David Eddings passed away Tuesday.
If there was ever a fantasy series that really transported me to another world, it's his Belgariad. Beginning with Pawn of Prophecy, the story of young Garion's journey from living as a farmboy to taking his place in the world as the central figure of an ancient prophecy catapulted me into a world of knights, sorcerers, and magic--and colorful, captivating characters.
In the space of a week and a half the summer before my senior year in high school, I devoured all five books. A few months later, I dove into the follow-up series, the Malloreon, at a more leisurely pace.
The Seeress of Kell, the last book of the Malloreon, came out my sophomore year in college and was the first hardcover I'd ever purchased.
I never did get into his later books.
No matter. The Belgariad and the Malloreon were enough.
Oh sure I read others after those. I'd read Papa Tolkien and Terry Brooks's Shannara series prior to Eddings. I'd gone through Asimov's Foundation books, I, Robot, and two volumes of his short stories (including "Nightfall"). Later came Douglas Adams, Robert Heinlein, Robert E. Howard, Frank Herbert, Robert Asprin, Lois McMaster Bujold, Elizabeth Moon, Holly Lisle, even L. Ron Hubbard (his 10-book Mission Earth series).
And the list goes on.
But once a year, I go back to Sendaria and to the first thing the boy Garion remembered: the kitchen at Faldor's farm.
Goodbye, Mr. Eddings. You will be missed.