Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Favorite Author Rises

I mentioned David Eddings in my last post, and I just have to say, he's probably my favorite author of all time.

Why do I like him so much? In part, he was the author of one of the very first "grown up" novels I ever read.

When I first found David Eddings, I was thirteen, and in eighth grade.

I had already worked my way thorough C.S. Lewis and the Narnia books, and I had just devoured Tamora Pierce and her Song Of The Lioness series (my school library only had 3 of the 4 books, it wasn't until years later that I was able to read them start to finish). I had also checked out the library's copy of Patricia C. Wrede's Talking to Dragons at least twice. So, with these two series, and a few scattered others, I was pretty well hooked into the fantasy genre.

I remember when I first found David Eddings. I was not exactly trying to impress a boy, but I was at a 4-H event, doing my Jr. Leader thing, and this other 4-H boy was there. He was probably 16 or so, and was much quieter than his brother (it was the brother I had a minor crush on, but the brother liked my sister, so it would never be ...). He was reading this really huge book, and the title caught my attention. It was called The Ruby Knight.

I remember thinking it sounded really neat - maybe the knight wore red, or something. I decided I had to go find it and read it. I swear it had (almost) nothing to do with the idea that next time I saw him, I could strike up a conversation. Really, I swear.

Moot point anyway, since I stopped being active in 4-H not too long after that, and the few times I saw him after that I never did work up to courage to tell him I read the same book he did. I mean, how lame would I have sounded, "Oh, hey, I saw you were reading this book, and I had to go out and read it, and now let's talk about it!"

Moving on now ...

So, I made sure I took note of the title, and I went to find this book. Only, it wasn't the first book in the series, so I had to buy all three of them (because, you know, he must have read all of them, right? ... ok, really, I'm done!).

A funny thing happened when I read The Diamond Throne. I flat out loved it.

I quickly read the next books, the aforementioned Ruby Knight and The Sapphire Rose.

I couldn't get enough of these characters! I loved it that they used magic, and had swords, and they were fighting against a really evil thing that wanted to take over their world.

It wasn't just the way they fought evil with such panache, it was the relationships that Eddings brought to the characters. They weren't just happy-go-lucky, always doing the right thing paladins. They had doubts about themselves, and they argued like real people, and they even encountered racial prejudice. The seemed like real people.

I had to go out and see if he wrote anything else.

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