The Belgariad, Vol. 1: Pawn of Prophecy, Queen of Sorcery, Magician's Gambit

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9780345400048: The Belgariad, Vol. 1: Pawn of Prophecy, Queen of Sorcery, Magician's Gambit

David Eddings’ acclaimed series, The Belgariad, reaches its stunning conclusion in these final two gripping novels. Continue on this magnificent journey and be entranced by a saga of strange lands and peoples, of prophecy and strife set against the background of a seven-thousand-year war of men, Kings, and Gods.

The quest may be nearing its end, but the danger continues. After discovering a shocking secret about himself he never could have imagined—all in pursuit of the legendary Orb—Garion and his fellow adventurers must escape a crumbling enemy fortress and flee across a vast desert filled with ruthless soldiers whose only aim is to destroy them. But even when the quest is complete, Garion’s destiny is far from fulfilled. For the evil God Torak is about to awaken and seek dominion. Somehow, Garion has to face the God, to kill or be killed. On the outcome of this dread duel rests the future of the world. But how can one man destroy an immortal God?

“Fabulous . . . Eddings has a marvelous storyteller style . . . exceedingly well portrayed and complex people. . . . More! More! More!”
—ANNE MCCAFFREY

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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About the Author:

DAVID EDDINGS published his first novel, High Hunt, in 1973, before turning to the field of fantasy with The Belgariad. He now lives with his wife and collaborator, Leigh, in Nevada. As a writing team, David and Leigh are the authors of The Redemption of Althalus and Regina’s Song.
From the Trade Paperback edition.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Ctuchik was dead—and more than dead—and the earth itself heaved and groaned in the aftershock of his destruction. Garion and the others fled down through the dim galleries that honeycombed the swaying basalt pinnacle, with the rocks grinding and cracking about them and fragments shattering away from the ceilings and raining down on them in the darkness. Even as he ran, Garion’s mind jerked and veered, his thoughts tumbling over each other chaotically, stunned out of all coherence by the enormity of what had just happened. Flight was a desperate need, and he fled without thought or even awareness, his running steps as mechanical as his heartbeat.

His ears seemed full of a swelling, exultant song that rang and soared in the vaults of his mind, erasing thought and filling him with stupefied wonder. Through all his confusion, however, he was sharply conscious of the trusting touch of the small hand he held in his. The little boy they had found in Ctuchik’s grim turret ran beside him with the Orb of Aldur clasped tightly to his little chest. Garion knew that it was the Orb that filled his mind with song. It had whispered to him as they had mounted the steps of the turret, and its song had soared as he had entered the room where it had lain. It was the song of the Orb that obliterated all thought shock or the thunderous detonation that had destroyed Ctuchik and tumbled Belgarath across the floor like a rag doll or the deep sullen boom of the earthquake that had followed.

Garion struggled with it as he ran, trying desperately to pull his wits into some kind of order, but the song intruded on his every effort, scattering his mind so that chance impression and random memory fluttered and scurried this way and that and left him to flee without design or direction.

The dank reek of the slave pens lying just beneath the disintegrating city of Rak Cthol came sharply through the shadowy galleries. As if suddenly awakened by that single stimulus, a flood of memories of other smells crashed in on Garion’s consciousness—the warm smell of fresh-baked bread in Aunt Pol’s kitchen back at Faldor’s farm, the salt smell of the sea when they had reached Darine on the north coast of Sendaria on the first leg of their quest for the Orb, the stink of the swamps and jungles of Nyissa, the stomach-turning smell of the burning bodies of the sacrificed slaves in the Temple of Torak which even now shattered and fell in upon itself among the collapsing walls of Rak Cthol. But, oddly, the smell that came sharpest to his confused memory was the sun-warmed scent of Princess Ce’Nedra’s hair.

“Garion!� Aunt Pol’s voice came sharply to him in the near dark through which they ran. “Watch where you’re going!� And he struggled to pull his mind back from its wandering even as he stumbled over a pile of broken rock where a large stretch of ceiling had fallen to the floor.

The terrified wails of the imprisoned slaves locked in clammy cells rose all around them now, joining in a weird counterharmony with the rumble and boom of earthquake. Other sounds came from the darkness as well—confused shouts in harshly accented Murgo voices, the lurching stagger of running feet, the clanging of an unlatched iron cell door swinging wildly as the huge rock pinnacle swayed and shuddered and heaved in the surging roll. Dust billowed through the dark caves, a thick, choking rock dust that stung their eyes and made them all cough almost continually as they clambered over the broken rubble.

