cover image Sorceress of Darshiva: #4

Sorceress of Darshiva: #4

David Eddings. Del Rey Books, $19.95 (406pp) ISBN 978-0-345-33005-5

In the battle between good and evil in the land of Mallorea begun in Guardians of the West , the wizard and shape-changer Belgarion continues his quest with 10 companions. They include his wife, Queen Ce'Nedra, his grandfather, Belgarath, and other members of his shape-changing wizard family, and the wily merchant Prince Kheldar, also known as Silk. The sorceress Zandramas, now Child of the Dark after the death of the god Torak at the hands of Belgarion (who is the Child of the Light) has stolen Belgarion's young son to use in a ritual prophesied to assure the dominance of the forces of the Dark. They find an original copy of the Ashabine Oracles, written long before Belgarion's birth, which contains a message to him from Torak that directs them to the ancient city of Kell. As they race other interested parties across battle-blasted landscapes, the group encounters warring troops of men and demons, and the Emperor of Mallorea, who joins the party on the orders of a blind seeress. Eddings depicts a complex, believable and colorful society filled with nobles, rogues and common people, the latter characters ringing particularly true, as does the world of the wolves into which Belgarion and his relatives change. ( Dec. )