My grandfather on my father’s side bought me The Ruby Knight—the second book in The Elenium trilogy, by David Eddings—when I was nine or ten. It was the first modern fantasy I had ever read, and I remember being utterly captivated by Mr. Eddings’ story of knights and magic and monsters, and thinking, “I like this!”
I liked it so much, in fact, that I raced to our local library and, over the course of several months, devoured every novel Mr. Eddings had published. I even went so far as to purchase all five books of the series.
Mr. Eddings’ The Belgariad series is a wonderful introduction to fantasy. A classic coming-of-age epic, it features a young farm boy with a mysterious past; a mad, twisted god for a villain; true love; thrilling duels and battles; a unique land; and some of the most interesting characters in the genre. Mr. Eddings influenced how I approach fantasy, both as a reader and as an author. The Belgariad will always have a place of honor on my bookshelves.