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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What is in it for you? :)
If you are one of the many fans of "The Belgariad" and "The Malloreon", here is another treat for you. If you haven't had the pleasure of reading those wonderful epic fantasy series, make yourself a favour and read them before tackling "Belgarath the sorcerer". You can thank me later for introducing you to a wonderful new imaginary world and to likeable characters :)...
Published on Jan. 9 2007 by M. B. Alcat

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3.0 out of 5 stars brings back the memories
I enjoyed this book, as it brought back a lot of the memories of the Belgariad and Mallorean which I'd read 10+ years ago and enjoyed tremendously.
There were a few inconsistancies between this book and the original series, especially with the character of Belgarath himself. I'm currently reading "Polgara the Sorceress" and find the same true there. In the...
Published on March 6 2001 by Travis Cottreau


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What is in it for you? :), Jan. 9 2007
By 
M. B. Alcat "Curiosity killed the cat, but sa... (Hanoi, Vietnam) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
If you are one of the many fans of "The Belgariad" and "The Malloreon", here is another treat for you. If you haven't had the pleasure of reading those wonderful epic fantasy series, make yourself a favour and read them before tackling "Belgarath the sorcerer". You can thank me later for introducing you to a wonderful new imaginary world and to likeable characters :)

"Belgarath the sorcerer" starts just where "The Malloreon" ended, that is the book "Seeress of Kell". And, strangely enough, it is nothing less than Belgarath's autobiography. As those who have read the series already know, Belgarath is a notoriously lazy sorcerer, probably the least likely person to feel the need to write his story. Unless someone compels him to do so, of course. But to know who or what could do that to an all-powerful sorcerer, you must read this book.

What is in it for you?. Well, lots of fun, and the opportunity to know how things really started, from the point of view of one of the main characters in the series. You get to accompany Belgarath from his birth in the small village of Gara, to the fateful day when he met Aldur and became first his pupil and then his disciple. In case you are as curious as me, you will also be grateful to know that this book will allow you to learn more about Belgarath's family, and to live wondrous adventures with him and his friends.

Personally, I found the opportunity of "living" the things I had merely read about in the previous books specially rewarding. The fact that Belgarath's memories span thousands of years gives the reader the opportunity of gaining a good perspective on all the things that happened, thus preparing him to read the previous books in the series in a different way. A warning is in order, though. If you haven't read the previously mentioned books, this book has big-time spoilers, so please don't risk ruining the surprises those series have for you. Do first things first, and read "The Belgariad" and "The Malloreon" before "Belgarath the sorcerer".

All in all, I loved reading this book, and I highly recommend it to those who don't feel ready to leave the world of Belgarath and his friends. Enjoy it!

