Pawn of Prophecy (Belgariad Series #1)

Pawn of Prophecy (Belgariad Series #1)

by David Eddings, Leigh Eddings

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reissue)

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Overview

“Eddings’s Belgariad is exactly the kind of fantasy I like. It has magic, adventure, humor, mystery, and a certain delightful human insight.”—Piers Anthony

Long ago, so the Storyteller claimed, the evil God Torak sought dominion and drove men and Gods to war. But Belgarath the Sorcerer led men to reclaim the Orb that protected men of the West. So long as it lay at Riva, the prophecy went, men would be safe.

But that was only a story, and Garion did not believe in magic dooms, even though the dark man without a shadow had haunted him for years. Brought up on a quiet farm by his Aunt Pol, how could he know that the Apostate planned to wake dread Torak, or that he would be led on a quest of unparalleled magic and danger by those he loved—but did not know?

For a while, his dreams of innocence were safe, untroubled by knowledge of his strange heritage. For a little while . . . 

Thus begins the first book of The Belgariad, a magnificent epic of immense scope, set against a history of seven thousand years, of the struggles of Gods and Kings and men—of strange lands and events—of fate and a prophecy that must be fulfilled!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345335517
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/28/1986
Series: Belgariad Series , #1
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 68,278
Product dimensions: 6.94(w) x 10.88(h) x 0.73(d)
Lexile: 900L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

David Eddings (1931-2009) published his first novel, High Hunt, in 1973, before turning to the field of fantasy with Pawn of Prophecy —the first book in his bestselling series, The Belgariad. With his wife Leigh, he authored several epic fantasy novel series, including The Malloreon, The Elenium, The Tamuli and The Dreamers.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

The first thing the boy Garion remembered was the kitchen at Faldor’s farm. For all the rest of his life he had a special warm feeling for kitchens and those peculiar sounds and smells that seemed somehow to combine into a bustling seriousness that had to do with love and food and comfort and security and, above all, home. No matter how high Garion rose in life, he never forgot that all his memories began in that kitchen.

The kitchen at Faldor’s farm was a large, low-beamed room filled with ovens and kettles and great spits that turned slowly in cavernlike arched fireplaces. There were long, heavy worktables where bread was kneaded into loaves and chickens were cut up and carrots and celery were diced with quick, crisp rocking movements of long, curved knives. When Garion was very small, he played under those tables and soon learned to keep his fingers and toes out from un- der the feet of the kitchen helpers who worked around them. And sometimes in the late afternoon when he grew tired, he would lie in a corner and stare into one of the flickering fires that gleamed and reflected back from the hundred polished pots and knives and long-handled spoons that hung from pegs along the whitewashed walls and, all bemused, he would drift off into sleep in perfect peace and harmony with all the world around him.

The center of the kitchen and everything that happened there was Aunt Pol. She seemed somehow to be able to be everywhere at once. The finishing touch that plumped a goose in its roasting pan or deftly shaped a rising loaf or garnished a smoking ham fresh from the oven was always hers. Though there were several others who worked in the kitchen, no loaf, stew, soup, roast, or vegetable ever went out of it that had not been touched at least once by Aunt Pol. She knew by smell, taste, or some higher instinct what each dish required, and she seasoned them all by pinch or trace or a negligent-seeming shake from earthenware spice pots. It was as if there was a kind of magic about her, a knowledge and power beyond that of ordinary people. And yet, even at her busiest, she always knew precisely where Garion was. In the very midst of crimping a pie crust or decorating a special cake or stitching up a freshly stuffed chicken she could, without looking, reach out a leg and hook him back out from under the feet of others with heel or ankle.

As he grew a bit older, it even became a game. Garion would watch until she seemed far too busy to notice him, and then, laughing, he would run on his sturdy little legs toward a door. But she would always catch him. And he would laugh and throw his arms around her neck and kiss her and then go back to watching for his next chance to run away again.

He was quite convinced in those early years that his Aunt Pol was quite the most important and beautiful woman in the world. For one thing, she was taller than the other women on Faldor’s farm—very nearly as tall as a man—and her face was always serious—even stern—except with him, of course. Her hair was long and very dark—almost black—all but one lock just above her left brow which was white as new snow. At night when she tucked him into the little bed close beside her own in their private room above the kitchen, he would reach out and touch that white lock; she would smile at him and touch his face with a soft hand. Then he would sleep, content in the knowledge that she was there, watching over him.

Faldor’s farm lay very nearly in the center of Sendaria, a misty kingdom bordered on the west by the Sea of the Winds and on the east by the Gulf of Cherek. Like all farmhouses in that particular time and place, Faldor’s farmstead was not one building or two, but rather was a solidly constructed complex of sheds and barns and hen roosts and dovecotes all facing inward upon a central yard with a stout gate at the front. Along the second story gallery were the rooms, some spacious, some quite tiny, in which lived the farmhands who tilled and planted and weeded the extensive fields beyond the walls. Faldor himself lived in quarters in the square tower above the central dining hall where his workers assembled three times a day—sometimes four during harvest time—to feast on the bounty of Aunt Pol’s kitchen.

