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Enchanter’s End Game is the fifth and final book of the Belgariad series by David Eddings. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading all of the books; I seemed to finish them with lightning speed. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Since this is the review of the final book, it can contain spoilers about the previous ones. So, read those reviews (and books) before you get to this one. You can find Pawn of Prophecy (#1) here, Queen of Sorcery (#2) here, Magician’s Gambit (#3) here, and finally, Castle of Wizardry (#4) here.
Read the full review below or skip to the conclusion.
Genre: YA Epic Coming-of-Age Fantasy | Publisher: Del Rey
Garion, Belgarath, and Silk are still on their journey to meet Torak, trying to defeat the God once and for all. At the same time, Princess Ce’Nedra has been busy raising an army for the oncoming war to create a distraction so that Garion and the others can get to Torak without much trouble.
It’s the final climax of the entire series, and it didn’t disappoint. There’s quite a lot going on during the battle, so Eddings decided to use multiple viewpoints here. I think that was a good choice: by now, we’re so familiar with all these characters that shifting the viewpoint didn’t feel strange or sudden.
This trick with varying viewpoints is also done on some occasions to illustrate what’s going on in the other Kingdoms. These are now ruled by the women that were left behind by the kings. I thought it was quite interesting to see their different approaches to ruling and taking care of unwanted advisors and deals.
But eventually, we’re most excited about the meeting between Torak and Garion. I thought it was executed quite well, but it didn’t quite pack the thrill I was hoping for. The ending does wrap up nicely, though there are still questions that remain unanswered. However, I guess that these would be addressed in the Malloreon series.
Even though we get more viewpoints this time around, we still mostly see things from either Garion’s or Ce’Nedra’s perspective. We see the growth that Garion has gone through (although he still seems to slink back to ‘why me’ at times), but at least he’s accepted his powers and the fact that he’s now King.
Ce’Nedra is also starting to turn into a woman. She’s still prone to some folly and trying to get her way (especially when she’s bored), but a certain event brings a stop to that. She also really seems to love Garion.
Other than that, we pretty much stick with the same characters as in the previous books. One new addition is Zakath, the Emperor of Mallorea, but he’s introduced only fairly briefly. We still get a good impression of him (and it’s not a very positive impression). I believe he gets a more significant role, though, in the Malloreon series.
You would think by now we’ve traversed all the places in the world David Eddings created, but no! We see some familiar places, such as the Stronghold in Algaria, and some new ones, such as Gar og Nadrak, Mallorea, and Thull Mardu.
The one thing I must note is all the different types of ‘magic’ there are in this world. While Belgarath is a sorcerer, that’s apparently a different thing to witchcraft, which is also different from magic. That’s the one thing I find becomes a bit more confusing. Why are there all these different types? And where does it all come from? That’s the thing that lacks a bit of detail.
As for the writing, it’s still very consistent. It’s been easy and pleasurable to read throughout the series. What Eddings did really well in Enchanter’s End Game was the shifting between different viewpoints. In the previous books, we only got either Garion or a mix between Garion and Ce’Nedra. This time around, we get a lot more, and not once did it confuse me or did it seem strange.
It’s been a very entertaining ride to read these books. And Enchanter’s End Game is a good conclusion, and I felt pretty damn satisfied after finishing. I do have one little side-note: it is a series written in the 80’s, which is pretty clear. It’s filled with tropes and stereotypes, especially when it comes to gender roles and races. There’s a pretty clear ‘West = good, East = bad’ divide as well. The Eastern races are described as having slanted eyes and either stupid or very sinister, so read into that what you will. So, am I biased reading this as a Western white person? Perhaps. I try to read it as a product of its time, and I’m not much bothered by the stereotypes. However, if you can’t or won’t read past this, then this is probably not the series for you.
Have you read the Belgariad? What are your thoughts on it? And on Enchanter’s End Game? Let me know in the comments!