Tomes of Spellcasting

Welcome to the land of mystery, where the impossible is possible, and the improbable the reality. Join me as I investigate worlds filled with magic and meet the souls that wield this wondrous powers.

W A R N I N G !

This review does not represent the opinions of the general public. It reflects my personal thoughts and opinions on the book.

That said, on to the review!

Title: Castle of Wizardry
Author: David Eddings
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Format: Paperback
Copyright Date: 1984

Garion and his companions have recovered the legendary Orb of Aldur from Ctuchik, whose self-destruction toppled the towering escarpment city of Rak Cthol. Now, though, it is a race against time as Garion rides back into friendlier lands. But there are problems and obstacles in his way. His grandfather, Belgarath the sorcerer, was badly weakened by his battle with Ctuchik and floats in and out of consciousness. His aunt, Polgara the sorceress, has her hands full protecting the young boy whose innocence enabled him to touch the Orb of Aldur from the mystical attacks of the Grolim Heirarchs. And that's not even counting the problems to be had with the army of Murgos chasing them down with their insane king Taur Urgas himself leading them. And then they need to collect the Tolnedran princess Ce'Nedra from the undermountain city of Prolgu and get her clear across the continent to Riva before the turning of the year! Will the problems never end?

Castle of Wizardry is the fourth book in the Belgariad. It seemed as though the quest for the Orb of Aldur was over, but it won't be over until the Orb is back where it belongs: in the Hall of the Rivan King. Which means, of course, that there's going to be a lot of action taking place between Garion's narrow escape from the crumbling Rak Cthol and their arrival in Riva. So you needn't worry about becoming bored, just because it seems as though the story is nearly ended.

One of the most interesting parts of this book is Garion's return to the farm in Sendaria where he grew up. After watching him grow and mature there, it is slightly disconcerting but very touching to see him go back to his roots and see the difference that the year or so since his departure has made in him and his childhood friends. And even more touching--and slightly amusing--is the way the author describes Polgara's return: "Her polite suggestions remained so for almost a minute and a half before they became commands, and then everything was back to normal again." Can you just picture this scene? Remember, while Garion was growing up Polgara was the central figure and queen of the kitchen. And although a lot has changed in all of them--Durnik's killed a man, Garion's become a sorceror, and Polgara is once more the legendary sorceress born over three thousand years before--something's just haven't. Isn't that the way it should be?

Castle of Wizardry continues the rapid, exciting pace of an impressive series of books. There are spans of time where the reader can sit back and relax to enjoy the quieter experiences of the characters, but also hordes of places where you just can't wait to see what happens next. Excellent writing in every case, so go get the book and read it!

Rating: Thumbs up! Brace yourself: the time of revelations is at hand!

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