The first three books of the five series Belgariad combined in one. It all begins with the theft of the Orb that for so long protected the West from an evil god. As long as the Orb was at Riva, the prophecy went, its people would be safe from this corrupting power. Garion, a simple farm boy,... read more
~Pawn of Prophecy~
The book opens with a brief prologue concerning past events, beginning with the creation of the world by seven gods. One of the seven, Aldur, fashions an orb from stone and creates within it a living soul. This orb becomes known as the Orb of Aldur. One of the other... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
~Pawn of Prophecy~
The book opens with a brief prologue concerning past events, beginning with the creation of the world by seven gods. One of the seven, Aldur, fashions an orb from stone and creates within it a living soul. This orb becomes known as the Orb of Aldur. One of the other gods, Torak, forcibly takes the Orb from Aldur and tries to make the magical stone submit to his will. The Orb retaliates, burning and maiming Torak throughout the left side of his body, and burning out his left eye. The Orb of Aldur is later recovered by Belgarath the Sorcerer, King Cherek, and his children. Cherek's youngest son Riva, the only one without ill intent in soul, is able to hold the Orb without being consumed by its fire; thus all of his descendants are responsible for guarding the Orb, during which time Torak will not prevail and have dominion over the world.
The story then begins in earnest with descriptions of the experiences of a boy named Garion, who is being raised on a large, prosperous farm. It tells of his earliest memories in the kitchen of his Aunt Pol; and describes how he meets Durnik the blacksmith, Garion's early games and friends, and something of the romance between himself and local girl Zubrette. It also introduces his contact with "the Story-teller" who, unknown to Garion, happens to be Belgarath himself; Garion's vision of a man robed in black who casts no shadow, later known as Asharak; Chamdar; and a "dry voice" that speaks in his mind which appear to be separate from his own consciousness. The reader later discovers that this is the Voice of Prophecy, or "Necessity" which occasionally talks to Garion, and even takes action through him.
When the storyteller, also known as "Mister Wolf" (a name given early on by Garion), arrives with news of the theft of a mysterious object by a thief whom no-one will name, Mister Wolf and Aunt Pol leave Faldor's farm to chase him down, reluctantly allowing Durnik to accompany them. Garion, Aunt Pol, Durnik, and Mister Wolf are joined later by Silk/Kheldar, a Drasnian prince, spy, and thief, and by Barak, a Cherek warrior and Earl of Trellheim famous for his immense size, love of ale, and unmatched prowess in battle. Garion finds himself in the company of these diverse and mysterious companions, visiting several cities as Mister Wolf follows an invisible trail of the thing that was taken. Eventually he and his companions are arrested and taken to a meeting of monarchs.
After being introduced to the kings, Aunt Pol and Belgarath spend most of their time in council with the kings, leaving Garion more or less on his own. Garion begins to have doubts about his actual relation to Aunt Pol, whom he ultimately discovers is the 3000-year-old sorceress Polgara, and that Mister Wolf is her father, the 7000-year-old sorcerer Belgarath. This causes some tension between Garion and Pol until it is resolved at the end of the book.
While roaming in the palace at Val Alorn, Garion sees a green-cloaked man act suspiciously, but does not tell anyone of this. A few days pass and Barak decides to go wild boar hunting in the near by forests. Against Aunt Pol's advice, Garion also goes. While in the forest Garion chances on a meeting between the green cloaked man mentioned earlier and another man about trying to spy on the current meeting between the kings of Aloria. Before Garion can tell anyone he is attacked by a wild boar, luckily killing it but becoming injured and unconscious in the process.
Garion proves himself uniquely useful through all of this and shows his great potential by revealing to the Monarchs the presence of the green-cloaked spy, who is shown to be connected to a traitorous noble. Moments later, this noble and his men attack the castle from within, but are defeated. Garion himself is almost captured, but escapes. Later, he and the other protagonists leave again in search of the Orb, taking an Algarian prince named Hettar with them. As they leave, Garion learns that Polgara is the sister of his most distant female ancestor (identified in the prologue as Queen Beldaran, wife of Riva), justifying her claim to be his aunt. Having learned this, Garion embraces Belgarath as his grandfather and addresses him as such throughout later books.
~Queen of Sorcery~
Belgarion and his companions chase after the stolen Orb of Aldur. Along the way, they are joined by three more companions while traveling through Arendia: these are Hettar, an Algar warrior who has telepathic contact with horses; the Mimbrate Knight Mandorallen; and the Asturian archer Lelldorin. Garion develops a strong friendship with Lelldorin after traveling with him.