All in all, it was quite a happy and harmonious place. Farmer Faldor was a good master. He was a tall, serious man with a long nose and an even longer jaw. Though he seldom laughed or even smiled, he was kindly to those who worked for him and seemed more intent on maintaining them all in health and well-being than extracting the last possible ounce of sweat from them. In many ways he was more like a father than a master to the sixty-odd people who lived on his freeholding. He ate with them—which was unusual, since many farmers in the district sought to hold themselves aloof from their workers—and his presence at the head of the central table in the dining hall exerted a restraining influence on some of the younger ones who tended sometimes to be boisterous. Farmer Fal- dor was a devout man, and he invariably invoked with simple eloquence the blessing of the Gods before each meal. The people of his farm, knowing this, filed with some decorum into the dining hall before each meal and sat in the semblance at least of piety before attacking the heaping platters and bowls of food that Aunt Pol and her helpers had placed before them.

Because of Faldor’s good heart—and the magic of Aunt Pol’s deft fingers—the farm was known throughout the district as the finest place to live and work for twenty leagues in any direction. Whole evenings were spent in the tavern in the nearby village of Upper Gralt in minute descriptions of the near-miraculous meals served regularly in Faldor’s dining hall. Less fortunate men who worked at other farms were frequently seen, after several pots of ale, to weep openly at descriptions of one of Aunt Pol’s roasted geese, and the fame of Faldor’s farm spread wide throughout the district.

The most important man on the farm, aside from Faldor, was Durnik the smith. As Garion grew older and was allowed to move out from under Aunt Pol’s watchful eye, he found his way inevitably to the smithy. The glowing iron that came from Durnik’s forge had an almost hypnotic attraction for him. Durnik was an ordinary-looking man with plain brown hair and a plain face, ruddy from the heat of his forge. He was neither tall nor short, nor was he thin or stout. He was sober and quiet, and like most men who follow his trade, he was enormously strong. He wore a rough leather jerkin and an apron of the same material. Both were spotted with burns from the sparks which flew from his forge. He also wore tight-fitting hose and soft leather boots as was the custom in that part of Sendaria. At first Durnik’s only words to Garion were warnings to keep his fingers away from the forge and the glowing metal which came from it. In time, however, he and the boy became friends, and he spoke more frequently.

“Always finish what you set your hand to,” he would advise. “It’s bad for the iron if you set it aside and then take it back to the fire more than is needful.”

“Why is that?” Garion would ask.

Durnik would shrug. “It just is.”

“Always do the very best job you can,” he said on another occasion as he put a last few finishing touches with a file on the metal parts of a wagon tongue he was repairing.

“But that piece goes underneath,” Garion said. “No one will ever see it.”

“But I know it’s there,” Durnik said, still smoothing the metal. “If it isn’t done as well as I can do it, I’ll be ashamed every time I see this wagon go by—and I’ll see the wagon every day.”

And so it went. Without even intending to, Durnik instructed the small boy in those solid Sendarian virtues of work, thrift, sobriety, good manners, and practicality which formed the backbone of the society.

At first Aunt Pol worried about Garion’s attraction to the smithy with its obvious dangers; but after watching from her kitchen door for a while, she realized that Durnik was almost as watchful of Garion’s safety as she was herself, and she became less concerned.

“If the boy becomes pestersome, Goodman Durnik, send him away,” she told the smith on one occasion when she had brought a large copper kettle to the smithy to be patched, “or tell me, and I’ll keep him closer to the kitchen.”

“He’s no bother, Mistress Pol,” Durnik said, smiling. “He’s a sensible boy and knows enough to keep out of the way.”

“You’re too good-natured, friend Durnik,” Aunt Pol said. “The boy is full of questions. Answer one and a dozen more pour out.”

“That’s the way of boys,” Durnik said, carefully pouring bubbling metal into the small clay ring he’d placed around the tiny hole in the bottom of the kettle. “I was questionsome myself when I was a boy. My father and old Barl, the smith who taught me, were patient enough to answer what they could. I’d repay them poorly if I didn’t have the same patience with Garion.”

Garion, who was sitting nearby, had held his breath during this conversation. He knew that one wrong word on either side would have instantly banished him from the smithy. As Aunt Pol walked back across the hard-packed dirt of the yard toward her kitchen with the new-mended kettle, he noticed the way that Durnik watched her, and an idea began to form in his mind. It was a simple idea, and the beauty of it was that it provided something for everyone.

“Aunt Pol,” he said that night, wincing as she washed one of his ears with a rough cloth.

“Yes?” she said, turning her attention to his neck.

