasy fans.

27 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Well Read

I picked this particular book as my first Audible download as it is a story I have read and re-read several times when I was younger, and I was looking forward to having it "read to me" And I was not let down.

I read the customer reviews several times before actually making the purchase and some left me very apprehensive and worried that I was making the wrong decision. Several people complained about the narrator and his delivery of the story. Of strange pauses or enunciation of words. Or the delivery of the characters voices.

I am happy to report that I have enjoyed this book enormously, and am able to recommend this to other listeners. I do admit that from time to time pauses occur at strange times, or when switching characters there is some "bleed-through" of voices. We might want to keep in mind before making critics of Mr. Cameron Beierle that he is reading aloud a very long book. Pauses and a certain amount of leeway should be granted. I mean he is sitting in a room for x amount of hours a day reading and re-reading sections/chapters. I'm sure a few of the pauses can be pinned on the audio splice together too. However, this is an extremely good story teller, who I enjoyed listening too.

I've gone ahead and purchased the rest of this series and plan to purchase the rest of Mr Edding's books that are here on Audible. And I have no worries or concerns about listening to Cameron Beierle, who I've found to enjoy his reading style and voice. Keep up the good work.

25 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Rip-roaring fantasy adventure

I'm honestly baffled by all the hostility toward the narration of this series. The narrator uses accents to represent the different nations, and that's a bold choice, one that can be jarring at first --but after a while, I came to really appreciate it. The nations of the West are sort of like European countries in size and diversity, and on reflection it made a lot of sense that they would have varying accents: Sendarians sound vaguely British, Arends vaguely French, and so on. It's true that the accents do drift around a bit, he doesn't hit them spot-on every time, but I didn't find this at all a problem.

The story itself is a classic, and sure to be enjoyed by young (and young-at-heart) adults, with strong, memorable characters and a story of grand adventure to carry them along.

I'd recommend it strongly (and the other four books in the series)! Don't be scared off by the negative reviews of the narration without at least checking out the sample and seeing for yourself.

22 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Worth listening too even if a little old-fashioned

I really enjoyed this book, and just completed the second title in the series as well. I very much recommend the series, but it is not for action junkies. At least not through the second book...

For newcomers to Eddings work like me, compared to new fantasy titles, you'll notice that the violence is very much toned down. This isn't a bad thing, and actually made the battle scenes (when they occur) that much more tense and rivoting.

I think of the series as a "good old read" for someone raised on the Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance books. I also consider this a good series for young readers as well, as they look for ways to transition from Potter, to the wider, weirder, more adult versions of modern epic fantasy.

Narration is also top notch, and I enjoy listening to how Cameron successfully keeps the multiple parties separate in his mind and on tape.


14 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Ronald
  • Dearborn, MI, USA
  • 03-10-08

Harsh Reviews

I hesitated to download this title because of several fairly harsh reviews of the narrator (Cameron Beierle). I was concerned about not being able to lose myself in the telling of the story. Personally, I feel that people find it all too easy to be critical of things (overly critical in fact)... especially on the internet where they can be safe to say anything they want in their anonymity.

Having said that, I am happy that I decided to go ahead and download this title in spite of the reviews here. I have always been a fan of this series and I am now a fan of its reading. The narrator does a nice job of lending unique voices to each character. Yes, there is some bleed-through when he switches between them on occasion, but never to the point that it interferes with the flow of the story. In particular I find his voice for the main character (the boy Garion) to be well done (sounding both young and innocent compared to the gruff and heavy accents of other characters). He even does a fair job of representing the main female (Polgara).

Setting the narration aside I can definitely say that the story itself is one of the most enjoyable fantasy series I've read. Filled with characters you will hold in fond memory and a story filled with adventure that is told from the eyes of an innocent youth. Not so much the orcs, dragons and epic wars of many fantasy series, but somewhat more akin to the epic travels of the Wheel of Time series.

23 of 27 people found this review helpful

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Great Book but Narration is forced

What did you love best about Pawn of Prophecy?

the Story is awesome.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

For some reason he felt the need to roll his 'r's and tried too hard to put everyone in very different dialect. <br/><br/>Silk sounded like a child molester. <br/>Garion had the same voice from when he was a child into his teens.. creepy<br/>Durnik sounded like a scottsman.. <br/><br/>Strange decisions on the accents.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Pete
  • Pretoria; South Africa
  • 07-15-12

My Favorite Favorite

What made the experience of listening to Pawn of Prophecy the most enjoyable?

If Audio Books were Quality Street Chocolates then this would be my favorite favorite. A book originally given to me a gift. I did not read it for several years because of the prologue. When I did give it a chance finally, could not put it down. When through the rest of the 10 books faster than I have read anything other than Lord of the rings.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Garion. every time he thinks " Why me?" I think been there, done that!. A character you can relate to, not only as a person, but in terms of the kind of experiences he goes through.

