Friday, January 29, 2010

Flashback Friday: An author I grew up with (David Eddings)

Today’s post title is a blatant nod to Jon’s awesome alliteration. Don’t worry, Jon. I’m not trying to steal your thunder. This is a one-time deal. Or at least, not a regular thing.

After mentioning David Eddings yesterday, I remembered that he was a fantasy author (perhaps the fantasy author, for me) that I cut my teeth on when I first ventured into this genre. I believe the first book I read was Magician’s Gambit (book three of the Belgariad series).

Instantly enchanted, I amended my out-of-orderly ways and started over with Pawn of Prophecy. Fortunately, Mr. Eddings had already finished both the Belgariad and Mallorean (follow-up series) by the time I discovered his works, so I didn’t have to wait for any of those books to come out. Ditto with the Elenium and Tamuli series. (Sidenote: I’m a bit anxious for Chima’s The Exiled Queen. Ugh, September? Really? I need to pull a Miranda Priestly and have my non-existent assistant get the unpublished manuscript by noon! *wink*)

It’s been years since I picked up an Eddings book, but I remember that his writing was so accessible without sacrificing imagery and rich detail. He proved that you don’t have to use fancy words or a lot of words to tell a good story. And I loved the marriage of uber-epicness and intimacy of his stories. His books wow us with wars between or against gods and saving the world from certain destruction, while at the same time endearing us to his cast of characters by showing development of individuals and relationships. Eddings was a master of the multi-layered, stories-within-stories aspect of high fantasy that typifies this genre.

Sadly, Mr. Eddings passed away in 2007. For our consolation, he is survived by a mini-library of tales that will continue to charm readers from beyond the grave.

This trip down memory lane makes me want to re-read those stories (as well as pick up Eddings’ Dreamer series; I haven’t read those books yet). So you might see some reviews inspired by this post.

What books and authors did you grow up on? Fantasy or otherwise. :)

5 comments:

  1. Hey, no hard feelings. I'm more pissed that you used uber, that's mine. Okay, kidding.

    I grew up with The Chronicles of Narnia, obviously, but I also read Roald Dahl and found so much quirk and guts in his writing. I need to revisit that, because I am struggling with voice at the moment, partly because I have so many projects happening at once that I tend to be writing the same book over several projects, when each one is supposed to seem individual.

    Fantasy, as a genre, really to use to bother me. I thought it was all ogres and beasts and princesses and wars and a protagonist that likes to wear capes and stand in the wind who came from a poor little village on the outskirts of a corrupt empire, whose leader is inevitably the antagonist or is being possessed by the antag.

    But...now I see depth and intrigue to the genre, pretty much because of your little blog here, that's gaining all kinds of attention, nice work.

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  2. I grew up on Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and my favorite author as a teen, John Saul.

    I'll have to check out Mr. Eddings. :-)

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  3. @Jon: Aww, thanks man! It really is all about the characters, I think. The fantasy setting is just a veneer for a great journey with a lovable cast. At least, if it's done right.

    That's part of why I love Avatar so much. An epic, exciting story and deep, endearing characters (overvillified bad guys notwithstanding) all sheathed in a pretty fantasy/sci-fi/tribal veneer. The setting is just packaging.

    @Shannon: Any books you'd recommend to get started? I'm not familiar with John Saul at all, and haven't read any King or Koontz either (although I've noticed them on the bookshelf).

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  4. So I take it you liked The Demon King? I am also extremely anxious for The Exiled Queen and I think I like The Seven Realm series better than The Heir Chronicles. We'll have to discuss some time... :)

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  5. Oh Pig, I have a post next week related to that. I think you'll get a kick out of it. :-)

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