I often steer clear of the fantasy genre for the following reasons.
- I refuse to read a book which requires me to learn a new language. If there is a glossary in the back, you can forget it.
- Fantasy novels often come in series. Ten or twelve book series. I am only going to live so long.
- There is almost always a long, exhausting, perilous quest which stresses me out. I read for relaxation and escape.
Having stated my hesitation, I have to say I really enjoyed David Eddings' Pawn of Prophecy: Book One of the Belgariad. (There are, of course, about fifty other volumes that come after this one.)
There is a quest, but it's not so bad. They don't go underground or get chased by terribly gross creatures. The characters' names are very odd, and they travel to places like Cthol Murgos. That aspect always annoys me, but I guess it's just not as fantastic if Bill and Bob pass through Wilmington on their way to capture the stolen...you know. Still, even Tolkien had a character named Sam. I know, I know, it's really Samwise.
Yet, I really did like the story. I felt like it should have been longer, which is always a good thing. It was somewhat of a teaser, so I will probably read the next one at some point.
Yes, boys, your mom fibbed at dinner the other night when I got you to spill the beans about the rest of the story. I had to know what happens to Garion! It may be a while before I move on to The Queen of Sorcery: Book Two of the Belgariad.