If you think the Belgariad and the Malloreon would’ve been much more interesting if Silk were the main character, then this is the book for you. Althalus is a rogue and a scoundrel and a thief, sometimes a murderer and usually a liar, and it’s his job to save the world.
Accompanied by a cat named Emerald, he sets off to gather the necessary companions, a charming and heterogenous bunch. Eddings has never quite gone in for the good guys winning simply because they’re the good guys (to be strictly accurate, I suppose I should talk about the Eddingses; Leigh co-authored almost all of his books, but publishers’ wariness of joint authorships kept her name off the covers of the earlier ones), and this is very much the point here. Althalus and his companions will do whatever it takes to secure their victory.
It’s very recognisably Eddings. It’s a little saucier in places than his earlier works in the genre (although from memory The Losers isn’t exactly about the purest of people), but without straying into the needlessly prurient, unlike so many fantasy authors who are desperate to be seen as writing books for adults (looking at you, Game of Thrones). I think it’s probably a sign of a developing art, and growing comfort with the medium, more than anything else. They’re particularly good at writing endearing human relationships.
Published as one long book rather than broken down (I imagine the feeling was that there wasn’t enough material for a trilogy, and the two-parter is a slightly odd model), at first sight The Redemption of Althalus is a bit of a daunting prospect. Once inside, however, it’s very easy to read – not one of those books that leaves the reader enervated and despondent around about the four hundred mark.
The Redemption of Althalus
Author David and Leigh Eddings
Best line “Anything that interferes with understanding should be discarded.”
Best character Eliar. “I’m just a soldier who happens to be working for God right now.”