“Why don’t you marry Durnik?”

She stopped washing. “What?” she asked.

“I think it would be an awfully good idea.”

“Oh, do you?” Her voice had a slight edge to it, and Garion knew he was on dangerous ground.

“He likes you,” he said defensively.

“And I suppose you’ve already discussed this with him?”

“No,” he said. “I thought I’d talk to you about it first.”

“At least that was a good idea.”

“I can tell him about it tomorrow morning, if you’d like.”

His head was turned around quite firmly by one ear. Aunt Pol, Garion felt, found his ears far too convenient.

“Don’t you so much as breathe one word of this nonsense to Durnik or anyone else,” she said, her dark eyes burning into his with a fire he had never seen there before.

“It was only a thought,” he said quickly.

“A very bad one. From now on leave thinking to grown-ups.” She was still holding his ear.

“Anything you say,” he agreed hastily.

Later that night, however, when they lay in their beds in the quiet darkness, he approached the problem obliquely.

“Aunt Pol?”

“Yes?”

“Since you don’t want to marry Durnik, who do you want to marry?”

“Garion,” she said.

“Yes?”

“Close your mouth and go to sleep.”

“I think I’ve got a right to know,” he said in an injured tone.

“Garion!”

“All right. I’m going to sleep, but I don’t think you’re being very fair about all this.”

What People are Saying About This

Piers Anthony

Eddings's Belgariad is exactly the kind of fantasy I like. It has magic, adventure, humor, mystery, and a certain delightful human insight.

