Creator / David Eddings

David Eddings was a modern American author who specialized in archetypical epic tales. He died in June of 2009. Most of the books he wrote were High Fantasy, were Doorstoppers, and were part of a long series (some of which were in the same universe), were Strictly Formula, were Troperiffic, and were awesome.

There was also snark. Lots and lots and lots of snark. Snark which was often used to hang lampshades.

Eddings saw history as cyclic, and so he was willing to recycle plot arcs in his series. The Malloreon has a similar structure to The Belgariad, for instance (which is even used as a major plot point).

Most, if not all, of his books were co-written with his wife, Leigh, though only the latest gave her shared credit (due to Executive Meddling - his publisher figured that boys wouldn't want to read a fantasy-book with a girl's name on the cover.) This is probably one of the main reasons for the abundancy of strong female characters, who are outspoken and fierce enough to make you wonder how those medieval societies manage to maintain their male-dominated status quo...

Series he wrote include:

  • Belgariad 'Verse
    • The Belgariad
      • Pawn of Prophecy
      • Queen of Sorcery
      • Magician's Gambit
      • Castle of Wizardry
      • Enchanters' End Game
    • The Malloreon
      • Guardians of the West
      • King of the Murgos
      • Demon Lord of Karanda
      • Sorceress of Darshiva
      • Seeress of Kell
    • Belgarath the Sorcerer (the first prequel)
    • Polgara the Sorceress (the second prequel)
    • The Rivan Codex (a collection of essays, notes and background material giving insight into how the series was created. Troperiffic.)

  • The Elenium 'Verse
    • The Elenium
      • The Diamond Throne
      • The Ruby Knight
      • The Sapphire Rose
    • The Tamuli
      • Domes of Fire
      • The Shining Ones
      • The Hidden City

  • The Dreamers 'Verse
    • The Elder Gods
    • The Treasured One
    • Crystal Gorge
    • The Younger Gods

Other books he wrote:
  • The Redemption of Althalus - a single volume fantasy novel.
  • The Losers (please note that this is not a High Fantasy novel and is more of a Randite propaganda piece. It's about a cripple looking for some Slice of Life, dealing Peer Pressure, etc.)
  • High Hunt (Another modern story, his first published novel)
  • Regina's Song (Another modern story about a murder mystery, an Angsty Surviving Twin, some plot twists here and there)

Tropes Employed:

