Page name: Polgara The Sorceress review [Logged in view] [RSS]
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2012-01-17 17:44:24
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Polgara The Sorceress review

Polgara is the story of the sorceress Polgara, daughter of Belgarath and Poledra. Polgara is compelled to tell her side of the story of the past three thousand years of her existence after her father, Belgarath, chooses to leave out a few fairly important things from his telling of that particular history.

Polgara retells tales of her childhood and her journey into adolescence, recounting her first experience with the Tree in the Vale, and how she first discovered her ability to speak with the birds and other creatures in the Vale. She shares her feelings about her twin sister, and the loss she felt as life came between them. Polgara was destined for greatness, and she comes into her own as a powerful sorceress, a nemesis of a dragon god, and a guardian of something, or someone, rather important to the entire world.

Polgara seems to be a part of a saga of some sort, and this being what seems to be the end of that saga didn't make it a very good read as a stand-alone book. I cannot speak about how excellent or else horrible the saga may be, since I have not read it, but Polgara on it's own, was a fairly mediocre book at best.

Firstly, as I began the book, I was taken aback by the whole tone, the language, and the writing style, which was far too stiff for my liking. Polgara lives in a world that is not really described too well in this book, but may have been described in other books of the saga. Therefore, as I began to read, the author(s) combined contractions and more contemporary language with laughably confusing names (Belaran, Belgarath,Beldin,Beltira, and Belkira) and more "old time" language and phraseology. The interactions were awkward between characters, and the authors seemed to struggle with providing interesting details about the people in their story. Ce'Nedra, for example is described as Garion's "tiny wife/tiny Queen" multiple times in the Prologue. Unfortunately, they couldn't and didn't come up with much more of a description for her than that, despite the book's 643 pages.

When I start to read a new book, I hope that it grabs me from the very beginning and keeps me interested until the very end, and that by the time I've finished it, scarcely a day or two has passed since I was so engrossed by the story I was flying through. This was not the case with Polgara. While it seemed to tell a story that I would have generally enjoyed, there simply was not enough detail about the world in which the story took place, the characters spoke awkwardly as if even they weren't sure whether they were existing in the past, present, future, or even in a parallel existence where those things might be combined. I was happy to finish this story, but not because I was closing a book filled with new friends and enjoyable adventures, but because it was just too tedious to get through without the information probably provided in the other books.

So my rating is that this book is "okay" as a standalone book. If you can get past the things I mentioned before, you'll probably enjoy it. If you can't, then you, like me, will be thrilled to find that you've finished a book that you won't have to read again, and can now move on to something hopefully a bit more enjoyable.
/ [Nioniel]

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2012-01-17 [Triola]: Yeah, this book is meant to be read after a world of other books :P but they are really very awesome, you should start there

2012-01-17 [Viking]: I'm not sure how awesome they are. I barely made it through The Belgariad and haven't been able to finish any other Eddings book.

2012-01-17 [Triola]: I think they're adorable, I really liked them :3

2012-01-17 [Nioniel]: I just shouldn't have started with the end of a series, methinks. It was too confusing and I kept dreading picking the book up again to finish it.

2012-01-17 [Linderel]: The Belgariad is a dear old friend of mine. And yes, you shouldn't have started with Polgara - that and Belgarath are meant to be read after you're already familiar with the characters.

2012-01-17 [Nioniel]: Well, no one told me that. :P

2012-01-17 [Linderel]: Were we supposed to know you hadn't read anything of that world before? :P

2012-01-17 [Nioniel]: Of course not. :3
But I don't think that I would suggest a book that comes at the end of a series to someone when the book heavily references the rest of the series, and when I haven't asked if the person is familiar with the series. Or I'd just tell them that it was part of a series in the first place. :P

I could see myself probably enjoying the series as a whole. This was the kind of story that I usually like, and one of the kinds of books that I've generally sought for myself when I'm reading for pleasure. But without the information that I assume is provided in the books leading up to this one, I just kept finding myself very confused and so lost in places that I had to go online to figure out what the heck certain events and characters had to do with the book - which is when I then discovered that this book is indeed part of a saga. So I could only then review the book based upon the book itself, not as I usually would for a book in a series; as a part of a whole. I do feel a bit bad for giving this a lower rating, but objectively, that's really all I can give it at this point.

I know you didn't ask, but I do keep feeling like I ought to justify my low rating, since it seems like quite a few people are actually familiar with and have enjoyed the series. Maybe at some point, I'll start at the beginning and see how I like it then.

2012-01-17 [Linderel]: Haha, fair enough. You'll have to blame the one who recommended the book to you, then. :P

2012-01-17 [Nioniel]: XD

2012-01-26 [Cillamoon]: Sorry Mel, I honestly didn't know it was the last in a series and I LOVE it! It's one of my favorite books, but that's just me. Now that I know it's part of a series, perhaps I will read the others, but perhaps not. I wouldn't want to spoil my adoration of Polgara herself. Thanks for giving it a shot though! :)

2012-01-26 [Nioniel]: No worries. :3 Thanks for making the recommendation. I'm sure I won't like everything I read. :P

2012-01-26 [Triola]: I've read the entire series, and nothing will spoil your adoration for Polgara, promise! The books will just increase your love for all the other characters :D

2012-01-27 [Cillamoon]: Thank you Triola! :) I just need to remember to grab the others next time I venture to the book store.

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