‘Castle of Wizardry’ By David Eddings (New Year’s Resolution, Book Twenty-Six)

9780345335708First of all, I had really been hoping that this whole Belgariad series would be a simple trilogy. Sure, a good google check would have told me otherwise, but for some reason, I just assumed it was three and done.

Not that I minded reading a fourth book (or a fifth, as it turns out to be a pentalogy, if that’s the right word), but, on principle, I wanted an antidote to the typically, bloatedly long fantasy series that infects the genre shelves of your neighborhood bookstore.

Castle of Wizardry is a silly name that doesn’t really relate to what happens in the stories contained (the other three, you could see how the title related to a theme or specific event within the books). There is some magic and a castle, but I just didn’t see the two to be sufficiently linked for this to be a good title. Also, it’s the worst kind of fantasy series novel, because it’s all about tying up enough loose ends and setting the characters in place for the climactic final book (think, Matrix Reloaded). And, more than in any of the prior books, this one is shamelessly ripping off The Lord of the Rings. There are even armies being massed for a big battle that’s just a distraction for the true hero to sneak into enemy territory.

But hey, I already bought the fifth book. I bought four and five simultaneously from Second Story Books, along with a nice collection of Robert Browning poems. So, the end, as they say, is nigh. I’ll be jumping into the last of the Belgariad very soon.

The most interesting bit of the book was, for me, the stub of a plane ticket that had been inserted between pages 218 and 219. It’s dated July 11 (though who knows what year). I finished the book on July 6, less than a week before the anniversary of that flight on which, one suspects, the prior owner had been reading it.

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