"The Treasured One" is the second book of David Eddings' new series "The Dreamers". The first book in this series, "The Elder Gods", was a complete disappointment and it is only my fondness and nostalgia for Eddings' earlier work that keeps me reading this series. After the Domain of the God Zelana was saved in "The Elder Gods", the enemy, the creature the Vlagh, has targeted another Domain for invasion: that of the God Veltan. As the Gods cannot actually act directly to harm another or protect their people and Domain, they must use good willed men and women to help protect the land of Dhrall.
Veltan has discovered that the Vlagh and the bug like minions of the Vlagh are going to invade his Domain. He is able to get his peaceful citizens to form and army and also hire out the mercenary army which helped save Zelana's Domain. Most of the characters from "The Elder Gods" only play minor, supporting roles here. Instead we are introduced to Omago, a favorite of Veltan. Omago, like any good hero is incredibly provincial but intelligent and quick witted. For example, Omago invented the spear. Perhaps this doesn't seem like much, but in Veltan's Domain nobody had ever seen or heard of a spear. So, while the rest of the world has had a spear for centuries (if not longer), Omago invented the spear. Omago is one of the leaders finding a way to defend Veltan's Domain. Meanwhile a former priest turned soldier, turned traitor has betrayed the Domains with the intent of acquiring all of the gold which was promised the mercenary soldiers for fighting.
If this all sounds kind of dumb, it is. But it gets worse. "The Treasured One" is told through the perspective of several characters: Omago, Jeltan (the traitor), and a couple of other characters. The trouble is that "The Treasured One" is more background than it is story. Eddings tells us the individual background stories which have nothing to do with the conflict at hand and all of this background leads up to the same place: the Vlagh is about to invade Veltan's Domain. But when we get back to the "present" time, we are then in another Section of the book dealing with another character's background. By the end we are brought up to the present a good four or five times with very little actual progress in the novel. Besides which, the writing here isn't very good, either. The characters are still variations on the classic Eddings characters of Polgara, Silk, Sparhawk, Talon, Barak, and Flute (and others). There is just nothing original here. The action is described the same, though with somewhat less detail. The characters all sound the same and act the same, and the old jokes are still repeated. I hate that I have to admit that with this series it appears that David (and Leigh) Eddings has lost whatever craft they had with their earlier series, and this is very disappointing because I grew up reading The Belgariad and I loved those characters, and I enjoyed his other three series and there should have been no reason why this series couldn't have been as good as his earlier work, except that it is so much work. If you must read this book, borrow it from the library. It's just not very good and right now I would be very surprised if the series gets better.