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The Redemption of Althalus    by David Eddings & Leigh Eddings order for
Redemption of Althalus
by David Eddings
Order:  USA  Can
Ballantine, 2000 (2000)

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*   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The Redemption of Althalus was very easy to put down. In fact I found myself doing so at every opportunity and only reached the end by serious skimming through the last quarter of the book ... a case of the cover promising much more than the interior delivered. It sounded interesting. The protagonist Althalus starts out as an unrepentant rogue and scoundrel, gets down on his luck and takes a commission that leads him to the goddess Dweia, for whom he becomes the 'champion of humanity'.

Together they hunt up the rest of the good guys. This is reminiscent of The Belgariad but happens a lot faster, and with minimal obstacles. And the characters are also very like the old familiar formula. Althalus is another version of the slightly seedy but benign father figure Belgarath, Dweia and Polgara have much in common, Gher is awfully like Garion, and Andine is a Ce'Nedra clone. They use magic doors to wander around their world intervening in local events from time to time.

Everything in the story is all too easy. There is no conflict. The good guys banter but barely even bicker. The bad guys are remarkably stupid and fall down one by one like a pack of cards. Dweia waves her magic around all too often, manipulating space and time to resolve any difficulty of plot. The Eddings are good at dialogue but that's all there is to this story and it gets repetitious very early on.

I enjoyed The Belgariad very much, persisted through The Malloreon from a sense of loyalty, and gave up on The Elenium after the first book. The blurb led me to hope that Redemption of Althalus would be better but it is not ... now I wonder if Althalus himself wrote the jacket description? Borrow it or purchase the paperback only if you are a long-time Eddings fan, it's not worth the hardcover cost.

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