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The Elenium by David Eddings

Review by Mike

The Diamond Throne (1990)
The Ruby Knight (1991)
The Sapphire Rose (1992)

In The Elenium David Eddings once again delivers a story following the guidelines for Standard Heroic Fantasy 1A. The plot is embarrassingly similar to that of The Belgariad, and most of the characters feel familiar too. It reminded me of films like Lethal Weapon #4 or Die Hard #3 - popular characters recycled in stories with weaker plots than the first film of the series, but instead you get ridiculous amounts of violence and explosions. Not that there was much less action in the first films, far from it, but the concept isn't interesting enough for more than one sequel. What thrilled you the first time is not that fun anymore, so you see the flaws much more clearly.

Speaking of flaws, there is one in this series that ended up bothering me a lot, and that is racism. We have a world populated by two races fighting on the side of the good guys, the Styrs and the Elenes. Once they mixed and the result was a third race, the Zemochs, a people who are generally cruel, violent and have below average intelligence. Of course, they started worshipping an evil god that now must be stopped. I'm sure Eddings didn't mean this to come through as racism, but I couldn't help thinking of the repulsive propaganda you once would hear from people who believed in segregation. You know, how bad it is if black and white people are allowed to live with and marry each other. Yuck!

This pretty much ruined the series for me. The fact that the plot is an almost exact copy of The Belgariad did nothing to improve my impression. The Elenium is a series that there was no need to write, much less publish. It made me decide never to buy another book by David Eddings.

1 amulet! :-(

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