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Guardians of the West

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Guardians of the West (1987) David Eddings

I’ve been sick, so I’ve been craving comfort reading, hence my re-reading of the Mallorean.

This book starts with Errand, who is living in the Vale with Polgara and Durnik. Errand is a strange child, which is unsurprising giving his early upbringing.

Like the previous series, there is a lot of background. Not necessarily world building, but rather lovely little vignettes of the lives of the various characters. This book has one of my favorite passages in it.

Somehow it always happened that way. The moment anything was broken, spilled, or tipped over , someone in authority would appear. There was never an opportunity to tidy up, and so such situations always presented themselves in the worst possible light.
The double doors at the far end of the ballroom opened, and Polgara, regally beautiful in blue velvet, stepped inside. Her face was grave as she regarded the guilty-looking pair lying at the foot of the stairs in their piles of cushions, with a positive blizzard of goose down swirling around them.
Errand winced and held his breath.
Very softly, she closed the doors behind her and walked slowly toward them, her heels sounding ominously loud on the marble floor. She looked at the denuded chairs lining each side of the ballroom. She looked at the marble balustrades. She looked at the two boys with feathers settling on them. And then, without any warning whatsoever, she began to laugh, a rich, warm, vibrant laugh that absolutely filled the empty hall.
Errand felt somehow betrayed by her reaction. He and Kheva had gone out of their way to get themselves into trouble, and all she did was laugh about it. There was no scolding, no acid commentary, nothing but laughter. He definitely felt that this levity was out of place, an indication that she was not taking this thing as seriously as she ought . He felt a trifle bitter about the whole thing. He had earned the scolding she was denying him.
‘You boys will clean it up, won’t you?’ she asked them.
‘Of course, Lady Polgara ,’ Kheva assured her quickly. ‘We were just about to do that.’
‘Splendid, your Highness,’ she said, the corners of her mouth still twitching. ‘Do try to gather up all of the feathers.’ And she turned and walked out of the ballroom, leaving the faint echo of her laughter hovering in the air behind her.

This is not a book where things move at a fast pace with adventure on every page.

But it is an absolute delight, coming across passages like that. And it is also, I think, we were see the hand of Leigh Eddings (who was listed as co-author in later books).

I think also, we see her in the return of Vella, my second favorite character after Silk.

Vella looked curiously at Ce’Nedra. ‘My, you’re a tiny one, aren’t you?’ she asked. ‘Are you really full-grown?’
‘I am the Queen of Riva,’ Ce’Nedra replied, drawing herself up to her full height.
‘Good for you, girl,’ Vella said warmly, clapping her on the shoulder. ‘I always enjoy seeing a woman get ahead.’

As I said, it’s comfort reading, that makes me happy.
Rating: 8/10

Published by Harper Voyager

Categories: Fantasy, Sword & Sorcery, Young Adult     Comments (0)    



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