During the travels through Arendia, Lelldorin is badly injured in battle and is forced to leave the group of companions. After Arendia the companions travel to Tolnedra, seeking audience with the Emperor Ran Borune XXIII. Whilst in the imperial palace, Garion meets the imperial Princess Ce'Nedra, who is seen throwing a tantrum at her father for limiting her freedom to leave the palace due to fears for her safety. Upon leaving the capital, the group once again encounter an ineffectually disguised Princess Ce'Nedra, who has tricked her tutor into helping her escape the Imperial Palace. When first met by the companions Ce'Nedra is selfish, difficult, and almost intolerable because she demands to be treated "like a princess". Eventually she learns to grow out of this behavior and joins the companions on their quest.
In an encounter in the Wood of the Dryads, Ce'Nedra reveals that she is part Dryad through her mother's heritage. It is here that Garion discovers his connection with the power of the Will and the Word; an ability to focus his intention, releasing it by the utterance of words, to the extent that he affects physical reality. This is done in an encounter with Chamdar, a Grolim high priest who has been posing as a Murgo merchant named Asharak. He slaps Polgara, causing Garion to instinctively use his power for the first time, reacting in rage and killing Asharak by unexpectedly burning him to death, having learned that Chamdar is the man who killed his parents by setting fire to their home and imprisoning them inside. We discover that he is also the man with no shadow mentioned in the previous books. Now that Garion has unleashed the hidden power within him, Polgara reveals that his true name is Belgarion, and that once used, the power will never leave him. Garion, afraid he is no longer the same person he always thought he was, rejects the power and vows never to use it again.
Garion, still feeling rebellious, is later kidnapped when traveling through Nyssia by the Nyissan Queen Salmissra, who drugs him and tries to seduce him; the "dry voice" in his head holds off the queen's attempts until he is rescued by Polgara the Sorceress and Barak, who has assumed the form of a large bear. As retribution Polgara transforms Salmissra into an immortal snake. Barak's transformation is not explained until the Epilogue to Enchanters' End Game, during which it is revealed that Barak is Garion's hereditary protector, the Dreadful Bear.
After learning that Ctuchik, the evil Angarak sorcerer, has stolen the Orb from the Apostate Zedar, Belgarion and friends go after him. They first take a detour to the Vale of Aldur. In a cave on the way, Garion brings a dead colt (whose birth he had helped assist with minutes before) back to life. This event is of great significance as both Polgara and Belgarath maintain that before this, it was dangerous to use the Will and the Word to restore life to the dead, for this risked the life force of the one attempting it. To save time the group passes through the haunted land of Maragor, home of the Marags. Belgarath tells the company of how Maragor became haunted; because it is full of gold, the Tolnedran merchants had urged their Emperor to attempt forcing the self-sufficient Marags to participate in trade. When the Marags refused, the merchants started spreading (partly true) stories of the Marags being cannibals. The Tolnedrans invaded Maragor a short time later, slaughtered most of the peace-loving race, sold the survivors to the Murgos as slaves, and planned to take the abandoned gold for themselves. When the gold hunters invaded, Mara (the God of the Marags) unleashed ghosts of the lost people onto them, driving them and anyone who entered thereafter insane. In an effort to appease Mara's vengeful spirit, the Tolnedran Emperor set up a monastery at Mar Terrin, where Tolnedran monks carry out eternal penance for the slaughtered Marag race. As the protagonists move into the haunted plains, Mara can be heard weeping over the death of his people. Belgarath and Polgara therefore join their Wills to blanket the group into a waking slumber in an effort to protect their minds against the horrors of Maragor's ghost attacks. When they reach the center of the ruins Mara appears and senses Ce'Nedra, a Tolnedran and one of the race that destroyed his people, and in outrage he attempts to wake her up and drive her insane. The 'other awareness' in Garion's mind steps in and prevents Mara from harming Ce'Nedra, whereupon Mara recognizes it as the Voice of the Prophecy and relents, fleeing from its command. Afterwards Garion informs Belgarath and Polgara of his awareness of the other Voice in his mind.
While in the Vale of Aldur, Garion learns more about his powers. The group enters Ulgoland, and, after some dispute, recruits an Ulgo zealot named Relg to serve as a guide to Cthol Murgos, as they find out Relg has the ability to move his body through solid rock. Ce'Nedra is reluctantly left behind as a guest of Ulgo and the Gorim, because the Ulgo god UL warns that if she enters the city of the Murgos, she will die. Ce'Nedra obeys the will of UL, yet is shocked to realize that her initial refusal to remain behind was the knowledge that she would miss Garion.
Belgarion and friends enter the city of the Murgos and infiltrate Ctuchik's headquarters. Belgarath and Ctuchik fight an epic battle that ends with Ctuchik's destruction as he attempts to will the Orb out of existence. The group escapes, taking the now unconscious Belgarath, a boy later nicknamed Errand, who carries the Orb unharmed, and an escaped slave named Taiba, a beautiful woman who reveals that she is a descendant of the original Marag prisoners whom the Tolnedran warriors had sold into slavery.
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