Title: Pawn of Prophecy
Author: David Eddings
Published By: Del Rey Books
Publish Date: 2002
Length: 192 Pages
Purchase From: Amazon @ $12.21
Pawn of Prophecy was originally published in 1982 by the Random House Publishing Group as part of The Belgariad series by David Eddings. In 1995 a hardcover first edition was published which incorporated the first three books of this series. In 2002 a trade edition (large format paperback) was published. This review covers the 2002 trade release and all information above is in reference to this particular publication.
Pawn of Prophecy begins by introducing us to a young boy named Garion. At this junction in the book he is less than ten years old and keeps himself occupied by playing with friend on Feldor’s Farm in Sendaria. The first few chapters do a bit of jumping around as we learn little tid-bits about Garions younger years. One chapter may tell a story of when he was just ten years old, while the next may jump to a time when he was twelve.
After a few chapters, the story settles in to a time when Garion was fifteen. All of his life he has lived on Feldor’r Farm with his Aunt Pol. This was a very peaceful place that made Garion feel safe and secure. One day while on the farm, Garion meets a man that goes by the name Old Wolf, or Mister Wolf. Mister Wolf is a storyteller of sorts and makes his way to Feldor’s Farm every so often to tell tales in exchange for Aunt Pol’s cooking and glasses of ale. This storyteller is so good at telling tales that the whole farm gathers to listen in. Stories that the people have been told all of their lives seem to come to life as Mister Wolf speaks.
As the story progresses, there seems to be some sort of bond between Aunt Pol and Mister Wolf, but anytime Garion asks, all he is told is that they have known one another for many years. One occasion Aunt Pol and Mister Wolf seem to have to have an urgent conversation and Garion is sent from the kitchen to fetch carrots. While lingering near the kitchen window, he hears the two discussing a mission which must be tended to immediately.
Following this discussion, the characters set off, accompanied by Durnik the farms smith. During their journey, Garion feels as though he is being dragged along because Aunt Pol insists on treating him like a child and doesn’t know what else to do with him. Along the way, the small group meets up with Silk and Barak where the group plays the part of turnip merchants making their way across Sendaria.
On their journey, Garion begins to be taught important life lessons to becoming a man by Mister Wolf, Silk, and Barak. being young in years, Garion becomes defiant at times towards his Aunt Pol, who he feels views him as a burden and a child.
Unlike many of the books in the Sword of Truth Series, the end of this book did not have a climax and defined ending. The story comes to a conclusion as the group leaves Sendaria and travels to Arendia to continue on with their mission. At times I feel a little in the dark as the story follows Garion. Because of his young age, he is treated as such and is not informed of the finer points of the mission.
At times, Garion eavesdrops on conversations between the older characters. This is the only way he seems to gather information, and in turn, that is the only way that information in conveyed on to the reader. It is interesting because I really get to see the world through Garion’s eyes and at times I root for his defiance towards Aunt Pol.
The story is very laid back and fun because of the perspective given. There are short stints where Garion is off being a boy. In one instance he punches a boy in the face and kisses a young girl, which simply made me laugh and smile as the scene played out.
Pawn of Prophecy seems to be geared towards young adults as the storyline is pretty straight forward and simple. There isn’t a whole lot of thinking involved and you can simply sit back and read. I didn’t come across any material which would be frowned upon when presented to a teenager.
While the story is simple and fun going, I am enjoying it none the less. I was a bit surprised that there wasn’t any sort of climax at the end and it simply readied me for a transition to another land where Queen of Sorcery begins.