Title: Queen of Sorcery
Author: David Eddings
Published By: Del Rey Books
Publish Date: 2002
Length: 239 Pages
Purchase From: Amazon @ $12.21
Queen of Sorcery 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.
Queen of Sorcery picks up where the previous book, Pawn of Prophecy, leaves off. Garion and the group travel from Sendaria to Arendia to continue their quest. Just like in the first book, the group needs to track down and recover the stolen Orb of Aldur.
After a journey on the water, the group finds themselves in the abandoned city of Vo Wacune. The group needed to rest and recover while waiting for a member of their party, Hettar, to meet them with horses to speed up their journey.
Not having any responsibility, Garion gives himself the task of setting out into the city each day to watch and wait for Hettar’s arrival. One day while hiding along a wall on the edge of town, he overhears two people speaking about their lives as serfs. After a short conversation, the two people move along and Garrion discovers someone making their way towards the abandoned city.
Garrion’s immediate impression is that this well-to-do lone rider must be one of the ones responsible for enslaving the people he overheard talking. In the heat of the moment, Garion ambushes this person and goes on the attack.
After a lot of commotion, Mister Wolf comes to investigate. To Garion’s surprise, Mister Wolf introduces this lone rider as Lelldorin and the newest member of their party. Lelldorin is an eighteen year old boy of Asturian descent and is a very proud individual.
As the story moves on, Garrion and Lellodorin become rather close, although Garion found his new friend to be rather annoying a times. With someone his own age to talk to, Garion begins to loosen up try to piece together the little information he has about his life.
Shortly after Hettar arrives with horses, the group heads out to continue their journey. The plan is to make their way to Tolnedra so speak with the Emperor, Ran Borune XXIII. Mister Wolf decided that it is best to warn Ran Borune of the potential dangers of the Orb of Aldur being stolen and the potential for a catastrophic war.
Along the way, the group is attacked by beasts of the woods and Lellodorin is injured. With no choice, the party leaves Lellodorin to recover with a group of companions. During the attack the group is aided by a knight named Mandorallen who also joins the party.
While Mister Wolf meets with Ran Borune, a young girl bursts into the room throwing a tantrum. We learn that this girl is Ce’Nedra, the daughter of Ran Borune, and she is quite displeased by being cooped up in the castle.
The party sets out from Tolnedra and are later approached by two riders who wish to travel with them to the next city. With Tolnedra and the surrounding communities in turmoil, the strangers seek protection along their way. While traveling, Garion becomes suspicious that this female stranger is actually Ce’Nedra in disguise.
As the story develops, the group learns that the Orb of Aldur is not far ahead of them and that they must split up. Mister Wolf and Silk decided it would be best of they traveled through the swamps of Nyissa while Barak, Durnik, Mandorallen, Aunt Pol, Garion, and Ce’Nedra backtrack to make safer travel, by ship, to Nyissa.
The story follows Garion and his party while they become ambushed. All but Garion are closely watched and he decides that he needs to act and kill the leader of the group, Chamdar. Before doing so, he hears a familiar voice in the back of his mind which tells him that he must not use his dagger.
Following the advice of this voice, Garion calls upon his will and uses a powerful blast of magic to burn Chamdar alive. When it is all over, Garion feel remorse and considers himself a monster for doing such a thing and vows never to use magic again.
The book comes to a close after a bit more excitement and magic when Silk and Mister Wolf meet up with the rest of the group in Nyissa. I feel as though I’ve told you far too much of the story already, so for the remainder you will just have to read it yourself.
This book seemed to hit its stride by about the half-way point. The action began to pick up and parts of the storyline just seemed to click. Up until this point I didn’t feel the story reaching out to me. I had a hard time keeping myself engaged for more than a chapter or two before setting the book down and doing something else to occupy my mind. As soon as the story picked up, I was engaged and found myself clinging to the book. I felt engaged all the way up until Queen of Sorcery reached its conclusion.
The ending of this book left a little to be desired. Unlike Pawn of Prophecy, where the ending was a simply transition to the next book without a climax, this one had a battle that ensued. After the battle, the storyline cooled and we were ushered into the next book.
Overall the story wasn’t a bad read, although it feels very innocent. At time the innocent boyhood story makes me laugh and smile, but between those points I sometime struggle to keep myself focused.
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