This is book two of David Eddings’ Belgariad. I found the first volume quite readable: it was a workmanlike, unpretentious adventure story/ coming of age tale. It took fantasy tropes at face value, and used them in an absolutely straight way, and its characters, while hardly outstanding, were reasonably credible, and for the most part came across like they actually inhabited the setting. There was nothing particularly special or exciting about it, but it was an enjoyable read, and it avoided the common major faults of the genre; I intended to read the series.
Sadly, book two is another story. For a start, he engages in the sort of language mangling that he generally eschewed in the first book; in fact, he didn’t actually know the difference between formal and familiar language, and starts a lot of thee-ing and thou-ing on the basis that it’s formal! This is simply idiotic: no writer worth their salt will use a mode of speech without actually finding out what it means; he only needed to spend five minutes at his nearest library to get that one right. On top of this, as soon as his story is entirely removed from its initial context, and becomes a straight adventure/ quest, any sense of a coherent culture, in whose terms the characters identities are constructed, is entirely lost. We are left with a bunch of wooden stereotypes, walking around a wooden stereotype of a world. In the last third of the book it picks up a bit, as a few exciting things happen, but by that point I had completely lost interest in all the characters. I won’t be reading any more of this series, as I really couldn’t give a flying f*** what happens next.