Belen Alcat
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4.0 out of 5 stars A warning to potential readers..., July 18 2004
By A Customer
This book is a great addition to the saga; a real added bonus for those who already love Eddings' work. Its wry humour and great storytelling style make it a definite page-turner, despite a few qualms I had with Belgaraths' little 'asides' to the reader - amusing to begin with, but a few of his quips fell short with me. However, overall, an extremely enjoyable read.
However, I must add a word of warning to potential readers out there. A lot of reviewers have been recommending Belgarath the Sorcerer as a good way to start on the Belgariad and Mallorean series - it IS a nice summary of the world Eddings has created but some people might want to avoid it until they have read the other series as this book reveals many of the plot-twists which, for me, made the Belgariad and Mallorean so enjoyable. Eddings' device of starting and ending this book with episodes from Garions' current life, set after Seeress of Kell, is a good idea but it means that a new reader will quickly find out what happens to the gang in the end - if you're the kind of person who flicks to the ends of books anyway then that's alright, but if you want to save the surprises for later then don't read this book yet! A friend of mine picked up Belgarath the Sorcerer before reading the other books and was disappointed that she then knew what was going to happen to Garion and his friends. Also, the world-building which came quite gradually in the Belgariad and Mallorean is now crammed into one book here, and I think many of the references to events in the other novels would be lost on new readers here, especially towards the end of this book when emphasis is heavily on the background of characters such as Silk, Barak and Garion.
Overall, a great book, but you'll get more out of it if you've read Eddings' previous works already!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Tale of Generations..., March 3 2004
By A Customer
I own all the books from the Belgariad and Mallorean series + Polgara and the Rivan Codex and this books fits perfectly with the entire collection.
The book follows the life of Belgarath and how he became the legend he is, from the time he was born in the village of Gara, to the meeting with Aldur, cracking of the world...and so on. There may be some slight inconsistencies....but it was deliberate because Belgarath is telling the story from HIS point of view and how things really happen. Some folks maybe disapointed about how certain events are actually duller than what was learned from the two previous series. But thats the idea! Legends are always exaggerated and when the truth is told, people are upset.
The interesting thing about the story is that Belgarath tried his best to keep the story down to earth as possible. Instead of the usual mystical mumbo jumbo, everything is laid out as if your own buddy was telling you the story.
Overall, I think its a great read and will answer a lot of unanswered questions from the two series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a whimsical tale that spans eons, Feb. 4 2003
By 
Crystal C. Loh (London, ON Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
For anyone who has fallen as deeply in love with the Belgariad and the Mallorean as I have will truly cherish and enjoy this book. Told from the straight from the heart of the centuries-old, wise, witty, overdramatic and altogether lovable sorcerer Belgarath, the Old Wolf, this novel is a captivating and entertaining novel that expands on the beginnings of Eddings' world. Throughout the book we are introduced to the first people, and the first gods that roamed at the beginning of time, and the marvelous events and prophecy that lead up to the stories of the Belgariad and Mallorean. We finally are given a history of Belgarath's remarkable beginnings, from the small vilage of Gara, to his first encounter with Aldur and the other disciples, to the Breaking of the World, and onwards, following his footsteps in all the adventures and exploits that he experienced even before Garion was born. We finally are able to appreciate and realize the depth and intellect of the often shabby Old Wolf through his experiences and dialogues, and are able to hop right into his shoes and personally get to know the other characters whose presence is pivotal in directing the flow of time. Eddings ties together many loose ends and allows us to understand the many facets of Belgarath's life, from being the shabby old story teller to being the most powerful sorcerer in the world, able to instil awe and fear in so many ('Grat is not nice!). This book lacks nothing and is rich in depth, articulate and descriptive writing, and is peppered with the classic dry humour and penetrating wit that Eddings has mastered, and will keep you enthralled and laughing for ages.
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5.0 out of 5 stars *sigh*...just marvelous, Aug. 22 2002
By 
"opus_81a" (North Carolina, USA) - See all my reviews
To me, Eddings, like Tad Williams and Raymond E. Feist, writes a kind of perfect fantasy story that harkens back to Lloyd Alexander and the Chronicles of Prydain. It's not what I reach for when I want something trying to be deep and profound, it's what I reach for when I want something completely satisfying. A well written, believable world you can instantly fall into, and want to. Marvelous characters that you want to meet again and again. Stories that hook you early, pace nicely, and keep you hooked til the end. Which is not to imply these books are shallow or merely escapist; but rather that every level on which they can be read meshes so effortlessly that you aren't ever interrupted by your awareness of them. The best storytellers are the ones who never draw attention to themselves, because that draws attention away from the story - they never shout at you through the page. Eddings is a master storyteller, and it was very gratifying to get Belgariad prequels long after you thought the series was, sadly, complete. Both Belgarath and Polgara are excellent reads. If you like The Belgariad and Mallorean books, make sure to read the Servant of the Empire trilogy (written with Janny Wurts) as well!
