In Queen of Sorcery, David Eddings continues with the Belgariad saga. In this second book we get to see more countries and their particular populations, and we meet some new characters to go along with the journey.
Just a heads up: since this is the second book, this review might contain spoilers on Pawn of Prophecy. If you haven’t read it yet, I suggest you do. You can read that review by clicking right here.
Don’t wanna read all the details? Skip to the conclusion of the Queen of Sorcery book review.
Genre: YA Epic Coming-of-Age Fantasy | Publisher: Del Rey
In Queen of Sorcery, our favorite companions travel to Arendia, where we meet some new characters and face new challenges. Garion is finally starting to come to terms with the fact that his Aunt Pol is indeed the famed Sorceress called Polgara. He now also knows that Mister Wolf is, in fact, Belgarath, an even more famous sorcerer, and Garion’s grandpa (all be it with quite some ‘great-great-great’s attached to it). But as they travel, their quest becomes more and more dangerous, with Asharak the grolim still on their heels. It becomes increasingly uncertain that the group will catch the one who stole the Orb.
As far as the sequel goes, I’ll say it was quite fun to read. I loved the new countries and characters and how they all have different systems in place (more on that in world-building). Throughout the story, some confrontations keep the blood pumping, though overall, the story had a leisurely pace. The ending was also not incredibly impactful, where I thought the ending of Pawn of Prophecy was actually a bit more thrilling.
One of the new characters in Queen of Sorcery by David Eddings, is Knight Mandorallen. While he comes off as a bit pompous at first, he does have a kind heart and is a great fighter. He’s a Mimbrate, part of Arendia, where the people seem to act before they think. It does make Mandorallen quite the brave Knight, as he goes into a fight without even considering the other options.
Another new addition to the crew is Lendorin, who is also from Arendia, though he is an Arend. The Mimbrates and Arends have a feud going on between themselves, over apparently nothing at all. But since neither really think before they fight, they just fight each other.
The characters we already know, and love are also still part of the group. Silk and Barak still managed to make me smile, while the comments between Belgarath and Polgara are amusing in their own right. Hettar is now also part of the group, who has the ability to communicate with horses. As someone who loves horses and riding, that gift seems incredibly cool.
The journey goes through three different countries, all of them new, and all of them different. Tolnedra is all about money and making deals, and they don’t shy away from hiring assassins to kill opponents. Nyissa is quite a more evil country, where the pastime seems to exist mostly in getting drugged, but also in poisoning others. And they have a very lucrative slave-trade, who are treated like absolute shit.
Arendia has a more medieval-style system, where a lord (or baron, I think) lives in a castle and has people working on his land. In return, the lord takes care of the people, but that seems to be where it goes wrong. The people have very little money and are treated worse than animals. It was quite saddening to read about their conditions. And if a setting can create such emotions, then I’d say the writer did a banging job creating it.
In terms of writing, David Eddings’s style and tone has remained similar to the one in Pawn of Prophecy. As I said above, the landscapes and countries are vivid, but the characters steal the show. As they should.
There’s plenty of action and active writing, and I love the fun bits of dialogue. Especially the ones with subtext, which isn’t an easy thing to do. It’s a realistic portrayal of how adults talk when kids are around.
Queen of Sorcery by David Eddings brings us more characters, more detail about the world, and at least one encounter that involves a pretty cool showdown. Still, as far as the quest goes, it seems to be dragging a bit. I loved the book either way, as the whole group has wormed their way into my heart. Must read if you love a good epic fantasy.
So, the conclusion to the Queen of Sorcery book review: lots of new things and the stakes keep getting higher and the dangers more prominent. And if you’ve read the first book, you’re gonna want to continue with this one.
Continue for the review of Magician’s Gambit (#3)