on February 23, 2004
Well I did manage to struggle my way thru to the end - but then I was stuck in hospital with nothing else to read and at least Eddings' turgid prose took my mind off all the injections, crap food etc. My first impression was that this hodge-podge of characters, gods etc. was what you would get if you mixed together large snippets of Tolkein, Moorcroft, Peake, Chalker with perhaps a smidgen of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in a blender. Ok to be fair it IS the third book of the series - perhaps if I'd read the first two I might understand the convulated rules governing the various gods/demons/heroes but even so I couldn't help feeling the story had plotholes a mile wide. For example, given the powers that Aphrael has why can't she help the human characters a lot more? Why do they have to plod around fighting all the time? Way way too many characters, too many silly names, confusing side plots, lack of coherent rules (vital in fantasy!) to say nothing of the fact that many of the 'heroes' are cruel and vicious and unfair. The ending was a damp squib and I felt sorry for any reader who had struggled their way thru the whole three books ...
on May 10, 2001
Everyone who put forth a review, both good AND bad, is right. True, the series became very repetitive near the end. ALL the characters with their one-liners, everyone murmuring "Be Nice" and all the casual violence. Yes, at the same time, the books were fairly hard to put down, they were a quick paced read. However, the last book, The Hidden City, the entire last half seemed rushed. It looked as though Eddings didn't know how to finish so he relied heavily on the concept that assorted Gods of Styricum wouldn't mind ferrying armies around. Armies, that in my opinion weren't really needed, as someone pointed out in another review, Sparhawk could have easily erased all the enemies and had his Queen back in a flash. But Eddings at the last minute came up with rather shallow "limits" along the lines of Scottie's transporter being broken when they most needed it. All in all, an entertaining book, but you do get tired of all the same sarcastic remarks by different characters, after awhile all their personalities sort of blend. I've read better books, as well as worse.
on May 10, 1999
Fantasy readers are very amusing. When they (once in a lifetime!) get a series with witty oneliners and genuinely sharp humour, they think it sucks. When they (once in a lifetime!) get an ending that doesn't drag on for 50 pages, they think it sucks.
It seems to me that some people here are really missing the point. When I was 100 pages into Tamuli, I had a perfect grasp of what Eddings was doing; not a breathtaking, bone-crunching, millennial epic of some kitchen boy or other saving the world, but an elegant and well-crafted parody of the most ridiculous cliches of the genre. No wonder the vast majority of teenage fans didn't get it - and so Eddings had to go back to writing about Belgarath and some other old friends.
I'm not saying this series is a masterwork. It started well, kept its pace well into the second volume, even most of this third one was very readable. What sucked was, yes, the end. Eddings made (again) himself to stop laughing, and this time he substituted it with sugary tears of sweet happiness. Not exactly my idea of a good time, but I can't altogether bash a book with a six-year-old goddess expressing her wish to eat somebody's heart. And the Trolls were especially hilarious.
on July 24, 1999
After reading through all six books (elenium and tamuli) I eagerly sought the ending to find out what happens... in the end, everything that had to be wrapped up was, but it missed a lot of stuff! Does Kurik's son, Khalad find Krager? Does Elron get skewered by Stragen? Are Sarabian's wives punished for betraying him? What happens to Kring and Mirtai (more to the point, how does the domi's tribe react to her presence), Will Ulath ever take Sarak's bones back to Thalasia?!?
A little bit on Kalten's wedding might have been nice also (like, maybe "he lived happily ever after" or something suitably cloying along those lines)
I'd maybe suggest a last book to tie the entire series back together... something taking care of all of the above mentioned and maybe what happens to Talen as a Pandion Knight (and princess Danae's pursuits concerning him).