Garion carefully lifted the trusting little boy over the pile of shattered rock, and the child looked into his face, calm and smiling despite the chaos of noise and stink all around them in the oppressive dimness. He started to set the child down again, but changed his mind. It would be easier and safer to carry the boy. He turned to go on along the passageway, but he recoiled sharply as his foot came down on something soft. He peered at the floor, then felt his stomach suddenly heave with revulsion as he saw that he had stepped on a lifeless human hand protruding from the rockfall.

They ran on through the heaving darkness with the black Murgo robes which had disguised them flapping around their legs and the dust still thick in the air about them.

“Stop!� Relg, the Ulgo zealot, raised his hand and stood with his head cocked to one side, listening intently.

“Not here!� Barak told him, still lumbering forward with the dazed Belgarath in his arms. “Move, Relg!�

“Be still!� Relg ordered. “I’m trying to listen.� Then he shook his head. “Go back!� he barked, turning quickly and pushing at them. “Run!�

“There are Murgos back there!� Barak objected.

“Run!� Relg repeated. “The side of the mountain’s breaking away!�

Even as they turned, a new and dreadful creaking roar surrounded them. Screeching in protest, the rock ripped apart with a long, hideous tearing. A sudden flood of light filled the gallery along which they fled as a great crack opened in the side of the basalt peak, widening ponderously as a vast chunk of the mountainside toppled slowly outward to fall to the floor of the wasteland thousands of feet below. The red glow of the new-risen sun was blinding as the dark world of the caves was violently opened, and the great wound in the side of the peak revealed a dozen or more dark openings both above and beneath, where caves suddenly ran out into nothingness.

“There!� a shout came from overhead. Garion jerked his head around. Perhaps fifty feet above and out along the sharp angle of the face, a half dozen black-robed Murgos, swords drawn, stood in a cave mouth with the dust billowing about them. One was pointing excitedly at the fleeing fugitives. And then the peak heaved again, and another great slab of rock sheared away, carrying the shrieking Murgos into the abyss beneath.

“Run!� Relg shouted again, and they all pounded along at his heels, back into the darkness of the shuddering passageway.

“Stop a minute,� Barak gasped, plowing to a sudden halt after they had retreated several hundred yards. “Let me get my breath.� He lowered Belgarath to the floor, his huge chest heaving.

“Can I help thee, my Lord?� Mandorallen offered quickly.

“No,� Barak panted. “I can manage all right, I’m just a little winded.� The big man peered around. “What happened back there? What set all this off?�

“Belgarath and Ctuchik had a bit of a disagreement,� Silk told him with sardonic understatement. “It got a little out of hand toward the end.�

“What happened to Ctuchik?� Barak asked, still gasping for breath. “I didn’t see anybody else when Mandorallen and I broke into that room.�

“He destroyed himself,� Polgara replied, kneeling to examine Belgarath’s face.

“We saw no body, my Lady,� Mandorallen noted, peering into the darkness with his great broadsword in his hand.

“There wasn’t that much left of him,� Silk said.

“Are we safe here?� Polgara asked Relg.

The Ulgo set the side of his head against the wall of the passageway, listening intently. Then he nodded. “For the moment,� he replied.

“Let’s stop here for a while then. I want to have a look at my father. Make me some light.�

Relg fumbled in the pouches at his belt and mixed the two substances that gave off that faint Ulgo light.

Silk looked curiously at Polgara. “What really happened?� he asked her. “Did Belgarath do that to Ctuchik?�

She shook her head, her hands lightly touching her father’s chest. “Ctuchik tried to unmake the Orb for some reason,� she said. “Something happened to frighten him so much that he forgot the first rule.�

A momentary flicker of memory came to Garion as he set the little boy down on his feet—that brief glimpse of Ctuchik’s mind just before the Grolim had spoken the fatal “Be Not� that had exploded him into nothingness. Once again he caught that single image that had risen in the High Priest’s mind—the image of himself holding the Orb in his hand—and he felt the blind, unreasoning panic the image had caused Ctuchik. Why? Why would that have frightened the Grolim into that deadly mistake? “What happened to him, Aunt Pol?� he asked. For some reason he had to know.

“He no longer exists,� she replied. “Even the substance that formed him is gone.�

“That’s not what I meant,� Garion started to object, but Barak was already speaking.

“Did ...

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