David and Leigh Eddings – Belgarath the Sorcerer


Leigh and David A note to the reader: We’re sure that the reader has

noticed a slight modification of the authorial attribution on the cover

of this slender volume. The reader is now privy to one of the

worst-kept secrets in contemporary fiction. There are two names on the

cover because it took two of us to write this book, and this has been

going on from the very beginning. The recognition (finally) of the

hitherto unacknowledged coauthor of these assorted works is no more

than simple justice–if justice can ever be called simple. It’s time

to give credit where credit is due, so let’s make it official, shall


Prologue It was well past midnight and very cold. The moon had risen,

and her pale light made the frost crystals lying in the snow sparkle

like carelessly strewn diamonds. In a peculiar way it seemed to Garion

almost as if the snow-covered earth were reflecting the starry sky


“I think they’re gone now,” Durnik said, peering upward. His breath

steamed in the icy, dead-calm air.

“I can’t see that rainbow any more.”

“Rainbow?” Belgarath asked, sounding slightly amused.

“You know what I mean. Each of them has a different-colored light.

Aldur’s is blue, Issa’s is green, Chaldan’s is red, and the others all

have different colors. Is there some significance to that?”

“It’s probably a reflection of their different personalities,”

Belgarath replied.

“I can’t be entirely positive, though. My Master and I never got

around to discussing it.” He stamped his feet in the snow.

“Why don’t we go back?” he suggested.

“It’s cold out here.”

They turned and started back down the hill toward the cottage, their

feet crunching in the frozen snow. The farmstead at the foot of the

hill looked warm and comforting. The thatched roof of the cottage was

thick with snow, and the icicles hanging from the eaves glittered in

the moon light. The outbuildings Durnik had constructed were dark, but

the windows of the cottage were all aglow with golden lamplight that

spread softly out over the mounded snow in the yard. A column of

blue-grey wood-smoke rose straight and unwavering from the chimney,

rising, it seemed, to the very stars.

It probably had not really been necessary for the three of them to

accompany their guests to the top of the hill to witness their

departure, but it was Durnik’s house, and Durnik was a Sendar. Sendars

are meticulous about proprieties and courtesies.

“Eriond’s changed,” Garion noted as they neared the bottom of the


“He seems more certain of himself now.”

Belgarath shrugged.

“He’s growing up. It happens to everybody–except to Belar, maybe. I

don’t think we can ever expect Belar to grow up.”

“Belgarath!” Durnik sounded shocked.

“That’s no way for a man to speak about his God!”

“What are you talking about?”

“What you just said about Belar. He’s the God of the Alorns, and

you’re an Alorn, aren’t you?”

“Whatever gave you that peculiar notion? I’m no more an Alorn than you


“I always thought you were. You’ve certainly spent enough time with


“That wasn’t my idea. My Master gave them to me about five thousand

years ago. There were a number of times when I tried to give them

back, but he wouldn’t hear of it.”

“Well, if you’re not an Alorn, what are you?”

“I’m not really sure. It wasn’t all that important to me when I was

young. I do know that I’m not an Alorn. I’m not crazy enough for


“Grandfather!” Garion protested.

“You don’t count, Garion. You’re only half Alorn.”

They reached the door of the cottage and carefully stamped the snow off

their feet before entering. The cottage was Aunt Pol’s domain, and she

had strong feelings about people who tracked snow across her spotless


The interior of the cottage was warm and filled with golden lamplight

that reflected from the polished surfaces of Aunt Pol’s copper-bottomed

pots and kettles and pans hanging from hooks on either side of the

arched fireplace. Durnik had built the table and chairs in the center

of the room out of oak, and the lamplight enhanced the golden color of

the wood.

The three of them immediately went to the fireplace to warm their hands

and feet.

The door to the bedroom opened, and Poledra came out.

“Well,” she said, “did you see them off?”

“Yes, dear,” Belgarath replied.

“They were going in a generally northeasterly direction the last time I


“How’s Pol?” Durnik asked.