Which scene was your favorite?

I have to pick one? Not possible there are so many. Garion in trouble, the homeliness of Aunt Pols Kitchen. The agony of leaving his childhood home. There are just so many I enjoyed.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Not merely a legend, a Myth in the making.

Any additional comments?

Hands down recommend the book and the series to any fantasy fan. Dont ask for a comparison, there is nothing quite like it out there. This ones unique!

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • John
  • ReadingUnited Kingdom
  • 04-02-08

Superb. Strongly recommended.

I was a dubious at first on whether to get this, due to the negative comments about the narrator, Cameron Beierle. Having just finished it I can't for the life of me understand why.

His reading is clear, thoughtful, and thoroughly enjoyable. I loved the way his use of accents and intonation make it very easy to distinguish between the different characters in the story, bringing depth and colour to their lives. He's a joy to listen to.

It's been about 20 years since I first read the book, and I'd forgotten just how much fun the Belgariad fantasy was first time round. Can't wait to download the next one.

23 of 28 people found this review helpful

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  • Icognita B
  • Studio City, CA, United States
  • 09-13-13

Great story, weak performance

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Hevpais
  • 11-23-07

couldn't agree more

This is one of my all time favourite books. Like reviewer one I will probably get them all because I like them so much and, after a whole book, am now slightly desensitised to the appalling reader, but oh, who on earth picked this reader, and where on earth did they dig him up? I found the pronunciation and (most of) the accents excruciating, but the one that really had me shouting at the story teller was his pronunciation of 'quay', not pronounced 'key' as is usual (I think) but 'qway', just as I do when I'm being silly. Really spoiled a fabulous story for me.

24 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Michael
  • 11-02-07

Great book murdered by the reader

Eddings has written fantastic books The Belgariad is an amazing series and followed by The Mallorian (not a complete series yet on audible) and the individual books Belgareth ... and Polgara.. (not yet available on the site). With such great writing how could anything go wrong but Oh my it has. Cameron Beierle chews his way through every place name and character (Pol pronounced Paaaul) (Adur pronounced Aldoor) (Senadria pronounced Send- er - ia) to the point that the listener is distracted from the rich story line and finely rough character development

I love these books and will probably listen to them all but this guy works too hard even simple words in English sound like they are being delivered by a Russian ?migr? living 20 years in the deep south of the USA with Stephen Hawking

34 of 35 people found this review helpful

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  • InvalidHexCode
  • 06-19-16

Nooooooooooooooooo!

What disappointed you about Pawn of Prophecy?

I could cry!<br/>I love this series, I've read all the books twice. <br/>How could you murder this by using such an awful narrator. <br/>Go away and record this again - please. <br/>Oh FFS l'll do it of you for free if that's what it takes - at least I can pronounce the names of the characters <br/>Dear god - what a travesty.<br/>I am so disappointed. <br/>What were you thinking!!!!

Who was your favorite character and why?

I love the story and all of the characters - epic.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Who the hell is this guy? What a travesty - where do I start!

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Grief - what a lost opportunity.

Any additional comments?

PLEASE re-Record this using a 'normal' person to do the narration. <br/>It's not monty Python you know!

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Peter
  • 09-07-10

Great Book - Disappointing Reader

I agree with Michael's comment totally. I love the book - read it to my kids and was looking forward to getting the set on my ipod -but, alas one volume was enough. I can live with the very intrusive overall vocal mannerisms of the reader but not with the total failure to keep the same voice for the same character. How come Durnik is mock cockney part of the time and Polish the rest - often in the same sentence! Any chance of a second reading? - I would do it myself for free!!

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 05-31-16

Old favourite

The story is great but the narrator is horrendous - unable to pronounce easy words!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Brendan
  • 04-09-11

Great book. Avoid this narrator like the plague!

I'm a huge Eddings fan and own every book the guy wrote, so I was really pleased to see his work finally available in audio format. My friend had Pawn of Prophecy and lent it to me, much to my excitement. Thought it would be great for my upcoming holiday so settled down for a good listen. Oh dear!!! Where oh where did they find this narrator? Probably in the unemployment line (at least that's where I hope he is now)!

It's such a shame that some publishers don't seem to properly vet their narrators. This guy butchers his way through character and place names with a perverse pleasure it seems. His accents, characterisations and affectations are so jarring that it just killed the story for me.

Take my advice and stick to reading these books yourself as this guy will just murder these books for you!

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • MR
  • 03-18-17

Great story, dreadful narrator

Read these books years ago
It's a real shame they couldn't find someone who speaks English to read it.
The narrator seems to only have a passing knowledge of words and how they are pronounced and his accents are so mangled as to make it a job in itself working out what the characters are saying.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Stacker
  • 09-27-16

Pick an accent......any accent!