On the whole, worth reading, but if you hate loose ends, this'll drive you nuts!
on July 29, 1998
What can I say? I liked the Hidden City. The Eddings' style of storytelling draws me into their books. The characters' conversations and relationships keep me fascinated, like stepping into a room and listening to people talk as if they didn't know you were there. While some readers apparently find this style boring, I find that I fall into it comfortably. Rather than a lull between the all-out action parts of the books, the discussions and witty fencing of the characters offer the reader a chance to analyse these people by what they say and do to one another, so that when something happens to disturb their lives, you feel for them. Although some of the characters are near cliches (the cultured,misunderstood thief, the Amazon, the wise teacher), Eddings breathes life into them with little details and light words. Read the series. (Plus, I got 50 points playing Scrabble with a group of friends using the word "defenestrate." Thanks Stragen!)
on November 10, 1998
Why does David Eddings do this? Meaning, why does he start with a decent "let's find the blue rock" story (the Elenium, the Belgariad), and then follow it up with what seems like an exercise in being as farfetched as possible (the Tamuli, the Malloreon)?! He just tries to pull more ideas out and they're just TOO fanciful, even for fantasy. And, of course, all the characters have to deliver their dialogue as one-liners that really aren't that funny. In particular I would LOVE to have Caalador killed off to get rid of that ridiculous dialect (and all the characters who decide to imitate it). And the ending just wasn't that convincing. Stick with the Elenium - the best series Eddings has written, in my opinion. The one-liners are there, but not as many of them, and there are some serious characters to balance the overly witty ones. Plus the story is fantasy, yet not the totally farfetched stuff of the Tamuli.
on April 2, 1999
Having read some of the reviews prior to typing my 2 cents worth, I must confess to being a little surprised at some of the reviews. Having read the Belgariad and the Malloreon, I thought that both the Elenium and the Tamuli series were superior. Once I had started reading, it was always a shame to stop. The one reservation about the series was the ease with which Sparhawk's enemies are destroyed at the end. Having had Sparhawk and his friends running around madly for 3 novels, Cyrgon bites the dust in just 3 pages once the main event begins! Also, I have to agree with the comments about Caalador's accent - it really was annoying. What's worse, he was faking it! Aside from that (and it really is a very small issue), both of the Sparhawk series were great reads, with good characters, and I would like to see another seies. There has to be someone on the other side of their world that doesn't like them.
on February 11, 1999
This is one of the few fantasy series' I ever read where I really, really wanted the villain to win, but wait the villain here is too boring to even root for. Eee Gad, it the horrible conservative god!! I ended up wishing their little universe would collapse in on itself, killing all those annoying characters and even more annoying pantheon of gods. The repetitive one-liners and sarcastic remarks made by EVERY character are not funny in and only cemented my intense dislike for them. Don't even get me started on the horribly annoying Caalador and his accent. I couldn't even read his dialogue. Is this supposed to be cute? And then to top it off, Eddings rips off his own Belgariad, by having two opposing destinies meet to decide the fate of the universe...blah blah. Please Eddings if you're reading this no more Sparhawk stories!!!
on April 30, 1999
To have got this far you mus be an Eddings devotee. I was. Emphasis on the "was". I'm really sory to say this, but second the first books of both heroes was an incredible read. Wonderfully descriptive and characters with quirks and depth that really brought them to life. Both second series for me were a flop, but this none more. This must be the worse book I have read from an author I have recommended to others. Gods moving around armies? And then, in the end, there's no point to it all! Why not just let Sparhawk have his big gem, go in and kill everyone himself. That and the invicible band he travels with. Once you bring Gods (and the more powerful) in, you kind of lose touch. Isn't fantasy about you relating the character, or you living the hero?
on September 13, 1999
I honestly don't know how someone can give this book 5 stars, cause I've read many excellent books, which get 4 stars of something. How can a book like this get 4.5 stars on the average. The characters are the usual: fighter(s), thief,the Mother figure(sephrenia), and bla bla bla bla. The jokes aren't funny, actually, they're an insult to the people of real humour. And in the conversations sometimes I can almost predict what they're gonna say next. All I can say is that the fanatic eddings fans should really think of changing the books they read ---> if they think this book is EXCELLENT... then what about the dark elf trilogy? Dragonlance? Forgotten Realms? All those beat the Elenium and the Tamuli. I liked the Belgariad, those books were good.