So, onto book two of The Malloreon! As is the usual with these books, King of the Murgos start pretty much exactly where we left off. After receiving a cryptic message from the Seeress Cyradis about the location of his recently abducted son and involving the final meeting of the Child of Dark and the Child of the Light, one that will decide the fate of the world, Belgarion gathered up his familiar companions as well as one or two new additions, and they began their trek to find the missing heir to the Rivan throne and to confront the Child of the Dark for the last time. The book starts off at the beginning of this new journey – another journey for our team to save the world as they know it, as well as Garion and Ce’Nedra’s infant son.
Of course, this book still supports the ideal of time repeating itself, and, again, it works both for and against the book – it is explained well enough and adds to the plotline as well as helps to tie these newer books to their predecessors, but then it also makes them seem repetitive and slower paced. We also have the balance of good and evil running through this novel, as is usual with your average Epic Fantasy novel. Although one thing I definitely enjoyed about King of the Murgos was that we meet a somewhat friendly Murgo (a rare find, that). I mean, one thing I’ve seen Eddings’ books criticized for is the almost kind of . . . racism? towards Murgos in his books. They are basically described as a group of evil and black-hearted people, due to the nature of their god, and this seems to seriously annoy some readers. But for me, Urgit’s character really helped to solve that issue – or at least begin solving it. He serves as a kind of symbol that Murgos are in fact human and could even redeem themselves as a people, and I quite enjoyed that. Plus he’s absolutely hilarious. Which brings me to the next point . . .
Characters – why do I even bother? As always, gotta love what Eddings does with the cast of his series! Wonderfully written, dynamic, and varying of personality – definitely a strong point of the book. The eunuch Sadi is developed into a more dynamic character and is given a larger piece of the spotlight which is just lovely, and we also deal with a new melancholy and more serious change in Ce’Nedra’s personality – she becomes more solemn, paralleling her attitude now to how she was in The Belgariad as well as adding more emotional dimension to her character. And (I’ll be brief!) of course, Urgit’s character is a typical Eddings charrie – incredibly amusing and relatively surprising. I adore him. But I digress!
As for sore spots? Well, King of the Murgos has the issue with pacing that most, if not all, of The Malloreon books seem to possess in varying degrees, though on a rather small scale. It’s not nearly as noticeable as it was in Guardians of the West – the fact that the time passed in the novel is not nearly so drawn out as in the first book of the series. For the most part, the pacing’s constant. It just has a tendency to drag in a couple spots – for me at least. Overall, this is probably one of my favorites in the series. It suffered less from the predictability factor, and I always end up breezing right on through this one.
Anywho, while I still say as a series The Malloreon doesn’t really compare to Eddings’ The Belgariad, it is still an awesome set of books. And King of the Murgos is just as awesome as the rest of it’s set, if not more so! As always, love you David and Leigh! I’ll always be a fan at heart, even if these reviews force me to be a little more critical of your works than I’d like to be!