What did you like best about Pawn of Prophecy? What did you like least?

This is a great story. I feel in love with these books many years ago and despite having read them often, thought I would treat myself. I did read other reviews about the narrator, but thought how bad could it be?! Well, honestly? Bad. I would not have liked to have had this narration as my introduction to the books as it's quite hard work to listen to as the characters change their accent mid way through a sentence. For example, Silk at one point speaks with an upper class English drawl (which I think quite suits him!) before changing - mid speech - to an impression of a comedic Transylvania Dracula.....

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Cameron Beierle?

Anyone else! I'm not a huge fan of Stephen Fry, but his narration of the Harry Potter books is masterful. I also love Steven Briggs too as he is brilliant at the Terry Pratchett books and I think he would bring a greater depth to this book. Cameron Beierle has a vast number of accents available to him, but he uses them randomly for the same character which makes it quite hard to follow. If he stuck to one accent per character it would improve his narration immeasurably - and I haven't even mentioned the narrators habit of mispronouncing of words and names (Pol becomes Paul.....).

If this book were a film would you go see it?

I'd be wary to watch this as a film as the current fashion seems to be for directors to use the fictional world and make up big parts of the stories themselves, which has ruined some films recently for me. It would have to be faithful to the book to tempt me!

Any additional comments?

Please get these books narrated by someone else, has anyone at Audible actually listened to them? It's not very fair selling a product which, quite frankly, is an amateurish attempt. It's a shame.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Robert
  • 05-20-10

My second favourite fantasy.

I'm surprised to see so many reviews criticizing Cameron Beierle's reading of this story.

Sure he mispronounces Quay and the way he says Riva & Ce'Nedra changes from line to line, but once you get past these endearing quirks, the reading itself is masterful.

At no point are you ever in any doubt as to which character is speaking, his voices are that distinct. He reads at a measured pace, allowing the story to come alive, with out the sense that each scene is just a rush to the next.

I'm now mid way through the second book of the sequel series, and at no point during seven consecutive books read by the same man, have I been bored of listening to him.

And that's some feat.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Catherine
  • 12-27-11

Thrilling fantasy with dramatic reading...

Terrific fantasy story; spell-binding and woven throughout with intricate imagery... and well read by Cameron Beierle who has an amazing amount of accents at his disposal!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Byron
  • 02-01-15

awesome book

first book and series I read and have done a few times and will again. also love to hear someone else's rendition of the story and having heard Cameron Beierle read Terry Brooks, magic kingdom for sale series i knew this would be a great audio book

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-27-17

5th time

i have read this book 4 times in my youth and absolutely loved it. listening to it as an audiobook while driving on my long commutes to work has been fantastic, and has brought back so many memories from reading in my younger days. it was expertly narrated. loved it all over again

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-20-17

Amazing Reading of an Amazing book

Cameron Beierle does an amazing job with David Eddings most famous story. Other than a few interesting choices for pronunciation, but gripping and almost impossible to pause!

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  • kirri griffiths
  • 08-21-17

Super weird accents

Love the book and when Cameron Beierle is talking normally it's fine. The accents however are pretty flawed. A slight use of accents would have been fine as many of the characters are from different parts of the world, but I personally found it waaaaaay to much of a good thing.

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  • Renee
  • 07-30-17

Great story, a bit disappointed in narration

What made the experience of listening to Pawn of Prophecy the most enjoyable?

It's a series I've read over and over, and I was looking forward to the audio books

What didn’t you like about Cameron Beierle’s performance?

I didn't like the narration at all. It was slow, and the accents were too weird and inconsistent.

Any additional comments?

Sadly, I found I lost interest in listening due to the disappointing narration. Maybe I'll continue another time.

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  • Daniel Jaeger
  • 07-09-17

good but slow

The book was definitely good, although it was rather slow paced. The narrator was really good and I enjoyed the voices he gave for the characters and I am looking forward to reading the second book

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  • Aaron West
  • 07-05-17

10/10

loved it, have to finish the other books now.
such a good story. can't wait to see where it leads

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  • SlateyTV
  • 02-27-17

Enjoyable listen

I found this story entertaining and will definitely continue the series. I found the narrator acceptable though some of the accents seemed a little weird to me.

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  • luke
  • 10-08-16

can't wait til this becomes a movie saga

read the series several times from a young age. 15yrs & 5 children later, listening whilst performing various tasks is the only way to find time to revisit my ' old friends '.

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  • Deborah
  • 09-25-16

Great story, performance is ok

I read the stories when I was younger and loved them. The stories have been a joy to revisit but the performance let's them down a little.
The voices and characters are enjoyable but sometimes the accents change for the same character which is confusing.
Additionally the mispronunciation of some words e.g. Quay is rather irritating. However, I'll still be listening to all of the books since I love the stories so much!