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Belgariad from a fresh angle, April 10 2002
By A Customer
I do love the Belgariad and the Mallorean. Whilst they do not have the overall complexity of The Wheel of Time, or the great heroism of The Lord of the Rings, they do have something these lack. Wit and charm. I have read the series a few times, and they are by far the most enjoyable reads I have ever had, except for a few niggles ("nice little fight" does get boring).
This book is no exception to the rule. Although you need to read the series first, once you have you will find this book answers many questions and provides a compelling background to the books.
HOWEVER, towards the end I noticed some inconsistencies with the texts, and this does detract from the enjoyment slightly, as you feel that towards the end, Eddings was getting slightly bored and lazy. This is not to detract from the whole novel, as the rest is superbly crafted, and the first person perspective works excellently.
The other major plus point of the novel is the presentation of Belgarath as a wholly fallible character. Whilst this is undesirable in many cases, in this one it serves to add greater depth to his character, and also justify the exsistence of his brothers. You can't help but end up wondering about Beldin's history, or why Zedar ended up acting the way he did, and that is a testament to the strength of Eddings character development.
All in all this is definitely worth a look if you are a fan. If you aren't, then read the Belgariad and Mallorean and I can guarantee you soon will be.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Epic Beginning..., Nov. 7 2001
Belgarath. One simple word. A word that means so much. To an ordinary man, Belgarath is nothing. To an Eddings fan, Belgarath is everything. From the start of the Belgariad, through to the end of the Malloreon, he was there, as were you...the reader. This book is an "answer all questions" type of read. It's basically the tale of how he became the figure that he currently is. It begins early in life and progresses through many, many years of EVENTS. Encounters with Aldur, Beldin, Polgara, Chamdar and of course Torak are all chronicled. The significance of many of the EVENTS are explained. The style in which the book is written captivates you from the start. It is indeed a page-turner filled with sadness, anger, joy, and even humour. The autobiographical feel was also something appealing. Belgarath even hints at who really runs the world, and his opinion gets you thinking. Mr. Eddings has done it again and I look forward to any future works of his, as all his past are masterpieces. If you've even wondered "why?" acquire this book. If you've ever wondered "who?" acquire this book. Or, if you just want a good read, acquire this book and you'll see why the Eddings duo are the true sorcerers of the literary world.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining though discontinous, March 24 2001
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Read this only after you've read the Belgariad/Mallorean series and don't mind getting a different view of the character of Belgarath.
BtS begins where "Seeress of Kell" left off: in the Vale of Aldur, where the family has gathered to witness the births of Polgara's and Durnik's twins. Soon after, the topic of Belgarath's true past comes up, and Belgarion, Durnik, Ce'Nedra and Polgara begin to bully Belgarath about writing his memoirs. Belgarath remains obstinate until his wife Poledra suggests that memoirs would be a fine idea indeed. Having no choice anymore, Belgarath unhappily hunkers down to tell the story of his life.
In the days when the gods walked the earth, he was born in the ancient pastoral village of Gara and orphaned young, gaining himself the name of Garath, "of the town of Gara." Here he learned to steal, lie, and cheat in order to survive. In his own words, "Larceny seethed in my grubby little soul." The boy Garath runs away, stays awhile with the cursed people of Ulgos, and eventually finds his way to the Vale of Aldur. Lost, cold, starving, angry with the harshness of life and ready to die, he is taken in by a kind stranger: the god Aldur.
Garath the boy-thief grows into Belgarath the Disciple. Here, the other disciples appear, some of them through hilarious situations that only Eddings can pen. Zedar ("he looked like a Tolnedran, or possibly an Arend" - an insult), Kira and Tira the Alorns, Makor the Melcene, Sambar the Angarak, and Din the Dwarf. Each of these sorcerers is well-made and unique and for the most part, fit with the later/previous stories.
