Thursday, June 4, 2009

Fantasy writing great dies

David Eddings, the acclaimed fantasy novelist and author of such series as The Belgariad and The Malloreon, has died at the age of 77.

David Eddings started his adult life as a college lecturer. However David Eddings soon found that writing was his main love, so he quit the job, worked at a grocery store to survive, while working on his writing.

The early efforts of David Eddings did not bear much fruit, producing one adventure novel The High Hunt, about a deer hunt that goes wrong. Then a chance encounter with a copy of The Lord of the Rings suggested to him that he should try his hand at fantasy.

David Eddings' first fantasy novel, The Pawn of Prophecy, was published in 1982. The Pawn of Prophecy was the first of a five part series called the Belgariad, a sweeping epic that centered on a young boy, raised in a peasant village, who turns out to be the hope of his world that is involved in a war of good vs. evil that not only involves nations, but ancient gods.

The boy of destiny and the cosmic war of good vs. evil are well worn themes in modern fantasy fiction. But David Eddings made the themes fresh with humor and sharp characterizations. The Belgariad spawned a sequel, the five part Malloreon, and several stand alone novels set in the same fantasy universe.

David Eddings also published two series, The Elenium and The Tamuli set in a different fantasy world and featuring a questing, medieval-style knight named Sparhawk. The Dreamers, another series set in yet another fantasy world, involves a battle of the gods and humans against an evil called the Vlagh.

David and Leigh Eddings also published a stand-alone fantasy novel entitled The Redemption of Althalus, about a thief who finds redemption fighting evil throughout the ages of his world.

Leigh Eddings (born Judith Leigh Schall), died following a series of strokes in 2007. She was 69.


I freely admit fantasy isn't a genre that gets me fired up but I flatted for a year with an Eddings addict so I know first hand how passionate his fans are. He and his wife's novels are extremely popular and no doubt will continue to be so as I am told good fantasy is hard to find. And personal reading preferences aside, you cannot help but admire someone who has produced close to 20 novels in his career. Rest in peace Mr Eddings.

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