David Eddings(1931-2009) was one of my favourite fantasy authors of all time. Together with his wife Leigh, he authored a number of best-selling epic fantasy novels. The most memorable one to me and the one that I started with first, was in fact The Enchanter’s End Game, which was book five of the Belgariad series.
The series that he authored were:
The Belgariad (1982-84), The Malloreon (1987-91), The Elenium (1989-91), The Tamuli (1992-94), The Dreamers (2003-06).
He showed his preference for the arts by majoring in Drama and English at junior college and graduated with a BA from Reed College in 1954 and an MA from the University of Washington in 1961.
After several years working as a college lecturer, due to its diabolical pay, he decided to leave his job, move to Denver and of all things, began to work in a grocery store. It was a very bizarre career move, but it was clearly a job that he chose, just to give him enough funds to get by as he worked on his novels, several of which remained unpublished, including Hunseeker’s Ascent, a story about mountain climbing, which he later burned as he said that the book even bored him. Most his novels at that time were adventure stories and contemporary tragedies.
His entry into the world of fantasy began one morning before work when he sketched out the fantasy world of Aloria. He then set that drawing to one side and forgot about it for many years. One day, he realized (finally) that the works of Tolkein still seemed very popular, and so he was encouraged to attempt to move beyond his original sketch to flesh out his new fantasy world and to place his love of adventure writing inside it.
It worked and the rest, as they say, is history.
The works of Mr Eddings have a ‘gritty realism’ inside them. A practical element of contemporary adventure, but there is no doubt that his love of the fantasy genre certainly grew and blossomed as well. What stands out the most for me though is how perfectly crafted his human relationships were. It is his characters that I find are completely unforgettable and that is why David Eddings is one of my favourite fantasy authors of all time.