Unfortunately, Belgarath's character takes a turn here from the colorful character we learned to love in Belgariad/Mallorean. It seems he isn't really quite as bright as we thought him to be. One would think that someone his age would have learned a thing or two in his lifetime. You may say "Well, he's Belgarath, he's taking liberties with his story." Still, his tales aren't what one would expect from someone as accomplished as Mister Wolf the traveling storyteller. There are far too many discrepancies between this book and the previous ten. There are times even his cunning seems more accidental than planned. The old Belgarath was more fun: the rootless vagabond who drank too much, gambled, chased women ("wenching" - only Eddings could use the term with such aplomb), pocketed things that interested him. The old Belgarath sat in smoky taverns drinking himself into high spirits while he winked at passing barmaids. Since BtS was obviously written after the local Temperance League got their hands on Eddings, we learn that Belgarath wasn't really drinking... he was just making it LOOK like he was. He was only pretending to be drunk so the scary Murgos wouldn't notice him. He wasn't really winking at the pretty barmaids, he was just blinking from all the soot in the air. He wasn't really snoozing in the saddle, he was actually calculating the number of blankets he would need to keep the army warm. His stained, worn, mismatched clothing wasn't accumulated through travels and travails but was carefully designed by the best tailors on the continent. While this new true Belgarath may be politically correct, the old one was more entertaining. The idea of the most powerful sorcerer in the world having numerous flaws and vices made him more believable. Remember, Polgara feared that Belgarath would be a bad influence on the young ones. He wasn't perfect. Well he is now, except for having fewer working brain cells. As strange as this may sound, I felt betrayed.
Eddings strains with some of the other major characters in the book. Just because Fulrach and Anheg, Silk and Barak behaved in certain ways shouldn't mean all of their ancestors behaved the same way. Some were indistinguishable from their descendants. On the other hand, the various Salmissras were almost caricaturish in their differences.
The Eddings Duo kept their smooth writing style present in the previous ten, and the humor is as sharp as always. When I finished BtS I went back and reread the entire Ten, and alas, Belgarath wasn't the same exciting character I had loved for years.
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3.0 out of 5 stars brings back the memories, March 6 2001
By 
Travis Cottreau (Wellington, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I enjoyed this book, as it brought back a lot of the memories of the Belgariad and Mallorean which I'd read 10+ years ago and enjoyed tremendously.
There were a few inconsistancies between this book and the original series, especially with the character of Belgarath himself. I'm currently reading "Polgara the Sorceress" and find the same true there. In the original series, Belgarath is THE legend, the eternal man, almost holy in many cultures. In this book, you finally see that despite being 7000 years old, he's still a little slow and requires almost constant input from "the Necessity" or Aldur to be able to do anything. Seldom does he do anything clever on his own, and he frequently depends on the stupidity of his enemies (Torak, Urvon, Zedar etc...) to succeed.
This destroyed some of my image of the character and it's just due to lazy writing. I get the distinct impression that most of this material was written before the first series of books (in proto form anyway) just to give background to this one character. This is fine, but it takes a lot of work to make a character intelligent, and you just don't see this here. A 7000 year old man should have unique perspective, be enormously clever and outwit practically everyone. That would have been too hard to do however, so you have to see the 7000 year old man who's pretty much just like everyone else. It succeeds in the first book because Belgarath is rarely the main character and the story isn't told directly by him (i.e. first person).
Still, if you liked the Belgariad, you really can't fail with this book, most of the history is at least somewhat entertaining, especially the initial calling of the diciples of Aldur to the Vale. I found that most interesting.
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3.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed it, but..., Nov. 22 2000
By 
Roy DeRousse (Manchester, Mo USA) - See all my reviews
It's been years since I read the original books in this series, but I enjoyed them a lot. So I was excited to find two new books in the series, this one and "Polgara." It was fun to revisit characters and events that I had read before. I really enjoyed the beginning of the book that covered Belgarath's origins up through the cracking of the world.
The rest of it is OK, but there was very little suspense present. (Note: This was NOT because I already knew many of the events. I read the original series too long ago to remember most of the details.) Part of it has to do with the whole "predestination" aspect of the series. After a while, it makes you wonder if many of the choices that these characters make really make any difference in the grand scheme of things.
The first person narrative is a mixed bag as well. At times I enjoyed the more personal observations by Belgarath, but it grew old in a book this long.
My favorite parts were in some of the more "trivial" events such as Belgarath's gold mining adventure or his fishing trips with his Grandson. I wish that there had been more of these "human" stories. Too much of the book read like, "This happened, then THIS happened, followed by THIS," and there wasn't much that made me really care about the characters.
So, it's worth reading after you read the original books, but it could have been much more entertaining.
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Belgarath the Sorcerer
Belgarath the Sorcerer by Leigh Eddings (Hardcover - Aug. 1 1995)
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