“Happy,” Garion’s tawny-haired grandmother replied.

“That’s not exactly what I meant. Is she still awake?”

Poledra nodded.

“She’s lying in bed admiring her handiwork.”

“Would it be all right if I looked in on her?”

“Of course. Just don’t wake the babies.”

“Make a note of that, Durnik,” Belgarath advised.

“Not waking those babies is likely to become your main purpose in life

for the next several months.”

Durnik smiled briefly and went into the bedroom with Poledra.

“You shouldn’t tease him that way, Grandfather,” Garion chided.

“I wasn’t teasing, Garion. Sleep’s very rare in a house with twins.

One of them always seems to be awake. Would you like something to

drink? I think I can probably find Pol’s beer barrel.”

“She’ll pull out your beard if she catches you in her pantry.”

“She isn’t going to catch me, Garion. She’s too busy being a mother

right now.” The old man crossed the room to the pantry and began

rummaging around.

Garion pulled off his cloak, hung it on a wooden peg, and went back to

the fireplace. His feet still felt cold. He looked up at the

latticework of rafters overhead. It was easy to see that Durnik had

crafted them. The smith’s meticulous attention to detail showed in

everything he did. The rafters were exposed over this central room,

but there was a loft over the bedroom and a flight of stairs reaching

up to it along the back wall.

“Found it,” Belgarath called triumphantly from the pantry.

“She tried to hide it behind the flour barrel.”

Garion smiled. His grandfather could probably find a beer cask in the

dark at the bottom of a coal mine.

The old man came out with three brimming tankards, set them down on the

table, and moved a chair around until it faced the fireplace. Then he

took one of the tankards, sat, and stretched his feet out toward the


“Pull up a chair, Garion,” he invited.

“We might as well be comfortable.”

Garion did that.

“It’s been quite a night,” he said.

“That it has, boy,” the old man replied.

“That it has.”

“Shouldn’t we say good night to Aunt Pol?”

“Durnik’s with her. Let’s not disturb them. This is a special sort of

time for married people.”

“Yes,” Garion agreed, remembering that night two weeks ago when his

daughter had been born.

“Will you be going back to Riva soon?”

“I probably should,” Garion replied.

“I think I’ll wait a few days, though–at least until Aunt Pol’s back

on her feet again.”

“Don’t wait too long,” Belgarath advised with a sly grin.

“Ce’Nedra’s sitting on the throne all by herself right now, you


“She’ll be all right. She knows what to do.”

“Yes, but do you want her doing things on her own?”

“Oh, I don’t think she’ll declare war on anybody while I’m gone.”

“Maybe not, but with Ce’Nedra you never really know, do you?”

“Quit making fun of my wife, Grandfather.”

“I’m not making fun of her. I love her dearly, but I do know her. All

I’m saying is that she’s a little unpredictable.” Then the old

sorcerer sighed.

“Is something the matter, Grandfather?”

“I was just chewing on some old regrets. I don’t think you and Durnik

realize just how lucky you are. I wasn’t around when my twins were


I was off on a business trip.”

Garion knew the story, of course.

“You didn’t have any choice, Grandfather,” he said.

“Aldur ordered you to go to Mallorea. It was time to recover the Orb

from Torak, and you had to go along to help Cherek Bear-shoulders and

his sons.”

“Don’t try to be reasonable about it, Garion. The bald fact is that I

abandoned my wife when she needed me the most. Things might have

turned out very differently if I hadn’t.”

“Are you still feeling guilty about that?”

“Of course I am. I’ve been carrying that guilt around for three

thousand years. You can hand out all the royal pardons you want, but

it’s still there.”

“Grandmother forgives you.”

“Naturally she does. Your grandmother’s a wolf, and wolves don’t hold

grudges. The whole point, though, is that she can forgive me, and you

can forgive me, and you can get up a petition signed by everybody in

the known world that forgives me, but I still won’t forgive myself. Why

don’t we talk about something else?”

Durnik came back out of the bedroom.

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Categories: Eddings, David