Unwanted Reviews

Castle of Wizardry

[openbook booknumber=”9780345335708″][rating:5/5]

It had all begun with the theft of the Orb that had so long protected the West from the evil God Torak. Before that, Garion had been a simple farm boy. Afterward, he discovered that his aunt was really the Sorceress Polgara and his grandfather was Belgarath, the Eternal Man. Then, on the long quest to recover the Orb, Garion found to his dismay that he, too, was a sorcerer.

Now, at last, the Orb was regained and the quest was nearing its end. Of course, the questors still had to escape from this crumbling enemy fortress and flee across a desert filled with Murgo soldiers searching for them, while Grolim Hierarchs strove to destroy them with dark magic. Then, somehow, they must manage to be in Riva with the Orb by Erastide. After that, however, Garion was sure that his part in these great events would be finished.

But the Prophecy still held future surprises for Garion–and for the little princess Ce’Nedra.

This continues the magnificent epic of The Belgariad, begun in Pawn of Prophecy, Queen of Sorcery, and Magician’s Gambit–a fantasy set against a background of the war of men, Kings, and Gods that had spanned seven thousand years–a novel of fate, strange lands, and a prophecy that must be fulfilled!

In the fourth book of the Belgariad, The Castle of Wizardry, all the set up from the series so far finally come to fruition and the stage is set for the final book. Picking up where the story left off Garion finds himself leading the small group as Belgarath is out of it after the last show down and Polgara is maintaining a shield to protect Errand. What follows is Garion not just making the journey into adult hood but also stepping up into a position of responsibility and authority. Garion finally grows up and it is wonderful to see.

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From Far Away Volume 4

[openbook booknumber=”1591167701″] [rating:4/5]

A prophecy of doom, passed down from generation to generation, has finally arrived. Manifest in the form of a young teenage girl named Noriko, the awakening promises a new world of frightening uncertainty.

But not everybody lives in fear of this ancient prophecy. Slowly, a group of sympathizers has come together to befriend and protect the vulnerable teenager. One of them, a valorous warrior by the name of Izark, continues to stay by her side despite the gander and complications that lie ahead.

In an attempt to avoid capture, Noriko and her band of allies travel into the White Mist Forest. Danger lurks everywhere, however… especially in this infrequently traveled wildwood!

Wow! Everything in this volume has reached new heights and I really think the series is starting to come into its own. Noriko and Izark find themselves in some pretty precarious situations after they were separated in the previous volume. What happens next was worth having in its own volume. Wow is all I can say without spoiling things, just wow.

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From Far Away Volume 3

[openbook booknumber=”1591166039″] [rating:4/5]

With each passing day, Noriko discovers more and more about the strange and chimerical world she now calls home. And the more she learns… the more frightened she gets!

Everyone around her is talking about an ancient prophecy and the awakening that will usher in a new epoch. To some, this foretold era is fraught with uncertainty and danger. To these people, the power of the awakening must be eliminated.

Ever so slowly, Noriko starts to realize that she, somehow, embodies the gift of the awakening. With the help of a valiant hero named Izark, the young teenager has thus far eluded the attention those who wish to destroy her. But secrets are hard to keep… and with one misspoken word, Noriko could seal her very own death!

Picking up the third volume in the From Far Away series I thought I had a pretty good handle on where things were headed. We had a teenage couple set up against some pretty corrupt and evil governmental figures and some sort of magical prophecy bound them together. So I was stunned that within the first five pages Izark left Noriko! Their separation allows them to grow individually as they each go on their own adventures and yet something magical still ties them together. Not to mention that even through the language barrier Noriko is beginning to realize it and just how much danger that puts them both in.

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Magician’s Gambit

[openbook booknumber=”0345335457″][rating:5/5]

Ce’Nedra, Imperial Princess of Tolnedra, had joined a dangerous mission to recover the stolen Orb that supposedly protected the West from the evil God Torak. And somehow, she found herself feeling quite tender for Garion, the innocent farm boy, who would be forced into the strange tower in the center of all evil to retrieve the Orb by himself.

It’s always a little difficult to review a fantasy book that is smack dab in the middle of a series and Magician’s Gambit is no exception. Fortunately it is quite different from the two books that came before it. For one the standard plot arc of entering a new kingdom and having Garion be the only one observant enough to notice a coup or a nefarious character attempting to instigate war is not present. Instead the book opens with the story being told from the view-point of Ce’Nedra, the Tolnedran princess who ran away from her father only to find herself mixed up in Belgarath’s quest for the Orb. While both Garion and Ce’Nedra have come a long way since they met, they are still very much teenagers and spend most of this book squabbling in one way or another. It is on one hand cute but on the other quickly becomes mildly annoying.

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From Far Away Volume 2

[openbook booknumber=”1591166012″] [rating:4/5]

Transported into a fantastical world of high adventure, a confused and frightened teenager discovers she holds the key to a profound power born of an age-old prophecy.

Scared and on the run, Noriko strikes up an alliance with a mysterious rogue swordsman named Izark. But now, weakened from a recent battle, this swordsman has become dependent on his young charge to nurse him back to health.

Trapped in a strange world and unable to speak the native language, Noriko must find a way to save her fallen warrior… and save herself, too!

I was expecting things to maybe slow down a little and we step back and really get to see this world poor Noriko has gotten plunked down into but unfortunately for the characters, and fortunately for us, the adventure picks up. Izark is struck by a strange, sudden illness and Noriko finds herself floundering in her attempts to help him because of the language barrier in place. She is forced to mime her intentions and more often than not she misinterprets what is being said around her and reacts inappropriately.

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