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,”
“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.”
“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 three of them immediately went to the fireplace to warm their hands
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?”
“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
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
“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
“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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