Title: Castle of Wizardry
Author: David Eddings
Published By: Del Rey Books
Publish Date: 2002
Purchase From: Amazon @ $12.20
Castle of Wizardry was originally published in 1984 by Ballantine Books as part of The Belgariad series by David Eddings. In 1995 a hardcover first edition was published which incorporated the last two 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.
During the conclusion of Magicians Gambit, Belgarath and Ctuchik get into a magical battle. When Ctuchik is defeated, Belgarath collapses due to exhaustion and the the party must spring to action. Coincidentally, at the conclusion of the battle, a volcano in a nearby mountain begins to erupt and the stronghold begins to crumble.
The party escapes from the stronghold and needs to figure out a way to travel back to the Vale of Aldur without being captured. The plan is to allow the Murgos to pick up on their trail and begin tracking them. Once that happens, they plan to shift course and hide their tracks so that the Murgos continue on and stumble onto an awaiting army.
As the plan is set into motion, a group of men find a way to attack the party with the use of magic. In order to protect the child Errand from the threat, Polgara must remove herself from the role of group leader and focus all of her will to putting herself and Errand into a sort of force field.
When polgara steps aside as leader, Garion has leadership thrust upon him and is expected to lead the party onward. With Polgara occupied and Belgarath still unconscious, Garion is required to defend everyone from the threat of magic.
Suddenly, this group of men using magic are able to lock onto Durnick and slowly begin killing him. It is at this time that Garion learns to cast himself from his body and take the form of a shadow. He then travels quickly back to the group of men and destroys their means of casting magic.
As the journey continues, the group safely makes it to Riva where the Orb of Aldur is to be placed. With all members of the party together once again, and Belgarath recovered, the plot begins to unfold. Garion learns that he is the protector of the Orb of Aldur and the Rivan King. It is also at this time that the Orb and the dry voice help Garion see each member of the party for their purpose in the prophecy.
As the ceremony takes place, Ce’Nedra realizes that she is to be the wife of this former simple farm boy and lets out an audible sigh of displeasure. From here the couple see one another in a different light and the bickering between them amplifies.
Late one evening the dry voice in Garion’s mind leads him to the Mrin and Darine Codex Prophecies. Garion must make a decision on how things will continue from here. The choices are to go to war with the Murgos and their God Torak, leaving hundreds of thousands to their deaths, or to sneak off and battle Torak alone.
After Garion makes his decision, he sneaks off in the night with Silk and Belgarath. The group leaves a note behind for Polgara, which sends her into a tirade. In order to help unify the lands, Ce’Nedra decides to take on the role of Overlord of the West while her husband to be is off to fight Torak.
I was really hoping that this book was going to end of a different note. Throughout the story I have enjoyed the back and forth bickering between Garion and Ce’nedra. When their marriage was finally out in the open, I couldn’t wait for the plot to thicken and read about trials and tribulations of young marriage.
When Garion slipped away with Silk and Belgarath I was a little disappointed that the storyline was not going to take on any kind of twist. It seemed as though the author was following a straight line to the end of the series and didn’t want to spend too much time on squabbles between characters. The overall storyline is good, I just wish there would have been a little extra flare thrown in from time to time.
With only one book remaining in The Belgariad series, I’m anxious to get finished up so that I can move on to something with a darker tone and characters that are gray rather than purely black and white (good vs evil).