David Eddings was a modern American author who specialized in archetypical epic tales. All of his work was written jointly with his wife, Leigh Eddings, but she only started to receive co-author credit on works published from 1995 on.
After a one-shot modern-day adventure novel published in the 1970s, most of the books Eddings wrote (from the 1980s on) were High Fantasy Doorstoppers, and were part of a long series (some of which were in the same universe). They were also Strictly Formula, Troperiffic, and were decidedly Love-them-or-hate-them.
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...
Leigh Eddings died in February 2007 and David Eddings in June of 2009. Best-selling authors in their lifetimes, their work is now Undermined by Reality, as posthumous revelations about their early life have cast a long shadow over their previous popularity. During the early 1970's, long before their successful joint careers as authors, David and Leigh actually served jail time in South Dakota after pleading guilty to the abuse of their two adopted children. David had been working as a college professor in Spearfish at the time, and lost his job as a result of the abuse. Nonetheless, as this was in the days before internet, these details about the Eddings' lives were long kept a secret, and did not resurface until years after both had passed.
The 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
- 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)
Works by David Eddings with their own pages include:
Other works by David Eddings contain examples of:
- Adaptive Ability: The Vlagh and its creatures in Dreamers. They adapted to every trick the protagonists use in the previous battles... only to have them devise more. They also forage the battlefield for dropped weapons. Eventually they evolved to the point they had eight arms on some of the creatures... each carrying four bows. This caused the protagonists some anxiety. At least until they saw the creatures using the bows...as maces.
- Always Identical Twins: In Regina's Song, Regina and her sister were so identical even their parents couldn't tell them apart, and when one of the sisters is murdered only the surviving sister knows for sure which it was.
- Angsty Surviving Twin: The plot driver in Regina's Song.
- 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.)
- Cruel and Unusual Death: In Regina's Song, the Seattle Slasher killed her victims by stabbing them with a syringe of curare to paralyze them, and then slowly carved them to pieces with a linoleum knife. While singing. When she finally tracked down the man who killed her sister, she slices him with the knife about eighty times. The coroner wasn't sure of the exact count, as some of the cuts were very close together — especially around the groin. He was still alive when she cut his throat at the end.
- 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.
- Hive Caste System: In The Dreamers quartet, the original workers and warriors are joined by humanoid bugs capable of semi-independent thought. Eventually this causes problems for the species as contrary points of view need to be dealt with for the first time.
- Hive Queen: In The Dreamers quartet, the enemies are poisonous bugs in widely divergent forms who are controlled by a queen. The queen becomes more human as the books progress.
- Master Archer: The Dreamers series takes this to its Logical Extreme with Longbow, an archer who has literally never missed a shot in his life. He began as a simple hunter, but wins great renown as a warrior in the international army assembled by the Elder Gods.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: In The Dreamers series, That-Called-the-Vlagh (or just The Vlagh) is a giant female insect who creates thousands and thousands of eggs, and whenever she sees a characteristic she likes, she mixes and matches animals with the characteristics she likes, with bizarre (but very, very, deadly) results.
- The Old Gods: The Dreamers has the original male and female creative powers embodied as the peasant couple Ara and Omago.
- Pals with Jesus: In The Dreamers, the four gods of the country tend to pal around and be on first name terms with some of their subjects.
- Posthumous Character: The dead twin in Regina's Song.
- Rape and Revenge: In Regina's Song, a girl is raped and murdered, inspiring her identical twin to hunt down and messily murder sexual predators in her search for the man responsible.
- Reset Button: The Dreamers series ends with a massive Reset Button, using time travel to negate the existence of the Big Bad and thus negate absolutely everything that occurred in the previous novels.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: In Regina's Song, the Seattle Slasher is killing off sexual predators in a hunt for one in particular who raped and murdered her twin sister.
- Separated by a Common Language: In Regina's Song, when the ensemble students are accosted by the media, they respond by making random statements in various languages. The protagonist (an English teacher) recites the opening stanza of Beowulf in West Saxon.
- Serial Killer: Regina's Song has the Seattle Slasher, a killer who paralyzes sexual predators with a syringe of curare and then carves them to pieces with a linoleum knife. She was a Mission/Revenge type, targeting sex offenders because one of them raped and murdered her twin sister, and ultimately seeking out and killing the specific rapist responsible for that act.
- The Story That Never Was: The fourth Dreamers book has a Deus ex Machina that one-ups the Physical Gods already present as viewpoint characters: the two amnesiac Old Gods remember their powers, effortlessly neutralize the Big Bad, and make their victory retroactive so the plot of the series never happened. Lampshaded, even, when they make a passing comment on all the Character Development that they unmade.
- Trailers Always Spoil: Regina's Song features not one, but two double-paragraph plot summaries on its back blurb. Both of them, in trying to be mysterious, blatantly state who the killer is and to some extent, what happens after we discover that fact.
- What Could Have Been: The world was denied another Eddings novel, Hunseekers 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."
- Worthless Yellow Rocks: In The Dreamers, the four gods hire armies with gold, except for Aracia. Queen Trenicia of the Isle of Akalla won't accept gold—she refers to it as 'yellow lead'—and took gems as payment instead.