Magician’s Gambit, The Belgariad book Three by David Eddings fits into the juvenile fantasy fiction genre and was first published in 1983. It is recommended for readers ages 14 and up.
By book three the group on the quest is quite large. With so many characters the plot can’t help but be complex however Eddings does a wonderful job at keeping it all together and not getting out of hand. Once again this book is packed with adventure and mystery however some of the mysteries from the previous books have been solved leaving the reader satisfied but wanting more at the same time. We have learned that there is a prophecy predicting not only the quest but also the presence of all the members on it. We also know that the group is after an orb that someone has stolen and intends to use to rise a god who has been “sleeping” for many thousands of years. Each group of people serves their own one of seven gods and most are peaceful but the god who is to be awakened seeks to cause a war that could end the world. In the first park of this book the group travels through the land of the god Mara, his land is deserted because his people where killed off and he spends his time lamenting them and their ghosts haunt whoever comes into the land to pillage. Polgara and Belgarath decide that even with the dangers this is the safest way to travel and cause a deep sleep to come over everyone so they will not be haunted by the ghosts. They try to get the god Mara to join their cause but he is too wracked with grief to listen or care. After that Polgara and Belgarath go to the land of their god to answer a summons. While there Garion practices his sorcery and learns more fundamental truths about this new power. They also learn more about what they must accomplish to put an end to the plans for war and to prevent the resurrection of the got Torak. Next they travel to the land of Ulgo where they are joined by a man who has an amazing ability that often comes in handy to help them on their quest. In the end they travel to Cthol Murgos a land full of dangers both seen and unseen where they find the orb and manage though to defeat the Magician who has taken it. Like book two this one is full of adventure and excitement but Eddings manages to keep it fresh and exciting. The dangers are always original and while they definitely belong in the world of fantasy they are not too farfetched to seem plausible in the world he has created. It was a great read and a fitting addition to the Belgariad series.
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