Recent Reads: MAGICIAN’S GAMBIT

Magician's Gambit, by David Eddings

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I had forgotten there were scenes and sections in MAGICIAN’S GAMBIT that were entirely from Ce’Nedra’s point of view. I knew there were in CASTLE OF WIZARDRY, but I had no recollection of it in MG.

This endears the book(s) to me as an adult even more than as a teen. I was not one of those female readers who as a child felt left out because all the stories were about boys and I wasn’t a boy so therefore couldn’t relate. Yes, well, there wasn’t a magical passageway in my closet that led to Narnia, either, but somehow I soldiered on and managed to love and accept it anyway, you know? So I didn’t notice a lack of female protagonists in books I read, because none of these people were like me anyway.

As an adult, however, I’m more aware of the imbalance, so I was completely delighted to (re)discover that Ce’Nedra’s status as a POV character–one of only two in the Belgariad, if I’m not mistaken–begins in book 3. That’s wonderful.

One of the things I’m really enjoying in these re-reads is being reintroduced to a character and suddenly remembering their whole story. It’s a completely different kind of joy than discovering those stories for the first time: that’s pure adreneline-based adventure. This is the resurrection of old friendships, the reawakening of memories based not on scent or touch, but the shape of words on a page. I laughed out loud at poor Garion’s experiments with the Word and the Will in the Vale, having completely forgotten what he’d done to himself in that scene, and Relg’s appearance came as a splendid shock of oh!, because so much of his story came back to me in the moment I saw his name. It was wonderful.

Also, this book has one of my favorite lines in the history of ever: “Does bouncing count?”

1 Comment


  1. I love re-reading the books for the same reason. And you must you must you must read Polgara the Sorceress, because hello, it’s a whole, superthick book that’s entirely from Polgara’s point of view.

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