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: Demon Lord of Karanda
Author: David Eddings
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Format: Paperback
Copyright Date: 1989

Garion had problems enough chasing Zandramas across the continent to recover his kidnapped son. He definitely didn't need to become the "guest" of Kal Zakath, the Emperor of Mallorea, not when the Angarak king seems inclined to keep him in the palace just to keep him out of trouble (storming across Mallorea, destroying enemy Grolim priests, etc.). Soon, though, Garion has no choice but to remain in the palace when a new and more deadly menace arises that threatens everyone, westerners and easterners alike: plague! Now, with the trail starting to run cold and the problems of plague and disease looming over them, Garion is liable to tear down the walls of Mal Zeth themselves just to get going. But will the Will and the Word--a.k.a. wizardry--be enough to hold sickness and Mallorean legions at bay?

Demon Lord of Karanda is the third volume in The Mallorean and it is a masterpiece. Not only do we get to see that there are some things that even kings and emperors cannot command to halt, but we get to see what happens when chaos tosses its card into the mix of intrigue and plots that mortals attempt to construct and control. This was perhaps the best part of the novel: when a single act of nature throws into shambles all the careful scheming and planning of Garion and his friends.

One part of the book that I particularly enjoyed was the parallel drawn between the Morinds of the west (whom Garion, Belgarath, and Silk encountered in Enchanter's End Game) and the Karands of the east. Somehow it seems very appropriate that there should be two tribes with the same "religion" with the same dangers and risks involved in their rites and with the same purposes behind them. Actually, it seems right because we have what basically amounts to an entire other pantheon of gods--although they are actually demons--from another plane or universe not bound by the same restrictions as Aldur and his brothers. We need those heavy-hitting demons to balance out the power of Garion, Belgarath, Polgara, Durnik, and Beldin, you know?

I don't particularly like where Demon Lord of Karanda ends since it ends on a fairly even and uneventful note. However, given the high level of tension that has reigned since the onset of the book, I guess the reader does need a break once in a while. So the end would be the best place of all after all. But you know what that kind of calm ending means, right? A major onslaught of excitement and tension in the volume to come!

Rating: Thumbs up! With human enemies on the one side, inhuman threats on the other, and a natural disaster all around, what's the game plan going to be?

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