The Plot

(Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

None of the individual novels of the Belgariad is capable of standing alone. The Belgariad is an epic high fantasy, and such epics require considerable space to develop the world, characters, and drama of the plot. The Belgariad begins with Garion, a boy who lives on a farm. His only living relative, as far as he knows, is his Aunt Pol, the cook. Various supernatural events occur during his childhood, along with the typical pangs of puberty, but not until he is fourteen years old does the adventure really begin. At this time, Belgarath, under the name of Mister Wolf, a vagabond bard, comes to visit and informs Aunt Pol of the theft of a magical artifact known as the Orb of Aldur.

The three set out to retrieve the Orb, which has been stolen from the hall of the dead Rivan King by the minions of the sleeping god Torak. A prophecy has indicated that the Orb will assist in the waking of Torak, whose unnatural sleep was caused several thousand years before by this same Orb. Belgarath, who is revealed to be a distant ancestor of Garion, as well as a legendary sorcerer, organizes a mission to retrieve the Orb with the aid of Silk, Prince Kheldar of Drasnia and an accomplished spy; Barak, Earl of Trelheim, who turns into a bear on occasion; Ce’Nedra, a spoiled imperial princess of Tolnedra; Mandorallen, Baron of Vo Mandor; Hettar, Horselord of Algaria, who can speak to horses; Lelldorin, a nobleman of Arendia; Durnik, a blacksmith; and Garion’s Aunt Pol, who is actually Lady Polgara, Belgarath’s daughter and also a sorcerer.

They set out on the trail of the Orb,...

(The entire section is 648 words.)