  • Author Vocabulary Calendar: Eddings had an obscurely peculiar fascination with the words "obscure," "peculiar," and "fascination." Also "prosaic", "trifle", and especially "blandly". We thought we noticed you noticing.
    • Don't forget "unmitigated", particularly modifying the word "ass". (The pack animal, of course.)
  • BFS: The sword of Riva. A huge broadsword forged from meteoric metal that incorporates the all-powerful Stone of Aldur as its pommel, burns with blue flame, is completely weightless when the Orb is in place (weighs a ton when the Orb isn't), and can only be wielded by Riva's descendants. Found in The Belgariad and The Malloreon
  • Cool Horse: Each of his series features unique or important horses, from Horse to Faran. Eddings clearly knows horses, and the wellbeing, fatigue and endurance of the heroes' mounts plays a subtle role in each of the quests. Highlighted when 'Zakath gives Garion his own Cool Horse.
  • Deus ex Machina: Done to death in the Dreamers series. By the third book the cast has since figured out that their job is just to slow the Vlagh's invasion down until the next one occurs to wipe out the enemy army. And at the end of the final book an extra one occurs to make the ultimate victory happen decades in the past, meaning the entire series never happened.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Before the Belgariad, he wrote more down-to-earth stories with mundane problems and lots of unfiltered swearing at the top.
  • Expy: Many between the Belgariad 'verse and the Elenium 'verse, mostly due to filling identical archetypes.
    • Velvet (Liselle) = Melidere
    • Silk (Kheldar) = Stragen
    • Barak = Tynian/Ulath
    • 'Zakath = Sarabian
    • Cyradis = Xanetia
    • Dals = Delphae
    • Mallorean Empire = Tamul Empire
    • Mal Zeth = Matherion
    • The Light Prophecy and Dark Prophecy = Bhelliom and Klael
    • Torak = Azash
  • Eureka Moment: Back in the late 1970s Eddings was a struggling novelist working at a grocery store to make ends meet. Browsing a book store one day he saw a copy of The Lord of the Rings and said "Is this old turkey still floating around?". On opening the book he was shocked to see it was in its seventy-eighth printing. He rushed home, dusted off an old doodled map of a place called Aloria and The Rest Is History.
  • Friend Versus Lover
  • God-Emperor: In The Malloreon cycle, it is revealed that the emperors of Mallorea are divine per definition, due to the original emperor being a LITERAL God, Kal Torak. In The Tamuli it's the inverted form, with Cyrgon, a god who is also the earthly ruler of the people of the same name.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Eddings' heroes have a definite tendency in this direction. Most of them are worldly, sometimes world-weary older men, who approach fighting and heroism as a duty rather than a means to seek glory. The major exception is young, idealistic Garion, but even he starts to lose his shiny attitude as he ages.
  • Love Hungry: The child goddess Aphrael in Sparhawk.
  • Phlebotinum du Jour / Science Marches On: A section of The Rivan Codex discusses an interesting point on how the popular understanding of the Law of Conservation of Energy did this for magic systems. Before it, magic could do pretty much what the plot required, whereas after it a magic system needed to have an answer for "where does the energy come from?"
  • Plot-Induced Stupidity: Probably the most pervasive trope used by Eddings. His characters always have tremendous powers at their dispositions — from sorcery to entire gods and even powers being ABOVE gods) — but they use them only when the plot says so. Sometimes there is a very flimsy excuse given about why they can't (which is ignored as soon as the author wants something cool to happen), but just as often it just never comes to the mind of the heroes that they could do it.
  • Readers Are Morons: Averted - Eddings had a vocabulary and wasn't afraid to use it, however he never lost sight of the fact he was writing books designed to be readable and enjoyable so didn't stray too far into Readers Are Geniuses either for the most part. As the man himself put it:
    My eight years of exposure to college English gave me an extended vocabulary (my cut of the loot, you might say), and when it's appropriate, I'll use it. The youthful, marginally educated reader is going to have trouble with such sentences as "Silk's depredations were broadly ecumenical." That might seem a little heavy but it said exactly what I wanted it to say, and I chose not to rephrase it to make it more accessible to the linguistically challenged. If you want simple, easy books, go read "The Bobbsey Twins at the Seashore". How's that for towering arrogance?
    "The Rivan Codex"
  • Serial Killings, Specific Target: Regina's Song
  • Shining City: The City of Kell in The Malloreon, Vo Wacune in Polgara the Sorceress and Fire-Domed Matherion in The Tamuli.
  • Shout-Out:
    Know that I hate thee, Belgarion. For hate's sake will I throw myself into the darkness. For hate's sake I spit out my last breath at thee, my damned brother - Torak, in the Ashabine Oracles.
  • Spiritual Successor: All his works revolve around somewhat similar worlds and plotlines, but with distinct characters, atmospheres, and themes.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Eddings managed to torch his car and office and was lucky to escape uninjured while flushing his car's petrol tank with water - he decided the best way to check if the mixture was flammable was to throw a lit piece of paper into the puddle of fluid. He lampshaded this when asked why he'd done it by a firefighter.
    "One word comes to mind. Dumb."
  • Universe Bible: The Rivan Codex is mostly a collection of the first drafts of the Encyclopedia Exposita and world building notes, with some discussion of his writing style. And by writing style, he means that ripping off all of myth, aka using tropes, is the "literary equivalent of peddling dope".
  • What Could Have Been: The world was denied another Eddings novel, Hunseeker’s Ascent (about mountain climbing), when Eddings abandoned it halfway through writing it and burned it, later saying it was "a piece of tripe so bad it even bored me."