Cmdr Shepard's favourite books on the Citadel

I was a much more avid reader in my youth... before the days of PCs and gaming consoles. Now I find myself working in a job filled with long, slow periods of extreme boredom (punctuated by brief spells of intense excitement) which gives me a lot of time to pick up my reading again.

The only thing that I curse is my near-eidetic memory when it comes to books that I have read which can ruin my future enjoyment and re-reading of many of my favourite books (I tend to skip the 'slow, boring bits'). As a result I find myself mentally forcing myself to read each page slowly and carefully whenever I re-read a book to prevent myself from jumping forward to the more exciting parts that I remember.

Pawn of Prophecy  - David Eddings Pawn of Prophecy is the opening book of the 'Belgariad' series by David Eddings (with uncredited help from his wife). As such it introduces us to a richly detailed world, its mythology, and its characters. The main character of the series is the young boy Garion, ans the main story revolves around him. Much of the opening half of this book deals with Garion's early upbringing on a farm where he is cared for by his Aunt Pol, who works as the cheif cook for the famer and his workers.

Sometime in his early teens Garion's life is turned upside down when an itinerant storyteller who was a frequent visitor to the farm appears and tries to take Aunt Pol away on a search for a stolen item. Garion is then swept up in the whirlwind adventure which forms the main plot for most of the early series.

I decided to go back and re-read (and review) this book (and series) as it was a much read and loved favourite from my teen years. I probably read and re-read this series more than a dozen times between it's release and my 21st birthday, and it is probably one of the primary reasons for my love of the epic/high fantasy genre.

Over 20 years later, and with a much broader experience of various writing styles and genres, I can identify numerous things that differentiate Eddings' style from the more 'Epic' styles of Tolkein or Robert Jordan, or even George R.R. Martin.

One of these faults is that, although set richly detailed world, the characters sometimes seem bland and one-dimensional. Another is what many consider to be the now cliched use of prophecy as a vehicle for the plot.

These 'faults' may prevent others from categorising the story as Epic Fantasy. However, this is a book (and series) which I still truly believe sits square in the 'Epic' or 'High' fantasy genre.

Currently reading

Jay Kristoff
The Eye of the World (Wheel of Time, #1)
Robert Jordan