26 July, 2015 by Simon Descoteau
The Diamond Throne (The Elenium #1)
I first came across David Eddings quite by chance while browsing the fantasy section of my local library as a 14 year old and I was instantly hooked. The book in question, The Pawn of Prophecy, had a very laid back easy to read style of writing that is enjoyable to read by those of all ages, without ever feeling like a children’s book. It is still one of the first books I ever suggest to friends and family, especially for the younger reader. The Diamond Throne however is an entirely different animal.
Book 1 of The Elenium Trilogy immediately starts with a much darker more grown up feel to the writing as we are introduced to our not so young hero, Sparhawk. This is a strong contract to the fresh faced and entirely naive Garion from The Belgariad. This theme extends further into the story itself, which is a far darker story than the first series. Though this is not quite a maturely written children’s story, it is certainly a story that teenager would comfortably be able to read and follow.
The first thing which really impresses me about the writing in this book is the way in which the characters are introduced and developed. The mark of a good writer is his ability to bring alive worlds, painting pictures with words, so vivid that one can imagine not only the appearance but the idioms and characteristics of the places and people in their story. In this respect, few can hold a candle to Eddings. Each of the characters have a very distinct personalities and traits which come across clearly to the reader and give a real feeling of connection with the individuals. Very few writers are able to extract true emotion from their readers as Eddings.
The second thing which really impresses me about this whole series in fact is the amazing way in which the tempo of the story is orchestrated. There are periods of great activity, and impatient waiting and throughout the book the way in which the story unfolds is excellent. At no point during the slower periods does the reader feel bored, instead feeling a great anticipation and building of impatience and excitement. And yet the periods of great activity feel fast, but never rushed. Eddings’ ability to manage the pace of the book is simply excellent and makes for an exceptionally enjoyable read.