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Pawn of Prophecy 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 167 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So excitded to see it finally coming to nook
ErikaB1 More than 1 year ago
Hooray for the nook book release!  I re-read this series at least once a year.  It has such great character development.
Jyin More than 1 year ago
Finally!  Its being released on ebook!  Please release the rest of this series and the Sparhawk series!  
CarolynZ More than 1 year ago
WOW, WOW, WOW!!!! I have been waiting for YEARS to be able to find this as an eBook. Thank you whoever is responsible for bringing this to the e-public! Now...I have three. I just need the last two and my trip to Riva, Mallorea, and all the other kingdoms can be completed!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this series . Please release the rest of the Belgariad and Malloreon series. In addition, the Sparhawk series also please. I grew up reading this series and it ignited my fascination with both fantasy and sci-fi . I have the series in paperback and have read them so many times the books have fallen apart. Glad to see the books are finally in e format.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Release the two Sparrowhawk series two !!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love the belgariad and mallorean series!!! Please release all of the books for the nook!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am so glad it has finally come to Nook. Now - bring on The Mallorean and The Sparhawk series. I love these book and I love this author. It's about time Nook. Thank you!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful 3 dimensional characters, with good traits and bad; humorous dialogue; a grand story of gods and world-changing deeds accomplished by unexpected people. Eddings has a simple, spare style of writing, but NOT childish. He uses enough words, the right words, and lets the reader do the rest. I first read this series over 30 years ago and I'm so glad it's finally coming out in digital! I've already started reading it again!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have loved this series for years. Very happy to see it released as an ebook. Now please release the rest of the series. Great story. Wonderful characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i love this series.  i read it when i was young and i am re-reading now.  it is just as good as 25 years a go
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great books
tundranocaps on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a solid series, I was reading two books a day.It is a light read, it is an enjoyable read, and it is a book I returned to after many years.I highly suggest reading Belgarath and Polgara prior to the Belgariad though.
jimmaclachlan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the beginning of a fun, 5 book series. There is another 5 book series, the Mallorean, that comes after plus several additional books, "Polgara", 'Belgarath' & the 'Mrin Codex'. If you stick with the first 5 & maybe the second 5, you'll be happy. Unless this world totally captivates you, reading the 3 additional books is kind of a waste. While there are some tidbits you can pick up, mostly they're a rehash from different POV's of the other 10 books.That said, the world captivated me. My wife & I originally started reading this series just after the second book came out. We the proceeded to read one book a year - FOREVER! - well, it seemed like forever. Of course, we'd have to re-read or at least skim the earlier books again, so I don't know how many times we read them. Two of my kids have read them at least once each, as well.It's a sword & sorcery world with a nifty take on it. The characters are engaging, larger than life & just a lot of fun. No sex or gore, it's appropriate for ten or so & up.
crazybatcow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I realize that the story is part of a multibook series but it's important to say that if you're not planning to read more in the series then you'll probably be disappointed in this story as a standalone. It is just an introduction and buildup to future novels in the series where (I'm assuming) something happens. This story itself doesn't really have anything happening other than introducing characters and the setting.The centerpiece character is supposed to be a 14 year old boy but the writer has him behaving (and being treated) like a 9 year old... It's clear that the novel (and maybe the series?) is aimed at teenagers rather than adults.If you aren't looking for a complex story, and you accept that this novel is only meant to be an intro to the series, and you are planning to read more in the series then it's probably worth 4 stars, otherwise it's barely a 3 star story.
Stir-Pink on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Garion is no one special- just a poor orphaned farm boy being raised by his aunt. He has heard tales of magic, but he doesn't believe in it. He knows the legend of the Orb, a magical artifact said to protect the world from evil as long as it is in at a place called Riva, but he never really thought it was true. Which is why, when he learns that the Orb has been stolen, he doesn't give much thought to it. Until a mysterious traveler who seems to know his Aunt Pol tells him that not only is the legend of the Orb true, but that the prophecies state that he must go on a quest to retrieve the Orb and return it to its rightful place. He is intrigued, if slightly less than thrilled, and agrees to go.by Emma, Resident David Eddings Scholar
Anagarika on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I remember reading this series, but I don't remember how good it was. So, I give it three stars.
puttocklibrary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The first book in what was my favorite fantasy series for a very long time. While the story premise is simple, and the ultimate conclusion quite obvious, watching the main character, Garion, gradually learn about his heritage and ultimate destiny is always entertaining.
Anagarika-Sean on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I remember reading this series, but I don't remember how good it was. So, I give it three stars.
KAzevedo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This review is for the entire five book series, "The Belgariad". While light weight and without any real tension or doubt as to the outcome, the series is very enjoyable, with likable characters, humor, and a satisfying, happy ending. The writing is fast paced, clear and easy to read, and I thought the dialogue was pretty well done. Some characterizations are good enough to provoke sympathy for some of the baddies. There is nothing particularly thought provoking, but I had fun reading all five.
Darla on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Hmmm. I'm still not quite sure what I think of this. It's very obviously The First Book In The Series, and things happen, but nothing's resolved. I really have to reserve judgment until after I read the next one.
asawyer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A different kind of book for me (fantasy)... but I loved it; needed a good fun book to read that would pull me in and the let world settle around me. This was the perfect book, and now I look forward to more lazy weekends to follow the series!
JechtShot on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Pawn of Prophecy, what an aptly named book for the first tale of the Belgariad. Garian (The Pawn) a young orphaned farmboy with a past cloaked in secret, lives with his Aunt Pol on a prosperous farm. A storyteller known as "Old Wolf" comes by and shares stories of the Gods. It comes to light that something of great value has been taken and that Old Wolf, Aunt Pol and Garion must set out at once. In typical fantasy style the group expands to include: A village blacksmith, Silk (the thief) and Barak the warrior. Also in typical fantasy style, the party of unlikely heroes are not quite who they all seem to be. The party travels to meet with the Kings of the land and it is here that "The Prophecy" begins to unfold.Pawn of Prophecy provides very few unique elements to the fantasy genre, but the writing is solid and each of the characters are well thought out and intriguing. If you enjoy stories of prophecy, kings and sorcerers battling against evil forces and ancient Gods, look no further.
exlibrisbitsy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The series The Belgariad was my first introduction into the world of high fantasy when I was a kid. While it sticks to standard fantasy fair it does so in a way that is accessible to a younger reader. It is also just a fun book to read. There is adventure and magic, warriors and sorcerers and evil gods, and a boy in the middle of it all who starts to realize he is no ordinary boy.Any fan of Lord of the Rings would love this series as it is a fun, light hearted introduction to high fantasy. Any fan of Harry Potter would recognize a lot of Garion was years later placed in Harry. They were both young boys who had their parents murdered when they were babies and were placed in the care of their aunts. They are both surprised to find that they are not ordinary little boys when adventure comes at last into their lives and they discover they are capable of more than they ever suspected.When the Orb of Aldur is stolen and the old storyteller comes to fetch Aunt Pol to help go and find it they take Garion, and surprisingly enough the blacksmith Durnik, and head off on an adventure in an attempt to reclaim it. They meet up with a prince turned spy named Silk and a giant bear of a man named Barak. There is magic, intrigue and fighting and when the band finds themselves arrested they end up at royal court. Then things get really interesting.Throughout there is lots of sly humor and witty dialogue, jabs at other high fantasy novels, and some fantastic set up for what promises to be an entertaining series.Highly recommended for young fantasy fans, or fans that are ready to expand from Harry Potter into high fantasy. If your younger reader finds the prologue difficult to get into, feel free to skip it and just start at chapter one. The prologues in all the books in this series are quotes from scrolls about the history of the world and can be tough reading straight out of the box for a younger reader. Get into the adventure first and then when they want to know what all this Orb business is about go back and read that prologue, it will make a lot more sense.
mpritchett on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
So the start of the series where the whole book is about introducing the characters. And that is what you get. A long book the slowly over time introduces us to the main characters. If you have read the series out of order, then this introduction becomes drawn out. It was easy enough to read, but I am no longer the target audience for the books.