The Seeress of Kell by David and Leigh Eddings

This is technically a review of the last book in two connected series but it can stand as a review of all ten books in both the The Belgariad and The Malloreon series.  Because, let’s face it, they’re all more or less the same book.

Now, unless it is loving satire written by Diana Wynne Jones, I am not typically a huge fan of quest fantasy.  I find quest fantasy to be old-fashioned, trope-y, and sexist.  And the books of David Eddings hit all of those ticks (the sexism is less egregious than in other books of this type/era but still very much present).  But his characters are fun and there’s a lot of humor in the books and sometimes it’s nice to read something utterly predicable so you don’t have to think too much while you read.  Because, let’s face it, in quest fantasy you know the good guys are going to win and you don’t have to worry that characters you have grown attached to will die.  It’s very relaxing.

One thing I found less relaxing than usual was that this book felt the need to marry everybody off after evil had been defeated, which I didn’t feel was necessary.  I mean, if I had been Liselle (the best spy in a nation of spies), I would have told Silk (who, don’t get me wrong, I’m quite fond of but who is also kind of an ass, especially when it comes to women), “No thanks, I’ve proved my point i.e. you are mine for the taking and that’s enough for me” and gone off and been a badass spy all on my own.  But that’s just me and my feminist agenda talking.

All in all, these books are funny, super repetitive (the fact the repetitiveness is a plot point doesn’t actually make it better), and old-fashioned.  From the first book, you know exactly how it’s all going to end.  But they are also a very un-annoying example of the genre.  I’m sure the Eddings are delighted by the high praise.

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