Wednesday, May 10, 2006

A Spell for Eric Part II

"It's a clever ruse," the Emperor said. "You look the part, and so does she, but I'm not a child. I gave up fairy tales a long time ago."

"That's a pity. I'd guess that your life's been a little empty since then." Wolf looked around at the manicured garden with the servants and fountains and the members of the Emperor's personal guard posted unobtrusively here and there among the flowerbeds. "Even with all this, Ran Borune, a life without any wonder left in it is flat and stale." His voice was a little sad. "I think that perhaps you gave up too much."

--Queen of Sorcery, by David Eddings

I think I've decided what book to exchange with Eric... er, if I'd ever remember to talk to him about it again. The title of the book is Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings. Maybe it's not fair to give him the first book in a series, but with the possible exception of Eyes of the Dragon, by Stephen King, what good fantasy stories are there that span only one book? (and if one pays much attention to King's allusions to his own works in Eyes even it is an arguable example.)

Pawn has a lot going for it. It starts off with a main character that most of us can identify with... a perfectly normal young boy named Garion. It almost feels like a period piece... like something from Laura Ingalls Wilder. The setting is fictitious, but believable, with it's own history and culture, and, of course, plain old Garion and his Aunt Pol--the scullery boy and head cook on a large farm. There is just enough mystery in the background to start off with, and I find that the reader readily identifies with Garion when his perceptions of what is possible and impossible begin to change. And by the time Garion's world gets uprooted, you've been drawn in, and you're right there with him, asking the same questions...

I think I'd recommend Pawn, if not the whole series, to anyone old enough to read on its level. I think it would be a good place for someone who is not familiar with the fantasy genre to start. And for those of you who have issues with the genre, for whatever reasons, I find that agree with the Sorceror Belgarath, "I think perhaps that you gave up too much."

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